Astragalus has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It is known by many names such as ‘huang qi’ in Chinese (meaning yellow leader which refers to the colour of it’s roots). In Japanese it is known as ‘ogi’ and in Korean ‘hwanggi’. Another common name is ‘milk vetch’.
The health benefits of Astragalus are numerous and include the ability to boost the immune system, boost energy levels, alleviate allergies, protect heart health, prevent various cancers, amd relieve the side-effects of chemotherapy.
Astragalus is rich in iron, zinc, folic acid and choline. Its roots contain polysaccharides, triterpenoids, isoflavones, glycosides, malonates and saponins.
Astragalus root is a potent adaptogen, which can help the body deal with emotional, mental and physical stress, as well as having major benefits for the body.
Three important components of astragalus are flavonoids, polysaccharides and saponins. Flavonoids have antioxidant qualities that scavenge free radicals and help to prevent numerous issues such as cancer, heart disease and immunodeficiency viruses.
17 Health Benefits of Astragalus
Astragalus helps to strengthen blood vessels and improve the body’s efficiency in delivering oxygen throughout the body.
Telomere length in DNA is associated with ageing. Shorter telomeres are indicative of damaged, older cells. TAT2 increases the activity and production of telomerase, an enzyme which facilitates the repair of telomeres on DNA.
The saponins and polysaccharides in astragalus reduce inflammatory response in a wide range of illnesses.
Colds and flu:
It is rich with antioxidants to fight free radical damage and stimulate the immune system.
Astragalus may have anti-tumour effects, specifically against melanoma and leukaemia and gastric cancer cell growth.
Chemotherapy Side Effects Relief:
Patients receiving chemo may recover more quickly and experience relief from symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Studies show that astragalus is promising in its ability to lower cholesterol levels and if proven in human trials would be a great alternative to statins.
Lowers blood sugar.
Acts as an antioxidant and helps treat heart disease.
Because astragalus promotes your overall health and hormonal balance, consuming astragalus on a consistent basis can help your body get back into a normal circadian rhythm.
Immune System Booster:
This study* shows the ability of astragalus to regulate immune responses.
Preliminary research suggests astragalus may help protect the kidneys and may help treat kidney disease.
This study* shares the success of astragalus in decreasing or destroying cancer tumours, especially in instances of chemo resistance.
Astragalus may help reduce symptoms in people who have allergic rhinitis or hayfever.
Astragalus offers support for liver activity and can also help to reduce the effects of toxin overload in the liver.
This 2012 study* shares exciting news about increased recovery rates for healing wounds and the prevention of scarring.
Who Shouldn’t Use Astragalus?
While astragalus may be beneficial for people with weak immune systems, it’s not a good choice for people who have an autoimmune disease, as it can exacerbate your symptoms. Unless approved by a physician, people with multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes or systemic lupus erythematosus shouldn’t use astragalus.
People who have had transplant surgery should not use astragalus, because it counteracts with the drug (cyclophosphamide), which is responsible for minimising the risk of organ rejection. Astragalus may interfere with the effectiveness of corticosteroid medications and other drugs that suppress the immune system.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should also discuss the use of astragalus with their healthcare provider before use.
*For links to studies and full references, please go to below website.