What is Astragalus?
Astragalus is an herb, an ancient herb that has been used since time immemorial by the ancient Chinese for medicinal purposes. It is still as potent as it used to be in ancient times. Astragalus has a lot of health benefits, some of which include; antiaging benefits, immune system, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
It is also believed that Astragalus has the capacity to prolong life and can be used in the treatment, management, and control of various ailments. Like common cold, allergies, and fatigue. Heart diseases and diabetes are also ailments that Astragalus has the capacity to treat.
Astragalus is also identified as milk vetch or Huang qi, and is common and widely known to the Chinese and has been part of their traditional medicine. Although about 2,000 species of astragalus herbs have been identified. However, only two of them are used as supplements, and these two are the major focus of this article. These two popular types of astragalus supplements include; astragalus mongholicus and Astragalus membranaceus.
The root of the astragalus plant can be converted into several forms ranging from liquid extracts to capsules, teas, and powders. Astragalus has been included over the years in contemporary Chinese medicine and can also be administered as an injection or IV in hospitals.
Astragalus is packed with numerous health benefits that provide various health benefits. For instance, Astragalus can be used in the reduction and treatment of inflammation, as well as the boosting and strengthening of the immune system.
Some other health benefits that Astragalus can handle include; heart conditions, chronic fatigue, seasonal allergies, common colds, and kidney diseases.
Health Benefits of Astragalus Herb
The following are health benefits of the astragalus herb;
Boosts the Immune System
Packed within the astragalus herb are beneficial and essential plant compounds that can boost and strengthen the immune system. The immune system is the body’s defense system. Its major job is to protect the body against infections and foreign bodies that can cause illnesses and diseases. When the body’s defense system is down, the body begins to receive several attacks from infections, ailments, and diseases.
According to research, Astragalus can help in the increment and improvement of the white cells production in the body. The white blood cells are accountable for the combat and prevention of illnesses. In other words, they play important roles in the defense system of the body.
Coupled with these, Astragalus has been discovered to have properties that can combat, control and treat viral infections like infection of the liver and common cold.
Improves the Function of the Heart
Astragalus, according to research, has been found to ensure the proper functioning of the heart, especially in those who are suffering from different forms of heart disease.
It does this by widening and enlarging the blood vessels, thus, boosting the amount of blood that gets pupped from the heart.
Studies showed that heart failure patients were given 2.25 g of Astragalus 2 times a week for about 2 weeks alongside their contemporary medication. After about 2 weeks of using the astragalus herb, these heart failure patients experienced improvements in the function of their heart and had higher and more positive results compared to those who received standard treatment alone.
In addition, some studies show that Astragalus may alleviate myocarditis symptoms. Myocarditis is an inflammatory malady of the heart.
Can Improve Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy comes in handy with various side effects, and numerous studies have shown that Astragalus can help improve the side effects that come with chemotherapy.
The studies conducted on cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy showed that Astragalus administered by IV reduced their nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea symptoms by 36%, 50%, and 59%, respectively.
In addition, Astragalus has been associated with reduced vomiting and nausea in people who are undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer. 500 milligrams of Astragalus administered through IV, at least 3 to 4 times per week, may help in the improvement of the extreme fatigue that comes with chemotherapy.
Blood Sugar Regulator
Astragalus is popularly known for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. It is a source of rich active herbal compounds and properties that can help in the lowering as well as the regulation of blood sugar levels in individuals who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and its risks.
In fact, Astragalus in China is the most prescribed herbal remedy for diabetes management and control.
Taking 40 to 50 mg of Astragalus every day for 4 months has the capability to improve your blood sugar levels after meals and after fasting, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
Improves the Function of the Kidney
Astragalus does not only prevent kidney diseases. It also helps in support of kidney health. It supports kidney health by enhancing and improving laboratory markers of kidney function and blood flow into the kidney. One of the laboratory markers of kidney function includes regulating the measure of protein in the urine, thereby preventing a disease known as proteinuria.
Proteinuria is a healthy or majorly kidney condition whereby abnormal and unnecessary high amounts of protein contents are found in the urine. Proteinuria is a sign that the kidney has certain problems such as not functioning properly and being damaged to a fault.
Astragalus, on the other hand, has shown promising and positive results in the improvement and treatment of proteinuria in people with different forms of kidney diseases.
According to research, Astragalus may also help in the prevention of people who experience or suffer from reduced or low kidney function.
When 15 g of Astragalus was administered to people with kidney diseases every day for 6 months, they experienced a reduction in the risk of the infection by a whopping 38%, especially in people who suffer from the kidney condition known as nephrotic syndrome.
Other potential health benefits of the astragalus herb include;
- Improves fatigue and its symptoms; people who have chronic fatigue symptoms have experienced an improvement in their condition due to their daily usage of astragalus herb combined with other potent herbs.
- Anticancer properties; Astragalus has been found to contain anti-cancer properties. These anticancer properties help in inhibiting the abnormal growth of cells, especially cancerous cells, especially in people with colon cancer. It has also been affirmed to lessen the rate of cancer deaths by a reasonable percentage.
- Improves seasonal allergy symptoms; administering 160 mg of astragalus root extract to someone who has abnormal reactions and allergies of different kinds. For people with seasonal allergies, 160 mg of Astragalus administered 2 times a week can help relieve symptoms like runny nose and sneezing.
Astragalus, according to research, is safe to use and well-tolerated among most people. However, Astragalus has been discovered to cause certain mild side effects if taken in extra large doses or if used over a very long period of time. Some of these side effects include itching, rashes, runny nose, diarrhea, and nausea.
Similarly, studies found that administering Astragalus by IV comes with more side effects, which can be more serious than the regular ones. Some of these serious side effects include; an irregular heartbeat. Note that Astragalus can be administered by IV or injection but should be done under close medical monitoring in order to avoid complications. Although Astragalus is safe for everyone. However, the following people should stay away from Astragalus in order to prevent complications. These group of persons include;
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers; according to research, Astragalus is considered to be unsafe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It is said to contain properties that may lead to complications that may harm the mother or the child.
- For people who are suffering from autoimmune diseases, Astragalus is packed with properties that may increase the activities of the immune system. Thus, it is important to avoid Astragalus if you have any autoimmune disease. Some autoimmune diseases include; rheumatoid, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
- For people who are undergoing immunosuppressant medications, Astragalus is known to increase the activity of the immune system. Due to this feature of Astragalus, the effects of your immunosuppressant drugs may reduce as a result of the properties in the Astragalus her. In other words, Astragalus may counter the effects of your immunosuppressant medications.
In conclusion, Astragalus has various health benefits, some of which include strengthening and boosting of the immune system, reduction, and treatment of seasonal allergies and chronic fatigue symptoms.