What Astragalus Extract Could Do to Support Your Immune System
What Is Astragalus?
Astragalus is a type of bean or legume that is more commonly known as milk vetch or "Huang qi." It is an "adaptogen," meaning it helps to protect your body against stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress. Astragalus has been popular in traditional Chinese medicine for a long while (mainly because astragalus is native to the eastern parts of the country along with Korean and Mongolia) and has been used to treat various illnesses.
There are several astragalus variations, but most astragalus supplements usually only contain Astragalus membranaceus. The herb has been thoroughly researched and studied and has shown to have possible positive benefits to supporting one's health, specifically, in their immune system.
Astragalus is a natural supplement that's used for various health conditions. For example, it's used to treat the cold, various respiratory infections, diabetes, and fibromyalgia. In addition, various studies claim that astragalus may protect against heart disease while it is also used to help improve overall weakness.
The Benefits of Taking Astragalus Supplements
Astragalus has been found to stimulate one's immune system. In addition, significant studies have found astragalus to have antioxidant effects that inhibit "free radical" production. Free radicals damage your cells and are linked to many major health problems related to aging. Today, though, there is no known way to stop the production of free radicals in one's body completely. That said, astragalus does help in reducing the production of free radicals in your body, which is better than nothing.
The herb is also often used for its positive effects on the immune system and cardiovascular system. Though the herb has been in use for centuries in Chinese medicine, further research is still needed to support the claim of astragalus being beneficial to one's heart.
Astragalus has also been observed to stimulate the liver, lungs, and circulatory system. It's also used to treat asthma and similar conditions. Astragalus also helps in lowering one's blood sugar and blood pressure. However, evidence to support these claims is still limited and has not been proven yet.
Research also suggests that astragalus helps treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes because of its high levels of antioxidants. Astragalus is usually used with other similar herbal supplements. If used appropriately, astragalus has shown to be very safe and has very few side effects.
More On What Astragalus Is Used For
Astragalus is also used to help in treating the following health conditions:
- Hepatitis: Astragalus has been used in combination with other similar herb-based supplements to help in treating hepatitis, and the results were promising.
- Cancer: Early studies have suggested that astragalus may significantly affect tumors, especially against cancers such as leukemia and melanoma.
- Anemia: An early study of astragalus has shown that anemia may improve blood count in patients with aplastic anemia. The study, however, still has yet to be confirmed but could prove to be very beneficial if, in fact, factual.
- Diabetes: Studies have also shown that astragalus lowers blood sugar, a significant factor in diabetes. More studies are still required to confirm if this is true.
- Kidney Disease: Research suggests that astragalus may also help protect one's kidneys and may even assist in treating kidney disease.
As of today, there is little solid evidence that these claims are valid, which is why further research is still needed to confirm if astragalus is beneficial to people who present the health conditions above.
Take Astragalus Supplements with Caution
However, very high doses of the supplement have been observed to suppress the immune system, so you using astragalus if you are taking immune-suppressing drugs is not recommended.
However, astragalus is not recommended for nursing or pregnant women with immune system conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. As mentioned, the herb suppresses the immune system, which may harm you if you present any of the mentioned conditions.
Some side effects of taking astragalus supplements include rashes, itching in certain body parts, nasal symptoms, and stomach discomfort. Though these symptoms are rare, it is essential to note them.
What Is Astragalus Extract?
Astragalus extract is simply astragalus in tincture or a liquid alcohol extract. Astragalus extract is one of the available forms of the herb if you want to take it as a supplement. Astragalus is also a supplement as capsules, tablets, and injectable forms.
The dosage for astragalus extract depends on what condition you are treating, your age, and weight. To determine the proper form of usage for you, consulting with your physician is recommended.
What To Remember
Astragalus has many benefits it can bring to support your immune system. You can get these benefits in any form, whether it's in the form of an astragalus extract or astragalus capsules and tablets.
As with any supplement, you should consult your physician first if you want to take astragalus. Doing this will help you decide effectively if you need to take astragalus, and if you do, how much of it should you take.