Astragalus Supplements & Information

 

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Astragalus is native to northern China and the elevated regions of the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan. The portion of the plant used medicinally is the four to seven years old dried root that is collected in the spring. While there are over 2,000 types of Astragalus worldwide, the Chinese version has been extensively tested, both chemically and pharmacologically.  This special herb contains numerous components, including flavonoids, ploysaccharides, triterpene glycosides (e.g., astragalosides I-VII), amino acids, and trace minerals. Another benefit of Astragalus is that it appears to restore T-cell (a specific type of white blood cell) counts to relatively normal ranges in some cancer patients.  Shen Nong, the founder of Chinese herbal medicine, classified Astragalus as a superior herb in his classical treatise Shen Nong Pen Tsao Ching (circa A.D. 100). The Chinese name "huang qi" translates as "yellow leader," referring to the yellow color of the root and its status as one of the most important tonic herbs. Traditional Chinese medicine utilized this herb for night sweats, deficiency of chi (e.g., fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite), and diarrhea.   Read more below...

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Astragalus also seems to act as an immune tonic, a diuretic, a means to lower blood pressure, and a Qi tonic. It has been found useful for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, chemotherapy support, common cold and sore throat, and immune function. As a primary herb used in Chinese medicine, Astragalus seems to tone the immune system of the lungs. It is useful for conditions of immune deficiency that lead to spontaneous sweating. It is also used for spleen deficiency with those containing symptoms of being weak, having low metabolism, and edema. It can assist with blood deficiencies caused by situations creating the loss of blood, especially after childbirth.

 

From the research that has been conducted with astragalus, scientists believe that it works by stimulating several factors of the immune system. In laboratory studies, astragalus extracts augment the activity of monocytes, natural killer cells, and lymphocytes, even when their activity is suppressed by substances such as steroids. In addition, astragalus reversed immune suppression from cyclophosphamide (a common chemotherapy drug) in rats.

Astragalus extracts also protect liver cells from chemical injury in animals and in laboratory studies. Studies conducted in China suggest that astragalus may also protect the kidneys when used in combination with the herb angelica. In studies using senile rats, astragalus increased the ability of their brain cells to respond to stimuli, but it is still unknown if these effects occur in humans.

An herbal formula containing astragalus has been shown to reduce fatigue in athletes by increasing uptake and use of oxygen.   vgo to top

 

Scientific Name

Astragalus membranaceus   vgo to top
 

Also Known As

Huang chi, huang qi, milk vetch, Radix astragali   vgo to top

 

Uses 

  • To stimulate the immune system

  • To reduce the severity of chemotherapy side effects, including immune suppression

  • To fight bacterial infections

  • To prevent and treat heart disease

  • To treat HIV and AIDS

  • To treat the common cold

  • To treat diabetes   vgo to top

  

Warnings

This product is regulated by the F.D.A. as a dietary supplement. Unlike approved drugs, supplements are not required to be manufactured under specific standardized conditions.   vgo to top

Side Effects

None Known   vgo to top

 


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