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Benefits of Astragalus Root
Astragalus root from the astragalus membranaceus plant is native to the northern mountains of China. Some people call this immune boosting herb milk vetch and locoweed. The Chinese name for it is huang qi. It has been used as an herbal remedy for about 2000 years and especially to improve the functions of the spleen.
Astragalus is rich in amino acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and trace minerals such as selenium. These natural compounds produce its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and diuretic properties.
The antioxidants help prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Astragalus is able to naturally produce interferon which is an antiviral protein. The interferon prevents the replication of virus that attack cells. Its antiviral properties strengthen the immune system and especially the heart. And since it is adaptogenic, it helps the body fights the effects of stress.
Here are some of the health benefits of astragalus root.
- Taking astragalus extract helps improve energy and stamina. It is one of the herbs used as a remedy to fight chronic fatigue.
- It is used as a remedy for hepatitis. A report published on the ncbi website on the effect of astragalus on liver damage suggests that astragalus has the potential to protect the liver.
- It also helps support circulation and the absorption of iron from foods. It is beneficial for people who are affected by the restless leg syndrome. It is used in Chinese medicine as a remedy for anemia.
- It may help prevent and ease chronic respiratory infections, the common cold and flu. It has also shown to be able to reduce sinus infections, sinus headaches and fever.
- Studies indicate that astragalus may speed recovery and improve survival rate of patients on radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. Taking astragalus during the treatment may help stop the spread of malignant cancer cells and also reduce the negative effects of the cancer therapy.
- Taking astragalus extract supplements regularly will help improve the health of patients with HIV. A report published in the journal of immunology reports that astragalus may fight against the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
- Chinese researchers believed that astragalus antioxidant activities are able to improve the function of the heart and treat severe forms of heart disease.
- As a diuretic, astragalus help prevent fluid retention by getting rid of excess fluid from the body.
- It can be used topically as a compress to treat wounds.
- Some other astragalus health benefits include lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes and stomach ulcers and other digestive problems and fight allergies.
Astragalus roots are available in whole dried root, powder form, liquid extract, tonic, capsules and tablets. The most convenient way to add it to your diet is to take the capsules or tablets. If you want to use the astragalus powder, you can sprinkle it in your food especially soups or stews and also fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and yogurt. You can use the astragalus dried root to make tea by boiling it in water for a few minutes and then brewing it.
So far there has not been any report of astragalus side effect.