Astragalus is both an adaptogen, meaning it may help the body adjust to various pressures, and an antioxidant, meaning it may help the body combat free radicals. Because astragalus is frequently used along with other herbs, it’s been hard for investigators to figure out the specific astragalus benefits when being utilized all by itself. There happen to be some written reports, however, that show that astragalus root extract might be advantageous to reduce chemotherapy side effects, improve the immune system, and decrease fatigue in athletes.
Boosts the Immune System
Based on the SloaneKettering Cancer Center, “Laboratory studies and some clinical trials indicate that astragalus stimulates specific areas of the immune system.” Specific immune cells, for example lymphocytes and monocytes, help the human body fight off viruses. The motion of these cells may be raised by astragalus, hence improving the immune system. Additionally, astragalus may raise the action of natural killer cells. These types of cells can kill both cancer cells and viruses.
Astragalus is proven to include antioxidants, which might play a part in combating damaging free radicals within the body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the antioxidants in astragalus may be useful to those with cardiovascular disease, improving heart function and providing relief from related symptoms. Antioxidants are also believed to have advantages in fighting cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses related to oxidative damage.
Helps the Heart and Liver
Chinese research suggests that astragalus may alleviate symptoms and enhance heart function in individuals with severe kinds of coronary disease, based on the UMMC. Further research from China demonstrates potential advantages for patients with chronic viral hepatitis.
Decreases the Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Astragalus was analyzed as a therapy for patients with immune systems that, as a result of chemotherapy, were suppressed. In such studies the herb has helped to speed up the recovery period of those going through chemo.
Astragalus offers possible antibacterial properties, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. It’s occasionally utilized as a topical remedy for wound healing, and is often believed to have antiviral functions. Due to these properties, astragalus is also used to handle and prevent common colds and respiratory tract infections, reports the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Less Fatigue for Athletes
Herbal extracts that include astragalus might help athletes body’s to better use oxygen, thus reducing their fatigue. Additionally, it may help the body adjust to the physical stress brought on by exercise, due to the fact that astragalus is an adaptogen.
Helps with Allergies and Asthma
Astragalus could also have benefits against allergic asthma. Based on the SloanKettering Cancer Center, studies on mice indicate that astragalus may inhibit airway hyper-reactivity that happens in cases of allergic asthma. However, human studies haven’t substantiated this data, and as a remedy for allergic asthma astragalus isn’t proven at this time.
Astragalus root extract can also be advantageous for diabetes and AIDS. In Asian medicine, astragalus root can be used for heart conditions, but it’s generally used with other herbs so additional research is required to find out whether the herbs are advantageous when utilized individually.
Astragalus Side Effects
Gastrointestinal side effects may range from symptoms like bloating, nausea, and upset stomach as well as diarrhea and gas.
When taking astragalus persons who have a history of allergic reactions to other legumes are more at risk to having an allergic reaction to astragalus. An allergy seldom happens, though. Immediate medical care should be sought if any signs of an allergic reaction are present. Such signs are: itchy rash/hives, swollen throat, tongue, or face, or any problems breathing properly.
Additional Side Effects
Some of the reported side effects when taking astragalus are hypoglycemia and hypotension. Persons being treated for high blood pressure will have to be monitored carefully by their healthcare professional while taking astragalus. Diabetics taking astragalus will need their blood sugar levels to be carefully watched by their primary healthcare provider. Cancer.org states that this herb might lower the body’s ability to perform blood clotting. Due to this, anyone who will be getting surgery or is on blood thinners shouldn’t be taking astragalus.
While pregnant or breast feeding astragalus shouldn’t be taken. To prevent drug interactions a dialogue with a healthcare provider about any drugs or over-the-counter drugs being taken is significant, and something everyone should do before starting any new supplement.