Traditional Chinese medicine is a storehouse of countless herbs, most of them quite powerful with hidden benefits. Astragalus is one of the many herbs used in Chinese medicine.
Known as Astragalus Membranaceus alias Astragalus Propinquus scientifically, the roots of this herb is known to heal different health conditions. Thanks to its never ending healing properties, including antiviral, antibacterial, adaptogenic, anti-hydrotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-hypertensive, and anti-cancerous properties, the herb is an essential part of several alternative branches of medicine.
Health Benefits of Astragalus Root:
The list of benefits offered by this herb is, unarguably, an exhaustive one. Here is a closer look at the different health benefits of astragalus roots.
1. A Protective Shield for Your Brain:
An oxygen-deprived brain leads to stroke – the reason – zero circulation of blood. Chinese studies conducted on animals suggest that the inflammation triggered under such circumstances can be eased with the use of the roots of this awesome herb. Yes, astragalus is known to possess the potential to re- initiate blood supply to the brain. This, in turn, ensures faster recovery and also lowers stroke-induced death risk. Studies also suggest that people using this herb regularly enjoy a virtual shield around their brain.
2. Ensures Faster Recovery from Cardiac Failure:
Studies conducted on about 90 people suffering from Chronic Heart Failure suggested that using astragalus over a period of 30 days show visible improvement in their health conditions. The study was conducted in 3 batches, each having a group of 30. The batch that was administered this astralagus herb in moderate quantities showed significant improvement, compared to people who were given low doses.
3. Admirable Anti-cancerous Properties:
Use of these root extracts have shown to inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous cells in the human body. The roots work on these infected cells and disconnect the blood supply, ensuring the death of cancer cells, especially in cases of breast and gastric cancers. Astragalus contains saponins that possess chemotherapeutic properties. These is one of the most sought after alternative medicines for easing advanced as well as metastatic stages of gastric cancer – both by ending it and preventing its recurrences. People who drink a decoction made from its roots twice a day are known to enjoy better anti-cancerous benefits.
4. Anti-allergic Agent:
This is, perhaps, one of the most acknowledged use of astragalus roots. A tincture made from the dried roots of this herb, when consumed twice a day, is known to offer relief from allergic rhinitis as well as asthma. It is also an advised natural remedy for hay fever. It is also known to ward off allergy-induced cold, given its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Consumption of this herb for 6 or more weeks is known to ease and prevent seasonal allergies and their associate symptoms.
5. Fights Signs of Ageing:
Human body contain telomeres, the degradation of which triggers ageing. Studies suggest that the roots of this miracle herb can stimulate the synthesis of telomerase, the enzyme responsible for the manufacture of telomeres. Include this herb decoction, two times a day, in your diet and impede your ageing process. These roots also possess antioxidants, the ingredients that possess free radical scavenging potential. The lesser the free radicals in your body, the slower the ageing process will be.
6. Ensures Faster Recovery from Wounds:
Along with the rich presence of antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties, these herb roots are potential sources of some unique polysaccharides, including calycosin, formononetin, as well as astragaloside IV. These ingredients combat inflammation by lowering nitric acid levels in the body. Plus, these prevent the flow of blood to the affected area by hindering the functioning of metabolic pathways and genes. They also trigger the immune system. A synergic effect of these actions ensures faster healing of the wounds without inflammations and infections.
7. Helpful for Type II Diabetics:
While the antioxidant nature, along with assorted polysaccharides in the roots of this herb, shields the diabetics from radical scavengers, they also significantly improve the metabolic rate. The higher metabolic rate ensures that the sugar levels are kept under control. When used scrupulously, Type II diabetics can keep their sugar levels within the acceptable limits with the help of astragalus root decoction.
8. Peps up Energy Levels:
Being an adaptogen by nature, this herb works as a stimulating tonic. It helps to ease fatigue, stimulate and enhance your stamina levels, and combat chronic stress and anxiety. It gives your energy levels a boost, and aids in easing the symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity.
9. Natural Detoxifying Properties:
You can now take the help of this herb to eliminate all those unwanted toxins and chemicals from your body. The diuretic nature along with its antioxidant potential ensures that the radicals are curbed and toxins are eliminated from the liver as well as stomach.
10. Good for your Digestive System:
This herb is known to lower the levels of acids in your stomach and maintain the pH levels, shielding the body from assorted gastric issues. It also gives you digestive power a boost. The detoxifying properties of this herb ensure easier and faster elimination of wastes from digestive system, keeping constipation issues at bay.
11. Strengthens Liver and Spleen:
A natural detoxifier, this herb also possesses the potential to improve the blood flow, eliminating the waste from liver and spleen, strengthening and safeguarding it from various liver issues in the process. Various studies, though inconsistent, show that intravenous administration of astragalus roots is known to benefit patients suffering from chronic hepatitis.
12. Keep Blood Pressure Level Under Control:
The herb is a vasodilator, which means it has the power to open and widen blood vessels, improving the circulation levels. This helps in to lower blood pressure, and is beneficial for people suffering from hypertension. Keeping blood pressure levels under control also ensures safety from cardiovascular conditions.
13. Helps Maintain Cholesterol Levels:
Regular intake of astragalus roots is known to reduce bad cholesterol in the blood. The roots curb the absorption of fat from intestines, plus it also acts as a natural detoxification agent. It safeguards your arterial walls from the deposits of plaques and shields you from many conditions, including atherosclerosis.
14. Strengthens Immune System:
One of the key benefits for astragalus roots is to improve the functions of the immune system. It improves the metabolic rate as well as paves way for better circulation of blood. The antiviral properties work in conjunction with these aspects of this Chinese medicine to bolster the immunity and thwarting off various health issues, including common cold. The immunity enhancing potential of this herb enables it to be used as an alternative treatment for HIV/AIDS.
15. Good for Lung Health:
It stimulates, strengthens, and tones the lungs and their functions. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb work to ease and prevent various respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and asthma.
16. Naturally Rich Diuretic Properties:
The natural diuretic potential of this herb helps in eliminating the excess fluids that gets collected in the urinary bladder and other pockets of the body. It helps in easing edema and infections affecting the urinary bladder. Regular use of this herb is also known to lower the chances of the bladder developing infections.
A Word of Caution:
Though astragalus is generally considered safe but when used in higher doses it can cause certain side effects including:
- Suppressing immune system
- Hindering the action of various medications, including medications for auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Lowers blood pressure levels
- Affects blood sugar levels
Although no data is available on the effect of this herb on women during pregnancy and lactation, it is suggested that women in such conditions should strictly stay away from this herb.
Even though the evidence supporting the health benefits of astragalus roots are quite limited, studies do suggest that it is quite powerful, especially when used with a certain set of other herbs.
Have you ever used astragalus roots? Let us know your experience in the comments below.