Chinese herbal medicine utilizes many treatments in an attempt to bring equilibrium to the body’s functions.
These herbal remedies are used to try and address different health issues that people may have. The objective is to heal the body with natural methods.
An old-time herbal remedy used in Chinese medical practices, Astragalus is well-known. The herb has been employed to alleviate a number of chronic medical issues. Furthermore, the plant extract could also alleviate typical illnesses which the people endure.
In this post, we examine the properties of astragalus root extract. We also consider scientific evidence behind the medicinal plants.
What Is Astragalus?
Astragalus is a member of the Leguminosae family – which includes beans and legumes – and has been used for centuries to improve the immune system and combat disease. The use of adaptogens to fight off stress and disease has its origins firmly rooted in the traditions of Chinese Medicine, which dates back thousands of years. Today, astragalus is being employed to treat and heal a myriad of diseases and ailments.
This plant, commonly referred to as milkvetch root or Huang-qi, typically reaches heights between 16 and 36 inches and originates from the northern and eastern parts of China. It’s also been traced back to Mongolia and Korea.
The medicinal properties of Astragalus are obtained from its roots, which are the only part of the plant that can be collected after the plant has grown for four years. Out of the more than 2,000 varieties of astragalus, only two are utilized in traditional medicines – astragalus membranaceus and astragalus mongholicus.
Astragalus is beneficial to human health due to the active compounds of saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides. These elements are common to some fruits and vegetables. Saponins are recognized for their capability to decrease cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, and avert cancer.
Astragalus contains flavanoids which have a positive influence on the body, stimulating cell communication. They demonstrate characteristics that are able to neutralize the effects of harmful molecules called free radicals, which can help protect against ailments such as heart disease, cancer, and viruses that reduce immunity. Polysaccharides are known to have the ability to provide protection against microorganisms, viruses, inflammation and other health advantages.
Chinese Medicine has praised this herb as a guard against both psychological and physical stressors. Astragalus has beneficial effects on various organs and conditions. Research on this herb is becoming increasingly more prevalent due to the results observed in rats, mice and other animals, although further tests in humans are still necessary to make sure it is effective.
Due to the great achievements of numerous examinations and experiments, new insights about astragalus are regularly being unearthed. Typically, its most impressive feature is stopping and guarding cells from expiring and other damaging components like free radicals and oxidation.
According to continuing research, astragalus health benefits include:
1. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is at the root of most diseases. It is often responsible for the harm caused by ailments such as arthritis and heart disease. Studies suggest that the saponins and polysaccharides found in astragalus may be useful in reducing inflammation associated with a broad range of injuries, ailments, and afflictions, for example cuts and lacerations and reducing inflammation linked to diabetic kidney illness.
2. Boost Immune System
Certain investigations have demonstrated that taking astragalus is crucial for boosting immune system capability.3 The immune system is absolutely essential in protecting the body from any invading germs or viruses.
Research has demonstrated that astragalus is beneficial in combating numerous viral illnesses. This involves boosting the body’s protection against the common cold virus. The body’s natural defense mechanism is involved in the effort to combat prostate cancer as well as numerous other illnesses.
When it comes to cancer, there is some evidence that astragalus may be beneficial for those who are having chemotherapy. It is possible that the extract of the plant can reduce the negative impacts that come with chemotherapy. One study showed a decrease in indicators such as retching, looseness of the bowels, and queasiness.
3. Slows or Prevents the Growth of Tumors
Recent screenings have demonstrated that astragalus saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides can be successful in reducing or eliminating tumors. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology suggests that astragalus could potentially reverse the effects of multi-drug resistance in cases of chemotherapy-resistant liver cancer, when used as an adjunct to conventional chemotherapy.
4. Protects the Cardiovascular System
The flavonoids found in astragalus are antioxidants which assist in thwarting the accumulation of plaque on the walls of arteries, as well as avoiding the thinning of the vessels by safeguarding the inner layer of the vessels. A 2014 study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine discovered that combining the injection of astragalus with traditional treatment for viral myocarditis increased the effectiveness of the treatment for heart problems.
