Have you heard of astragalus root before? If not, you need to familiarize yourself! Astragalus root is one of the most powerful, immune-building plants available on Earth. In fact, this adaptogen herb is essential in beating stress and getting rid of diseases at the same time. Studies also show that it’s great for our cardiovascular health and can beat off certain types of tumors and alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy. There’s even more to astragalus than meets the eye! If you want to learn more about this herb, keep reading.
What is Astragalus?
Astragalus is part of the Leguminosae plant family and has a long history of use as a means of boosting the immune system and combating disease. Its roots can be traced back to traditional Chinese medicines, where it has been used for thousands of years as an adaptogen. This means that it’s helpful for beating stress and similar conditions. In today’s day and age, astragalus is used to treat a variety of conditions.
The perennial flower plant can grow to be anywhere from 16-36 inches tall. It is native to the eastern and northern regions of China, but it has been traced back to Korea and Mongolia. While there are over 2,000 species of astragalus, only 2 are used in the medicinal field.
Astragalus contains three different components: polysaccharides, flavonoids and saponins. These are all active compounds found in several plants. Saponins are popular for their ability to lower cholesterol, improve immunity and, of course, prevent cancer.
Additionally, the health benefits of astragalus include cell signaling. They also show antioxidative properties, scavenge and control free radicals and may also help prevent heart conditions, immunodeficiency viruses and cancer.
How to Use Astragalus
There are multiple ways you can use astragalus medicinally. In fact, you can use it as an additive to various other conventional treatments, but remember never to use it as a full blown replacement for your medications unless your doctor suggests it.
You can find the herb at most Chinese markets or health food stores as a tea, topical ointment, tablet or tincture. There is no standard dosage for this herb, so work with your doctor to determine the proper amount that you need to take and how often. The effects of the plant depend on your medical history, health status and age.
Health Benefits of Astragalus
Here are some of the most mesmerizing health benefits of astragalus:
- Helps treat flu and colds. Since astragalus has antiviral capabilities, it is beneficial in treating common colds and the flu. It is often mixed with other herbs, like licorice, ginseng and angelica.
- Helps alleviate chemotherapy symptoms. Those who have been receiving chemotherapy treatments may recover more quickly with astragalus. Research suggests that astragalus has the ability to reduce the symptoms of chemo and even increase the efficacy of the treatment.
- Helps heal wounds and minimize scarring. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, astragalus is beneficial in treating wounds. A study also suggests that the herb is beneficial in minimizing scarring.
- Has anti-aging and antioxidative properties. Oxidation is caused by free radical and is a major component in aging and the onset of disease. Astragalus has the ability to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
- Helps regulate and prevent diabetes. The saponins, polysaccharides and flavonoids in astragalus are essential in treating and regulating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
- Helps protect the cardiovascular system. The flavonoids in astragalus prevent plaque buildup in the arteries as well as the narrowing of the vessel walls by protecting the vessel’s inner wall.
- Prevents the growth of tumors. Various screenings suggest that astragalus has the ability to reduce or even eliminate tumors. This is one of the best health benefits of astragalus.
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory. The root cause of many diseases is inflammation. Luckily, various studies suggest that the polysaccharides and saponins in astragalus are beneficial in healing wounds and lesions.