This herb stimulates the body’s immune action against pathogens, has a mild antibiotic action and increases the activity of white blood cells.
What is Astragalus and what is it good for?
Botanical name: Astragalus membranaceus
Other names: Milkvetch, locoweed, goat’s-thorn
Astragalus root is used in both traditional Chinese and Western herbalism as an immune tonic. Modern research has examined astragalus’ benefit to specific and nonspecific immunity. This herb stimulates the body’s immune action against viruses, has a mild antibiotic action and increases the activity of white blood cells. These properties make it a relevant herb for recurring colds, debilitating viral infections and chronic illnesses such as glandular fever, chronic fatigue syndrome and Ross River and AIDS. Further research shows that it is a safe and useful adjunct to chemotherapy, reducing side effects of the medication.
Astragalus root may also strengthen digestion, raise metabolism, and assist in the healing of wounds. It has been found to be useful for chronically weak lungs and low energy levels.
- Immune support
- Heart disease
- Complications of diabetes
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
In addition to the above uses, some people use astragalus for constipation, allergies, the common cold, or upper respiratory infections.
2-4 teaspoons per cup, simmer 15 minutes, take 3 times daily. 5 to 60 grams per day up to 4 months. The appropriate dose for you may depend on factors including your age, gender, and medical history. Speak to your healthcare provider to get personalized advice, and always inform them of herbs or supplements taken as they may have side effects or interact with prescription medications.
How to take Astragalus:
Astragalus Common Uses:
Traditional use of astragalus suggests that it should not be taken during an infection, but rather to prevent recurring infections. As an immune stimulant, astragalus can interfere with immunosuppressive drugs (eg cyclophosphamide). Only take under supervision of a professional herbalist or doctor if you are taking immunosuppressive medication.
Astragalus may interact with the following medications:
- Antivirals: Theoretically, astragalus may change the effectiveness of antiviral medications such as acyclovir and amantadine.
- Blood pressure medications: The triterpene saponin, astragaloside IV (AS-IV), extracted from Astragalus membranaceus has demonstrated blood-pressure-lowering effects. While not all forms of astragalus will be standardized to (contain) a certain amount of AS-IV, it may interact with blood pressure medications.
- Cancer treatments: Astragalus suppressed estrogen in a mouse study. Theoretically, it could reduce the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments that suppress estrogen.
- Diuretics and drugs affected by diuretics: Astragalus may have diuretic effects. This may impact how well your body disposes of certain drugs. it may also interact with other diuretics.
- Immunomodulators: Astragalus has immune effects. It may interfere with drugs that suppress the immune system such as tacrolimus and cyclosporine, or drugs that stimulate the immune system.
Astragalus may also interact with other herbs and supplements that have similar effects as the drugs mentioned above.
More Useful Information:
David Hoffman (2003), Medical Herbalism, pp. 532, WEI Jian-an, SUN Li-min, CHEN Yu-xia, et al Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences, Beijing (100053);Effects of Ailing Granule on Immuno-reconstruction in HIV/AIDS Patients[J];Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragalus https://www.verywellhealth.com/astragalus-what-should-i-know-about-it-89410 , Happy Herb, https://draxe.com/nutrition/astragalus/
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus Bunge): botanical, geographical, and historical aspects to pharmaceutical components and beneficial role