It is a type of a Chinese herb that grows around the year as small hairy stemmed shrubs and belongs to the legume family. Its common name is Huang Qi or milk vetch. Many species of this plant are found in China but only a couple of them are used medicinally. The root of the 4-year-old plant is used in customary Chinese medicine to treat innumerable diseases. The dried roots can be used on its own or can be in the form of combinations to be used as tablets or capsules or other forms of herbal tea and other decoctions. Medicinal usage of this plant dates back to centuries but recent research work has made it very popular as a herbal remedy for many chronic diseases in the west too. The roots are very useful and are a powerhouse of health benefits. Therefore it is used for the treatment of many modern day diseases.
Astragalus root takes care of the immune system of our body. It contains phytonutrients that help build a strong immune system so that our body can fight against any foreign attack, bacterial or viral, as it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Its antioxidant properties help fight free radicals, keeping our cells and tissues of the organs free from oxidative stress thus keeping them healthy and works as an anti-aging factor too, as it plays an important role to prolong one’s lifespan.
Astragalus contains polysaccharides, that has the ability to cure many inflammations, that is the root cause of many ailments, whether any heart condition or a diabetic kidney disease, or any other conditions, from healing to reducing the wound or inflammation.
It is also known as an adaptogen herb as it has the ability to deal with stress along with curing diseases. Astragalus helps to ward off stress and fatigue by conserving energy in the body. It also helps in recreating the body immunity after any illness. It actually produces more cortisol, an adrenal hormone that enables the body to deal with ant any type of stress, physical or mental.
Good for the health problem
Its many components can also decrease or get rid of tumors. It is also seen that it promotes the ability of the body to kill cancer cells in animals but more human trials are awaited to confirm their effect on humans too. Patients who are on chemotherapy have been found to recover quickly from bouts of nausea and diarrhea.
It helps diabetes patients
Common diabetic problems can be reduced by the use of astragalus as it has been experimented on animals and has shown to decrease blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that astragalus root helps to regulate insulin in cases with type 2 diabetes whereby there is glucose storage due to insulin resistance, and the pancreas has to overwork to produce more insulin until it reaches a stage when it cannot produce more. Astragalus has shown to keep blood sugar level in check, thus effecting insulin regulation. But people who are already on diabetic medications should consult a doctor before consuming astragulas products as it may react with other drugs.
Create positive impacts on cardiovascular health
Astragalus root can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, as it removes arterial plaque that builds up due to the accumulation of fat, along with cholesterol and deposits of calcium on the artery walls. The formation of plaque narrows the arteries and hinders smooth blood flow which leads to blockages that are a cause for concern as it gives rise to serious health malfunction. It also keeps the cholesterol level in check. Studies show that due to increasing unhealthy lifestyles heart diseases are also on the rise and Chinese medicine is being taken into account with growing focus on astragalus root and its effectiveness on heart health. There have been found that specific dosage of astragalus root medicine has given good results when tried on heart patients by keeping a check on blood pressure and triglyceride level, which in turn helps to resist heart strokes and attacks.
As we all know that our kidneys can be affected by diabetes and hypertension, therefore we can take care of our kidneys by a kidney cleanse process. Studies relating to this have shown that we can get more hemoglobin and less of proteinuria, a harmful form of protein in the urine by consuming astragalus root supplements. Though these facts are still under lots of research, it is seen that astragalus root helps in normal functioning of the kidney.
It protect liver function
Astragalus root also supports normal liver functioning by helping in the detoxifying blood which is its basic function, and also safeguards the liver, thus taking care of the immune system. It also prevents the common cold, flu, and chronic asthma if regularly taken.
Side effects and dosage
Astragalus root is mostly combined with other herbal supplements. If taken in the right way it has not shown any toxic characteristics and there are no serious side effects, except for some instances of diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems, related to it. There may be reactions when it is combined with some other herbal extracts, therefore one should start with small doses to prevent any possible side effect. If taken in high doses it may have an effect on the immune system.
Pregnant and nursing women should not take astragalus as it may not be safe enough for them. People that have autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis should consult their doctor before taking astragalus as it can raise levels of immune activity and can make the person more sensitive to the medicine.
There is no fixed dosage for administering astragalus, but a doctor is a right person to make you aware of how it should be taken, whether as a tablet or capsule, or injections, topical creams or along with tea and how much of it should be good enough. The doses may vary with the individual’s age, his health condition, and medical status. Children can also be given astragalus root extracts, depending on their body weight, but not when they are running a temperature.