ASTRAGALUS is also called huang qi or milk vetch. It comes from a type of bean or legume. While there are multiple species of astragalus, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus. The herb is said to offer multiple health benefits for multiple conditions, including heart benefits.
Astragalus is thought to stimulate the immune system. It has antioxidant effects that inhibit free radical production. In the body, free radicals damage cells and are linked to many health problems associated with aging. There is, though, no known way to stop free radicals completely.
Astragalus is taken by mouth for the common cold, upper respiratory infections, seasonal allergies, swine flu, fibromyalgia, anemia, HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. Some people use astragalus as a general tonic, to protect the liver, and to fight bacteria and viruses.
There is a great deal of research interest in Astragalus. It contains Astragalosides (antioxidants), which support the integrity of the respiratory tract. In addition, the polysaccharides found in Astragalus are known for their immune supporting properties. Astragalus herb also supports deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function. Astragalus appears especially effective when immune function is stressed by environmental or endogenous challenges.
Astragalus herb is traditionally used in its dried powdered form or as a strong decoction, made from boiling the dried root in water for an extended period.
Those who should NOT take astragalus: Pregnant and nursing women, people with autoimmune disease, transplant recipients and children.
*Always consult your primary caregiver before beginning any herbal regimen.