- Astragalus is an herb used for the common cold, upper respiratory infections, allergies, fibromyalgia, anemia, HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. It is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
- Reducing side effects of chemotherapy. Early research suggests that giving astragalus intravenously (by IV) or using Chinese herbal mixtures containing astragalus might reduce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bone marrow suppression (a decrease in the cells that provide immunity) that is associated with chemotherapy treatments.
- Diabetes: Early research suggests that astragalus, given intravenously (by IV) or taken by mouth as a combination product, might help control blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Some people use astragalus as a general tonic, to protect the liver, and to fight bacteria and viruses.
- Astragalus is sometimes applied to the skin to increase blood flow to the area and to speed wound healing.
- Astragalus seems to stimulate and increase the immune system.
- Astragalus is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken appropriately by mouth or intravenously (by IV). Doses of up to 30 grams/day by mouth for 3 months, 40 grams/day by mouth for 2 months, or 80 grams/day intravenously (by IV) for one month have been used safely. The side effects of astragalus are not known.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of astragalus in humans during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, some research in animals suggests that astragalus can be toxic to the mother and fetus. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- “Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other immune system conditions: Astragalus might make the immune system more active. This could worsen the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. Avoid using astragalus if you have any of these conditions.
Source:WEBMD, “Astragalus”, www.webmd.com