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Astragalus Health Benefits and Side Effects | Buy Astragalus Extract Online

Updated on January 24, 2015
Astragalus
Astragalus | Source

Some general info

Astragalus grows in China, Mongolia and Korea. It is a perennial plant with a rough, hairy outlook and usually grows up to 32 inches. It has been used in China for over a thousand years for its medicinal properties. There are over 2,000 species of Astragalus and only two species are used for health benefits. The root of the plant is harvested after 4 years of growth, and then dried to processing into capsules, herbal tea, liquid extracts, tinctures, and powder form. It is also sold as dried slices; the Chinese add these to soups, tonics and eat it with honey. Astragalus herbal medicines were introduced in the western world only in the 1980s. This article discusses the health benefits, side effects and recommended dosages of astragalus.

The Health Benefits of Astragalus

The University of Maryland says that astragalus can be used to combat the systemic effects of physical, emotional and mental stress that result in the acceleration of the aging process. The Chinese have used this herb to treat many common diseases successfully for a very long time. Although there have been very few scientific studies to prove or disprove the claimed health benefits, many people who take it regularly report relief from their symptoms. Here are the alleged health benefits of astragalus.

Powerful anti-oxidant

Astragalus contains anti-oxidants which contribute to strengthening the immune system. Anti-oxidants help rid the body of free radicals that attack healthy tissue. The free radicals can be real enemy? Free radicals cause oxidation in the blood. This results in inflammation. Inflammation is a precursor of many cases of serious illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.

Prevention and treatment of colds and flu

Astragalus boost the immune system to prevent and treat colds and flu. People who take a regular dose of astragalus report less colds and flu, recovery time is reduced and the symptoms are less severe. Astragalus has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used to treat the symptoms of persistent cough and rhinorrhea associated with allergic rhinitis.

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Nature's Way Astragalus Root, 470 mg, 180 Vcaps

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Anti-Aging Properties

Body cells are constantly renovating and repairing themselves. As we age, the cells lose the ability to repair and renew themselves and consequently die. This is because an enzyme called telomerase is no longer produced in sufficient qualities. Telomeres protect the ends of each chromosome and also helps ensure cells reproduce exactly. The reduction of telomerase in the body results in all effects of aging that we come to know with old age. Astragalus contains small amounts of a compound that can reactivate telomerase and thus slow down the aging process.

Cancer treatment

Astragalus can be used to stimulate the immune system in cancer patients who often have a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A study found that cancer patients undergoing treatment who received daily Astragalus showed reduced recovery times and also extended their life expectancy. More human trials need to be performed, but early studies in humans are promising.

Prevention & Treatment of Heart Diseases

Astragalus has similar blood thinning properties of aspirin. It dilute the blood and helps to prevent the formation of clots in the arteries that can cause heart attack and stroke. It also helps to improve the flow of blood to the heart. Astragalus is a mild diuretic, which means that it helps to get rid of excess fluid from the body and consequently reduces blood pressure. It is generally considered to improve overall heart function.

Astragalus root
Astragalus root | Source

Wound and Burn Treatment

Astragalus in topical preparations can be used to treat wounds and some types of burns. It has anti-bacterial properties that help fight and prevent infection.

The recommended dosages

The University of Maryland recommended for an adult 250mgs 500mgs up to 4 times a day. In liquid form, they recommend 2mls to 4 ml 3 times a day. As herbal tea, you can drink up to three cups per day. Astragalus should be taken with a full glass of water and it is recommended to drink plenty of water throughout the day while taking this supplement. You should not take astragalus for more than seven days. Children should not be given astragalus except under strict medical supervision.

Gaia Herbs Astragalus Supreme Liquid Phyto-Capsules, 60 Count
Gaia Herbs Astragalus Supreme Liquid Phyto-Capsules, 60 Count

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Side effects

Astragalus supplements can cause constipation and esophageal blockages, if you are not drinking plenty of fluids. Other side effects may include mild gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea, stomach pain, bloating, burping, flatulence and diarrhea. Allergic reactions occur in some sensitive people. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers to take this supplement.

If you are thinking of taking astragalus as a herbal supplement to treat your illnesses, you should always consult your doctor first. Astragalus may interact with current medications. Not recommended for diabetic patients. The effect of long-term consumption of astragalus is unknown, so do not take it for more than 7 days before having a break from it. Astragalus is available online and in health food stores. The Chinese have triumphed astragalus for thousands of years. Until more scientific studies are conducted, we do not know how effective it is to treat and prevent diseases over their long-term effects.

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    • healthcarepro profile image
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      healthcarepro 3 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

      Thank you Devika for the comment.. :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and so helpful information.