Evidence from other research has highlighted its capacity to bring down both blood pressure and the amount of triglycerides present. Having high levels of triglycerides increases one’s likelihood of developing various forms of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, and arteriosclerosis.
When the heart is subjected to a heart attack, the muscle cells are unable to receive an adequate amount of blood and oxygen, resulting in harm to the heart’s muscle tissue. At that time, calcium overload creates secondary damage. Astragalus could potentially stop more damage to the heart muscle by keeping the level of calcium in the heart in balance.
5. Regulates and Prevents Diabetes and Illnesses Related to Diabetes
Astragalus has been studied progressively as an antidiabetic. Research indicates that it can help to reduce resistance to insulin and treat diabetes without the use of medications. The herb is composed of saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides, which are useful in controlling and managing both type 1 and 2 diabetes. They can make insulin more effective, defend the beta cells in the pancreas which create and speed up insulin, and serve as a calmative for issues relating to diabetes.
Diabetics often suffer from kidney disease, and astragalus has a long history of being employed to treat the condition. Recent research in both humans and animals has demonstrated that taking astragalus can impede the progression of kidney issues in people with diabetes, as well as safeguard the kidneys.
6. Contains Antioxidative and Anti-Aging Capabilities
The primary cause of health conditions and aging is free radical damage, which leads to oxidation. Astragalus has various components that help to protect against free radicals and keep the effects of oxidation under control. The polysaccharides found in the herb may improve the immune system and the performance of the brain, possibly increasing the life expectancy.
7. Aids in Wound Healing and Minimizes Scarring
Astragalus has been used for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory properties to heal wounds. The dried root of astragalus goes by another name, Radix astragali, and it is an element of Traditional Chinese Medicine utilized for rejuvenating and restoring damaged organs and tissues.
A 2012 study conducted at Zhejiang University’s Institute of Pharmaceutics found that applying astragaloside IV (the primary component in dried astragalus root) to wounds greatly hastened the healing process over a period of 48 to 96 hours, recovering two to three times faster than without the compound. The results suggested that astragalus can be used as an effective natural remedy to reduce scarring and promote the healing of wounds.
8. Alleviates Symptoms of Chemotherapy
Research has indicated that the usage of Astragalus has been beneficial in aiding chemotherapy patients to both recuperate faster and prolong their lifespans. Under cases of severe chemotherapy, astragalus can be administered intravenously as a treatment for such symptoms as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and reduced bone marrow activity. It is also sometimes given in conjunction with other traditional Chinese herbal mixtures. Early studies imply that it has the capability to lessen the symptoms and magnify the efficiency of chemotherapy procedures.
9. Treats Colds and Flu
Due to its antiviral qualities, Astragalus has been used for many years to treat symptoms such as the flu and colds. Often, schisandra is combined with other herbs such as ginseng, angelica and licorice. It appears that when taken regularly by a well person, this natural cold remedy is better at fighting off the disease than when taken as a cure after the cold has started. Taking astragalus before winter arrives might help reduce the chance of catching colds or illnesses of the upper respiratory tract during the colder months.
10. Provides Supplemental Therapy for Chronic Asthma
Astragalus has been proven to be an effective supplemental treatment and natural remedy for chronic asthma. Upon administration of a treatment, significant improvements were observed in regards to airway hypersensitivity, mucus production, and inflammation in studies. Stopping or lowering the severity of asthma attacks could bring relief to those struggling with long-term asthma conditions.
11. Kidney Function
Astragalus might also be helpful for the kidneys. Communication about the extract from a plant revealed that it potentially has the ability to lower the chances of developing kidney infections. The ingestion of these dietary supplements appears to lead to diminished amounts of protein in the kidneys. This is a tool used to figure out how the kidneys are functioning and if they have been harmed.
