Like many of the previous herbs talked about in these recent blog posts, the use of Astragalus stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Within TCM, astragalus is believed to treat numerous illnesses and ailments including allergies and the common cold. Similar to Echinacea, there are many different species of Astragalus, but only two strains which are used medicinally – Astragalus membranaceus and Astragalus mongholicus. Although we still have yet to fully understand the effects of Astragalus on the human body, modern research has shown usefulness in boosting the immune system.
Astragalus contains many phytochemicals that are responsible for its medicinal properties. There is evidence in studies that suggests that astragalus helps increase white blood cell count, which are our immune system cells that help prevent illness. In studies conducted using mice as test subjects, astragalus root was shown to help fight off bacteria and viruses in mice with infections. Human studies have been limited, but data from those available show that astragalus can also help fight viral infections in humans. Other research, however also limited, suggests that Astragalus taken as a daily supplement could reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as sneezing and runny nose. Though further research is needed, astragalus appears to be helpful in boosting our immune health.
It’s important to reiterate that human studies of astragalus are limited, but the evidence gathered in the studies done point to it being an effective way to keep our immune systems strong. Astragalus may be hard to find, so Standard Process makes Astragalus Complex, a supplement made with Astragalus membranaceus as well as Echinacea purpurea, which we know also helps fortify the immune system. Through the Luib Health Center, Astragalus Complex is just a call away. Immune health is of incredible importance right now, so contact us today to get your supply of immune boosting astragalus.
Block, K. I., & Mead, M. N. (2003). Immune System Effects of Echinacea, Ginseng, and Astragalus: A Review. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2(3), 247–267. doi: 10.1177/1534735403256419
Jin, M., Zhao, K., Huang, Q., & Shang, P. (2014). Structural features and biological activities of the polysaccharides from Astragalus membranaceus. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 64, 257–266. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.12.002
Matkovic, Z., Zivkovic, V., Korica, M., Plavec, D., Pecanic, S., & Tudoric, N. (2009). Efficacy and safety ofAstragalus membranaceusin the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Phytotherapy Research. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2877