Astragalus herb is used by Chinese doctors to stimulate the immune system and to improve cardiovascular health. This plant is native to Northern China and Mongolia and inhabits mostly pine forests and sandy soils. Chinese doctors have used astragalus herb to fight the common cold and the flu.
Astragalus is also called huang qi or milk vetch. It comes from a type of bean or legume. While there are multiple species of astragalus, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus. The herb is said to offer multiple health benefits for multiple conditions, including heart benefits.
Astragalus may help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage caused by free radicals, byproducts of cellular energy. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, for preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, to lower blood pressure , to treat diabetes, and to protect the liver.
Alternative Names of Astragalus:
Bei qi, goat’s horn, green dragon, huang-qi, huang ch’, hwanggi, locoweed, milk-vetch root, ogi, radix astragali, yellow leader.
How Is It Promoted For Use?
The herb is promoted to kill cancer cells, reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy, help heal burns, protect against heart disease, fight the common cold, and help improve overall weakness. Proponents also claim astragalus can stimulate the spleen, liver, lungs, circulatory, and urinary system, and help treat arthritis, asthma, and nervous conditions. They further claim it can lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Also used for abscesses, chronic ulcers, and prolapsed uterus or anus.It strengthen the body’s resistance to harmful invaders which add to an already debilitating disease. Generally used for digestive disorders such as diarrheoa, gas, and bloating, as well as chronic hepatitis.
Scientist discover that it is used for the treatment of cancer. Astragalus inhibits gastric secretions, reduces gastric acid and thus helps to cure stomach ulcers.It also cures kidney disease because it is diuteric,detoxicating and reduces proteinuria.
When dried, the root of the astragalus plant is sold in tea bags, tinctures, and capsules. It is also available as dried slices of the root and as a powder. In China, healers sometimes use the dried root in soups or roast the root in honey for use as a medicinal tonic. Astragalus is usually combined with other Chinese herbal remedies.
Precautions Before Using Astragalus:
Some medical conditions may interact with Astragalus. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of multiple allergies, a damaged bowel tract, trouble swallowing, persistent stomach pain, bloating, or nausea or vomiting
- if you have had problems with constipation for more than 2 weeks or if there is blood in your stools
- if you have an autoimmune disorder (eg, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), an organ transplant, or an infection
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Astragalus. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine, prednisone) because effectiveness may be decreased by Astragalus
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Astragalus may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Astragalus Side Effects:
It is a general misunderstanding that all natural products are safe for consumption as well as for external purposes. However, this is not the case. Several herbal medicines can give rise to negative effects or allergic reactions in people. Similar is the case with Astragalus. It should not be assumed that Astragalus herb is safe and can be consumed by everyone.
Although Astragalus is said to be relatively safe for most of the people, several cases of Astragalus side effects have been observed. Similar to the side effects of other medications, Astragalus side effects can be minor as well as severe. Minor side effects of Astragalus include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain
It is also believed that Astragalus makes the human immune system more active. This might worsen the symptoms in case a person is already suffering from auto immune diseases like the Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, they should keep away from Astragalus if any of these symptoms are observed. Similarly, it is not advisable for children to have Astragalus in any form.
Use of Astragalus is not recommended if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the risks of using this product during pregnancy.This product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for any medical condition. The long-term safety of herbal products is not known. Before using any alternative medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.