People whose kidney function is lessened could potentially benefit from this in order to avoid infections.
As an illustration, taking 7.5–15 grams of astragalus each day for approximately three to six months decreased the odds of infection by 38% for individuals having a condition known as nephrotic syndrome. However, more studies are needed to confirm this effect
12. Blood Sugar Control
In certain parts of China, astragalus is actually being used as a type of medicine. Medical professionals frequently provide medications to help manage diabetes in those under their care. The substances in the plant could potentially influence how the body monitors and manages blood sugar levels. It seems like astragalus may reduce blood sugar levels.
Who Should Consider Using Astragalus?
Several individuals can benefit from Astragalus. These may include:
- People diagnosed with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes.
- Individuals with blood flow problems.
- Patients who have been diagnosed with a heart disease.
- Men undergoing chemotherapy for prostate cancer.
- Individuals diagnosed with lung cancer.
- Men who want to stimulate an increase in growth hormone.
- Individuals who frequently experience allergy symptoms.
- People who need to strengthen their immune system.
Side Effects and Interactions
While astragalus is generally safe for most people, for certain individuals, it should be avoided:
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: There’s currently not enough research to demonstrate that astragalus is safe while pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Individuals with autoimmune diseases: Consider avoiding astragalus if you have an autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Individuals taking immunosuppressant drugs: Since astragalus may increase the activity of your immune system, it may decrease the effects of immunosuppressant drugs.
The herb Astragalus might influence glucose concentrations and blood pressure. Consequently, be careful when utilizing this plant if you suffer from diabetes or have a problem with your blood pressure.
Best Way To Take Astragalus
People who are interested in conventional Chinese medicine should comprehend the mode of action of these natural treatments.
Astragalus is available in different forms. One must consider why this herb is being used when deciding what is the optimal way to employ this vegetable infusion.
Many individuals could opt to utilize an herbal infusion or a nutrition supplement as an alternative form of medication. These are effective at producing the desired effects. In some cases, astragaloside IV might be useful. This produces a higher concentration of the helpful components existing in astragalus.
Patients who have particular heart conditions may experience better outcomes from this approach. The results may be more impressive in people who have difficulty managing their blood sugar.
How Do You Pick A Good Astragalus Product?
It is essential to pay attention to the components when selecting an astragalus supplement. In certain situations, a supplement will be comprised solely of astragalus extract – whereas others may include additional components.
It is essential to pay attention to the particular variety of plant. The most common type is astragalus membranaceous. These supplements contain beta-glucan and other compounds. They could enable an individual to reap the advantages linked to astragalus.
How Long Can You Take Astragalus?
It is essential to think about both the amount of astragalus taken and the duration it should be consumed for. It all depends on the purpose behind taking the drug as to how long it will be used.
At times, long-term consumption of a minimal dose is suggested as a way to aid in bettering control of blood pressure or to enhance the number of white blood cells as part of a stronger immune system.
In hospital settings, higher doses are sometimes administered. This will typically take less time.
Most research has demonstrated that people using astragalus are generally safe over a period of four months. Further research is necessary to determine if using the product for an extended period has any damaging effects.
Top Astragalus Supplements
When searching for products that utilize traditional Chinese medicine, there is a large selection of supplements to choose from. The same applies to astragalus.
It is important to remember that astragaloside IV can only be obtained in a hospital. This drug is not available from any pharmacy or herbal store. This type is mostly used in more severe cases. People with heart-related illnesses may gain advantages from this method of delivery. Individuals experiencing chemotherapy treatment may also opt to have the medication administered via a intravenous method.
Foodstuff additions featuring this ingredient will usually concentrate on the body’s immune system. Assisting with conditions such as renal impairment, hypertension, and diabetes are some examples. Sometimes they also claim to assist with hormonal balance.
Ben’s Estro Clear, with Astragalus, is professionally made to eradicate extra estrogen and to help maintain healthy hormone levels.