Astragalus root has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a powerful adaptogenic herb and is said to support immune function.
The root is sold as a supplement in tablets of different dosages.
- Astragalus root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as a restorative tonic; it is considered a sweet, warming herb with effects on many organs.
- It is used either alone or with other herbs to help with aging, improve energy, and stimulate the immune system during conditions such as the common cold, blood disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
- It is also used as an adaptogen, which is meant to increase general resistance to stress and disease, and normalize disturbances in your body’s ability to balance itself.
- “Preliminary research suggests that astragalus may also have powerful anticancer properties. In a study conducted at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston, researchers found that a water extraction of astragalus restored or enhanced the function of T-cells (white blood cells that play specific roles in the immune system) taken from people with cancer. In some cases, astragalus stimulated the damaged cells to greater activity than found in normal cells taken from healthy individuals.” – The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs by Robert S. McCaleb, Evelyn Leigh, and Krista Morien
- Astragalus has a unique structure of polysaccharides that are said to have additional benefits:
- “The most notable compounds are called formononetin, calycosin and astragaloside IV, and seem to do the following things in your body.
- Reduces the amount of nitric oxide released from cells, which reduces inflammation
- Causes certain genes and metabolic pathways to be shutdown which would otherwise cause blood and chemicals to flow to wounds
- Activates other genes and pathways which activates different immune cells”
- Astragalus may interact with medications that suppress the immune system, such as cyclophosphamide. It may also affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure.Some Astragalus species can be toxic. For example, several species native to North America contain the alkaloid swainsonine, which may cause “locoism” in livestock. The toxicity of Astragalus taxa varies.
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) interacts with ASTRAGALUS
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) is used to decrease the immune system. Astragalus increases the immune system. Taking astragalus along with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) might decrease the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar).
- Lithium interacts with ASTRAGALUS
Astragalus might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking astragalus might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ASTRAGALUS
Astragalus increases the immune system. Taking astragalus along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Astragale, Astragale à Feuilles de Réglisse, Astragale Queue-de-Renard, Astragale Réglissier, Astragali, Astragalo, Astragalus Membranaceus, Astragalus mongholicus, Astragli Membranceus, Beg Kei, Bei Qi, Buck Qi, Chinese Astragalus, Huang Qi, Huang Se, Hwanggi, Membranous Milk Vetch, Milk Vetch, Mongolian Milk, Ogi, Phaca membranacea, Radix Astragali, Radix Astragalus, Réglisse Bâtarde, Réglisse Sauvage
Source: WelnessMama, http://wellnessmama.com/15726/astragalus-root-benefits/