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Astragalus

 


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Evidence of Benefits

leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal
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Immune System Stimulant and Enhancer
 
This herb has been shown to increase white blood cells production, cells responsible for fighting off infections. Clinical studies also show that this herb boost interferon production by white blood cells.

Another study showed that adding 30 mL of this herb intravenously to dialysis patients increased blood interleukin levels.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Common Cold

Some studies exist to show that taking this herb can reduce the risk of catching the common cold. Experts believe this herb's ability to boost the immune system is the reason for this health benefit.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbalAsthma / Allergies

This herb is used by Chinese doctors practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat lung problems including asthma. I is also used to treat allergy-induced asthma.

 It can be helpful in reducing lung infections and strengthening the lungs.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Fluid Retention / Diuretic

This herb helps the body get rid of excess water by increasing urination.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Angina (Chest Pain)

Some small clinical studies seem to suggest that this herb could help treat patients with angina. Because of this herbs ability to help the body get rid of excess fluids, it may help patients suffering from angina.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Chronic Hepatitis
 
This herb protected the liver of the rats exposed to drugs that is known to damage the liver.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Breast Cancer / Cancer Treatment

One small clinical study showed that this herb combined with the fruit glossy privet delayed death caused by breast cancer modestly. Additional studies will need to be done to verify this initial finding.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Stress (Adaptogen)

Taking this herb seems to boost the body's ability to fight off physical and mental stress.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Alzheimer's Disease

Initial studies report that this herb shows promise in treating Alzheimer's disease.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Increase Sperm Motility

This herb seems to increase human sperm motility by 46% in semen compared to the untreated group. In this lab study, the extract of the herb (10 mg/mL concentration) was added to the semen.
 
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal HIV/AIDS Infection
 
As this herb can boost the immune system, some experts believe it can be helpful in treating patients suffer from HIV/AIDS.
 
 

Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

  • Adaptogen (increased resistance to stress)
  • allergies / hay fever
  • Alzheimer's disease / Dementia
  • Anemia
  • Angina
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Anti-bacterial benefits
  • Anti-viral benefits
  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Athletic performance enhancement 
  • Burns
  • Cancer - Breast, Cervical and Lung
  • Cervical cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Diabetes
  • Diuretic
  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV/AIDS infection
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Immune system enhancer
  • Infertility
  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney infection
  • Mental performance enhancement
  • Protection of the liver
  • Radiation protection
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Shortness of breath
  • Smoking cessation aid
  • Sperm motility enhancement
  • Spleen problems
  • Stimulate appetite
  • Tonic
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Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is astragalus?

There are many different types of plant in this family but the one that has medicinal value is Astragalus membranaceus. This plant is found in China, Korea and Taiwan.

Astragalus is extensively studied in China and commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is also known as Huang Qi.  Chinese medicine doctors use this herb to treat spleen problems, asthma, chronic lung disease and shortness of breath. Since it can boost the immune system, it is commonly used to bring back a person from a poor state of health, acting like a tonic. It is often suggested for use by the elderly as it may slow down the aging process.

As it possesses adaptogen properties, this herb is useful for boosting the body's ability to respond to situations that causes stress. Astragalus contains large amounts of selenium, a known antioxidant that can boost the immune system.

However, most studies were completed in China and the design of the research studies are not high quality and many experts question the meaningfulness of results from these studies.

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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

What are some side effects of taking astragalus?

This herb is safe to use even at high doses. There are reports of side effects such as stomach upset or allergic reactions to this herb.

Since this herb is often combined with others, it may be difficult say whether the reported side effects were indeed from this herb or the others ingredients.

What are some reasons to not take this herb?

Fever - Astragalus is considered a "warming" herb so you should avoid taking this if you suffer from a fever or are experiencing agitation.

Are there any interactions?

Since this herb boosts the immune system, it may counteract the effects of prescription immunosuppression drugs.
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Dosage & How to Take It

Typically, the dosage range used is between 1 to 30 grams daily.

Common Cold - Dosages used to prevent the cold is 4 to 7 grams daily.

Asthma / Allergies - Take 500 to 1,000 mg (05 to 1 gram) two or three daily.

Angina - Experts suggest using 200 mg/kg (or 90 mg/lb) of body weight of the root extract.
 
Decoction - Use 10 to 30 grams of dried root in 1 Liter of water. Drink as a tea as often as needed, usually 250 mL (1 cup) three times daily.

Extract (1:2) - Use 4 to 8 mL daily.

Dried Root
s - Take 10 to 30 grams daily. Divide into two equal doses.

Tincture - Use 30 to 60 drops up to four times daily.

Added to soup - Use 30 grams of the root in about 3.5 liter of soup base.





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Related Articles and Resources for Astragalus

ImmunityPlus - Natural Remedy to Boost the Immune System

The Complete List of Herbs to Boost the Immune System

 


 

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References for Astragalus
Revised: 25.04.2015
 

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