What is Astragalus?
Astragalus is a large genus of about 2,000 species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Common names include milk-vetch (most species), locoweed (in western US) and goat's-thorn (A. gummifer, A. tragacanthus). Some pale-flowered vetches are similar in appearance, but vetches are more vine-like.
Astragalus is used in traditional Chinese medicine for night sweats, diarrhea and for energy tonics that are taken daily at certain times of the year.
One of the key uses for astragalus is to improve immune function. Although more evidence is needed, one of the ways astragalus is thought to work is by increasing the production of immune cells. It may also have mild antiviral activity and help with the prevention of colds. There's little evidence from human studies, however, on the effectiveness of astragalus as an antiviral.
Astragalus is also used for various heart conditions. It may have a diuretic effect which would lower blood pressure and it may cause blood vessels to relax. It hasn't been explored in human studies, so it shouldn't be used as a replacement for conventional care.
Benefits of Astragalus:
Astragalus root has several components that are believed to help strengthen the immune system. These are flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, astragalosides, and triterpenes. The root is believed to ward off infections and works by helping the skin to eliminate toxins from the body. Astragalus root can help reduce sweating and also acts as a mild diuretic. In America, studies have been conducted to show astragalus root can indeed help boost the immune system's T-cells, even for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
Astragalus contains probiotics to help boost the body's good bacteria in the digestive tract. Another benefit is that astragalus root helps to protect the adrenal cortex, a hormone-producing gland that affects stress levels in the body. Saponins in the root can help prevent blood clots that may lead to stroke or a heart attack.
Uses for Astragalus:
Astragalus root can be blended in a natural supplement or multivitamin and taken orally in capsule form. It can also be taken in powdered form as a tea or tincture. Astragalus in ointments can be used topically to help treat exterior wounds and other skin ailments.
Always consult with a doctor before using astragalus or other vitamins and supplements - especially if you have an auto-immune condition, are a transplant recipient, are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you are a hemophiliac. Astragalus may also react negatively to certain medications.
With strengthening of the immune system, the body will better be able to fight against herpes virus 1 and 2. Though there is no definite cure for herpes, the unwanted cold sores and other herpes symptoms can possibly be lessened with this remarkable root as a natural supplement!
Herbs Etc's Astragalus
Gaia Herbs Liquid Phyto Astragalus Supreme