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Nature's Temple / Astragalus

Astragalus

(Astragalus membraneceus)

Astragalus Benefits: Investigations in China indicate that Astragalus is diuretic and that it lowers blood pressure and increases endurance.  Recent American research focused on the ability of Astragalus to restore normal immune function in cancer patients.   Clinical evidence suggests that as which a number of other herbs, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy recover faster and live longer if given Astragalus concurrently.

Chronic fatigue, persistent infections, night sweats, multiple allergies, glandular fever

The herb helps to counteract tiredness and lack of appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer.

Soothing and healing for stomach ulcers.

It is a Tonic and Endurance remedy – this herb is a classic energy tonic, that is considered by some herbalists to be superior to Ginseng, particularly for young people.  In China, it is believed to warm and tone the protective energy that circulates just beneath the skin and helping the body to adapt to external influences, especially the cold.  Astragalus raises immune resistance and manifestly improves physical endurance.

Its ability to Control Fluids – though a vasodilator (encourages blood flow to the surface), Astragalus is used for excessive sweating including night sweats.  It is also helpful in both relieving fluid retention and reducing thirstiness.  It is invaluable in assisting with incontinence in the elderly.  It encourages the system to function normally.

Excellent as an Immune Stimulant however, not a herb for acute illness.  Astragalus is nonetheless a very useful medicine for viral infections such as the common cold.

Astragalus also treats prolapsed organs, especially the uterus and is beneficial for uterine bleeding.  It is often combined with Dong Quai as a blood tonic to treat anaemia.

Clinical trials as well as pharmacological data provide evidence for its usefulness in the prevention of the common cold and as an adjunct to cancer therapies. It is may be useful as a complementary treatment during chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immune deficiency syndromes. Astragalus is used to strengthen the immune system over time, building resistance to illness and disease. Echinacea may be used in conjunction with astragalus to provide an extra short term boost in immunity.

There is also evidence for cardiovascular system improvement, particularly in clinical parameters associated with angina, congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarct. This may be due to the herb’s antioxidant activity. Its use in the treatment of hepatitis in modern Chinese medicine is supported by the demonstration of hepatoprotective activity in animal studies.

Astragalus is often used in combination with other botanicals and is very seldom used as a single agent. Pharmacological research of astragalus in combination with ligustrum (Ligustrum lucidum) provides evidence for activity against cancers of the breast, cervix and lung.

A number of clinical studies have been reported regarding the use of astragalus for colds and upper respiratory infections.

Studies indicate astragalus can increase metabolism and energy, boost stamina and promote healing. Other uses of astragalus; atherosclerosis, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, insomnia, diabetes, chronic hepatitis, genital herpes, AIDS and chemotherapy side effects. If you have a serious condition you should consult your doctor, but astragalus is considered safe and free of harmful effects.

Actions:  adaptogenic, immune stimulant, diuretic, vasodilator, antiviral

Combinations:  Often combined with Dong Quai for the treatment of anaemia.  For cold and numbness it can be combined with Cinnamon.

Contraindications:  None known at present.