Astragalus Health Benefits

Astragalus Health Benefits
1. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is at the root of most diseases. From arthritis to heart disease, it’s often the culprit of the damage. Many studies show that thanks to its saponins and polysaccharides, astragalus can reduce inflammatory response in connection to a number of illnesses and conditions, from helping to heal wounds and lesions to reducing inflammation in diabetic kidney disease. [1]

2. Boosts the Immune System
In terms of reputation, boosting the immune system is astragalus’ claim to fame. It’s been used in this capacity for thousands of years. A study out of Beijing displayed its ability to control t-helper cells 1 and 2, essentially regulating the body’s immune responses. [2] Although the full extent of the herb’s capabilities is yet to be determined, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that astragalus, used as an adjunct therapy, will someday be used to cure many diseases.

3. Protects the Cardiovascular System
The flavonoids present in astragalus are antioxidants that help prevent plaque build-up in arteries and narrowing of vessel walls by protecting the inner wall of the vessel. In addition, a 2014 study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine suggests injection of astragalus, combined with conventional treatment for viral myocarditis (inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall), makes treatment more successful in heart conditions. [4]

Other studies have shown its ability to reduce blood pressure and level of triglycerides. [5] High levels of triglycerides put individuals at risk for many forms of heart disease, such as stroke, heart attack and hardening of artery walls.

4. Regulates and Prevents Diabetes and Illnesses Related to Diabetes
Astragalus has been studied progressively as an antidiabetic. Studies show its ability to relieve insulin resistance and treat diabetes naturally. The herb’s collection of saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides all are effective in treating and regulating type 1 and 2 diabetes. They’re able to increase insulin sensitivity, protect pancreatic beta cells (the cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin) and also act as anti-inflammatories in areas related to diabetes symptoms. [6]

Kidney disease in diabetics is also a common problem, and astragalus has been used to treat kidney illness for many years. More recent studies have shown astragalus can slow the progress of kidney problems in diabetics and protect the renal system. [7, 8]

5. Contains Antioxidative and Anti-Aging Capabilities
Oxidation due to free radical damage is the main component in disease and aging, and many elements found in astragalus fight free radical damage and prevent of oxidative stress. The herb’s polysaccharides have positive effects on the immune system and improvement of the function of the brain, both of which could lengthen life span. [9]

6. Heals Wounds
Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, astragalus has a long history of treating wounds. Radix astragali, another name for the dried root of astragalus, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the repair and regeneration of injured organs and tissues.

In a 2012 study by the Institute of Pharmaceutics at Zhejiang University, wounds treated with astragaloside IV (the active ingredient in dried astragalus root) showed recovery rates increase two - to threefold over 48–96 hours. It was concluded that astragalus is a promising natural product for anti-scarring and healing in wounds. [10]

7. Treats Colds and Flu
Because of astragalus’ antiviral capabilities, it has long been used to treat common colds and the flu. It’s commonly combined with other herbs like ginseng, angelica and liquorice. As with many other natural cold remedies, it seems to work better when used when healthy individuals use the supplement regularly in order to prevent the illness before it happens. A regimen of astragalus before the colder months of winter is said to prevent or decrease the number of colds and upper respiratory illnesses individuals will have throughout the season. [11]

8. Provides Supplemental Therapy for Chronic Asthma
Astragalus has been used to treat chronic asthma and determined to be a successful supplemental therapy and asthma natural remedy. After being treated, hypersensitivity in airways decreased substantially and mucus production and inflammation were reduced in studies. By preventing or reducing asthma attacks, individuals could be relieved of chronic asthma issues. [12]

There is also evidence to suggest astragalus can successfully:
prevent collagen degradation
promote the growth and function of new blood vessels in new-borns
inhibit herpes simplex virus 1 [13]
prevent the replication of viruses like Coxsackie B-3, a virus that triggers illnesses ranging from mild stomach issues to major heart complications [14]
treat inflammation in eczema [15]
treat hepatitis by inhibiting hepatitis B virus cells in the liver [16]
treat HIV by protecting t-helper cells fight the virus for much longer [17]
be used as a mild diuretic

Full article: https://draxe.com/astragalus/


References:
[1] https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/astragalus
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22981502
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23146037
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25098261
[5] http://www.journaltcm.com/modules/Journal/contents/stories/133/25.pdf
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3855992/
[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20951192
[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19735713
[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291990/
[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22143155
[11] http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/08/what-is-astragalus_n_6289286.html
[12] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47416083_Effects_of_Astragaloside_IV_on_IFN-Gamma_Level_and_Prolonged_Airway_Dysfunction_in_a_Murine_Model_of_Chronic_Asthma
[13] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14724098
[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8580483
[15] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23083228
[16] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19122295
[17] http://www.jimmunol.org/content/181/10/7400.full

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