The herb believed to extend life and treat just about every kind of ailment, astragalus is a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb with many modern uses. Some herbalists follow the Chinese example of adding it to all immune and heart formulas.
It's one of the herbs added to commercial formulas in the US.
Let's take a look at this potent herb and see what it does…
Just What Is Astragalus?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known as Huang qi, and in Europe known as milkvetch. The root of the astragalus plant is used in various forms, such as extracts, capsules, powders, and tea. In China, it's often given by IV injection to help reduce infections.
Although there is limited research on astragalus, several studies show it helps let the body heal itself. It works for many different conditions such as heart disease, immune strengthening, diabetes, and kidney conditions.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy
In some studies, doctors gave patients with heart failure and heart problems astragalus and found they improved better than those only receiving standard treatment. Although it wasn't a significant improvement in the studies, there was a noted decrease in inflammation.
Chinese Medicine often puts astragalus in heart tonics because they classify it as a blood tonic. It's thought to decrease the number of toxins and stagnant chi in the blood.
Your Immune System Loves Astragalus
Modern herbalists often use astragalus to help modulate the immune system. It's been shown in limited research to support recovery from a number of illnesses. In Chinese Medicine, astragalus is the most powerful herb for the immune system, helping to raise yang energy.
One fascinating area of research is helping fight viral infections, including helping to reduce the common cold. It can help increase the production of white blood cells, helping the body to fight off illnesses.
Moderate Your Blood Sugars Better
Aside from being widely used for heart and immune problems, it's one of the fastest and most common herbs used in diabetes management in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine pushes astragalus as one of the top herbs to help reduce and reverse type 2 diabetes.
Some research in the US has also verified this use. Long-term use of astragalus can help improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, reducing blood sugars and assisting with maintaining a healthy diet, people even lost weight.
Although more research is needed here, astragalus can help people with type 2 diabetes. But, you should note that the research included people following a reduced sugar diet, which significantly contributes to the results. Astragalus is not a Band-Aid over a bad diet.
Support Your Kidneys
When people have problems with their sugar or heart, it often affects the kidneys. And traditional Chinese Medicine, many issues are cleared out by helping to detox the kidneys.
In type 2 diabetes and some other diseases, abnormal amounts of protein can be found in the urine, known as proteinuria. Astragalus has been shown to help reduce the damage and help reduce the amount of protein found in the urine.
Some studies show it might help prevent infection in people with kidney disfunction.
But, that's not all that astragalus has done. In a few studies, it's shown to:
- Improve fatigue
- Fight cancer by encouraging proper cell death, apoptosis
- Help reduce allergies, presumably through helping modulate the immune system
- Improve weight loss
- Reduce inflammation
The one big takeaway from the astragalus is that it helps bring the body back into alignment with natural function. In none of the studies were noticeable improvements made, the people simply felt better. Almost all of the results showed up via modern testing.
If you do try giving astragalus a try, we encourage you to leave comments below to let us know how it works for you.