Centuries of Traditional Chinese Medicine and European botanical medicine have documented Astragalus root (Astragalus Membranaceus) as a tonic to support the health of the spleen and the immune system, helping the body build resistance to illness. Today, researchers are studying how Astragalus may help prevent the common cold and be a complementary therapy to establish immune health.
Some of the many beneficial properties of Astragalus include:
- Astragalus contains polysaccharides, which enhance the ability of white blood cells (instrumental in immune function) to eliminate foreign substances from the body.
- Saponins found in Astragalus are known to protect the liver, an important organ of detoxification, and stimulate the release of cytokines, chemical messengers in the immune system.
- With its antioxidant properties, Astragalus facilitates the breakdown of free radicals, thus reducing free radical damage in the blood system.
Also known as milk vetch, Astragalus was once only found in Mongolia and China. Today, it is grown in temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere. It takes a full two years before the plant develops roots sufficient for harvesting the plant’s medicinal properties.
Astragalus is often included in “immunity support” herbal blends with other herbs known to promote recovery in times of stress or illness. Supplements are available in capsule, liquid, tincture, injectable, and extract. This herb may interact with other medicines, including other herbal remedies, over-the-counter, and pharmaceutical drugs. Consult with a qualified holistic health practitioner to determine the appropriateness of taking Astragalus to support your health and wellbeing.