Astragalus Root: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Astragalus Root: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

The scientific name of Astragalus root is Astragalus membranaceus. It is a type of flowering plant which is celebrated throughout centuries. It is an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, it is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances with the potential of stimulating the body’s immunity. They work in response to physical, environmental, and emotional stressors. They strengthen your immune system and have the capacity to reduce swelling. Astragalus is said to relieve the symptoms of hay fever, diabetes, and other conditions that might threaten your well-being. However, there is still a lack of scientific evidence to prove these.

There are over 2,000 species of Astragalus root available around the globe. Out of these, only two work as supplements. These are:

  • Astragalus membranaceus
  • Astragalus mongholicus

These essential ingredients are liquid extracts, capsules, powders, and teas. Astragalus is a perennial plant of approximately 16 to 36 inches. It is native to the northern and eastern parts of China, Mongolia, and Korea. The root is widely popular for medicinal purposes.

Benefits of Astragalus Root

Uses, Side Effects, and Everything You Should Know About Astragalus Root- HealthifyMe

There are numerous benefits of Astragalus root. Astragalus root is a healthy addition to your diet to boost energy levels whenever you feel run down or low. It acts as a high blood pressure medication and helps lower it down. In addition, it reduces the symptoms of anxiety and memory loss triggered by repeated stress. It balances estrogen levels in the body and strengthens your reproductive system and overall well-being. Moreover, it serves the purpose of a lung tonic and thus increases resistance against respiratory infections. Finally, it can slow down or prevent the growth of tumours. 

Given below are all the benefits that this traditional herb provides.

1. Gives You Energy

Astragalus root contains a variety of herbal formulations. They help in boosting your strength and stamina. In addition, they work wonders to improve the health of athletes. Hence, you can have Astragalus root to increase your metabolism. They also help in improving performance in sports.

The study has powerful anti-oxidative stress, anti-inflammatory, immune-regulation, and vascular protective effects. However, more studies are required to give these facts a concrete shape.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

Astragalus root can treat various heart conditions as it has a diuretic effect. It lowers blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels. Hence, your heart can pump a more significant amount of blood.

According to research, it may be beneficial for your heart health, but it cannot replace conventional care. Therefore, patients with heart issues can take astragalus twice daily and routine medications. However, it is advisable to consult your physician.

3. Good for Anxiety

As per a study, astragalus root curbs the stress level. It also brings a sense of peace and calms your mind and body. People who suffer from frequent mood swings and constant nervousness may benefit from consuming astragalus root. Thus, it can be instrumental for your mental health. A significant benefit that distinguishes the astragalus herb from other traditional medicines is that it is an adaptogen. This quality makes it non-toxic and safe. It tweaks your hormone production capacity and physical reaction against internal and external stressors.

4. Increases Estrogen Levels

Diet, lifestyle, and the environment negatively affect the estrogen levels in the body. They leave you with estrogen-dominant bodies that disturb your menstrual flow. Thus, to strengthen your reproductive health, you should have Astragalus root.

As per research, the astragalus serves as a support to the reproductive system. You can mix it with other herbs to balance the hormones. It benefits both males and females.

5. Treats Lung Cancer

According to a study, the astragalus root benefits lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Thus, consuming supplements that have astragalus root in them positively affect health and longevity. In addition, one can combine with chemotherapy to increase the chances of survival. Hence, it enhances your respiratory health.

6. Removes Seasonal Allergies

According to research, astragalus root removes seasonal allergies by reducing the severity of reactions. It also dramatically improves the quality of life. It works by regulating the immune system and reducing sensitivity to allergens. Hence, if you are frequently affected by seasonal allergies, taking astragalus root extract by mouth daily can be beneficial. Consuming it for 3-6 weeks may reduce running nose, itching, and sneezing.

Astragalus Root Recipe

Garlic and Astragalus Syrup

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Water: 200 ml
  • Astragalus root (dried): 5 g
  • Honey: 15 ml 

Method

  1. Heat the water, garlic cloves, and astragalus roots over low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. It will take around 2 minutes to strain the herbs from the mixture.
  3. Discard them and pour the liquid back into the vessel.
  4. Add a cup of honey as per your requirement.
  5. Warm the mixture for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Let the syrup cool down.
  7. Then pour it into a bottle and store it. You can consume this when you experience seasonal allergies.

Dosage Recommendations

These are the various oral doses that might be helpful in specific conditions:

  • Congestive heart failure: taking 2-7.5 grams of powdered astragalus twice a month can benefit.
  • Blood sugar control: taking 40-60 grams of astragalus for four months help control blood sugar levels. Please take it in the form of decoction.
  • Kidney disease: including 7.5-15 grams of astragalus powder twice daily provides some benefits. However, following this for six months is adequate.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome: taking 30 grams of astragalus root help with chronic fatigue syndrome. One can combine it with other herbs as a decoction.
  • Seasonal allergies: take two 80mg capsules of astragalus extract daily. One can expect positive results after continuing it for approximately six weeks.
  • In general, 60 grams of oral doses per day for four months is the safest option. It is said to work wonders in the long term.

Most studies suggest that these dosages can be beneficial. However, Individual requirements vary. Hence to learn about the dosage that suits your body best, consult your healthcare professional.

Precautions and Side Effects

Below are some cases when Astragalus root will not benefit you. However, it is safe to use astragalus orally and appropriately. The adequate dosage is 60 grams for approximately four months.

Symptoms include:

  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Nasal symptoms 
  • Stomach discomfort

It’s important to note that these are uncommon.

Some astragalus species are toxic to livestock. These are usually not present in dietary supplements. Several species have a neurotoxin. They are known as swainsonine, which causes locoweed poisoning. Other species contain higher levels of selenium. The symptoms are:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Skin rashes
  • Nerve problems

There is a lack of evidence in astragalus use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The repercussions might be toxic to the mother and fetus. Hence, it would help if you used this herb wisely. It is essential to take the advice of a healthcare professional to avoid complications.

Interacts with Drugs

Astragalus may react with other medications that you might be taking. In such a case, it suppresses your immune system. Here are some medicines that might interact with astragalus and elevate your problems.

Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide reduces the immune response. Astragalus, on the other hand, increases its functioning. Thus, it might disrupt its positive effects if you consume it with astragalus.

Immunosuppressant

Immunosuppressant is similar to cyclophosphamide. However, it also decreases the activity of the immune system. Thus it is not advisable to combine both. In addition, medications after a transplant can worsen your condition. 

Lithium

Astragalus slows down the ability of the body to get rid of lithium. As a result, it elevates lithium levels in the body and causes severe side effects. It would help if you talked to your doctor or physician before changing the combination to your body’s requirements.

Hence, be aware of these medicinal combinations.

Conclusion

Astragalus root has been in use in traditional Chinese medicine. It is an adaptogen that improves the functioning of your immune system. There are multiple varieties available worldwide, but only two make different supplements. This root has numerous health benefits. Astragalus root gives you energy, lowers your blood pressure, and is suitable for treating anxiety. In addition, it also increases estrogen levels, treats lung cancer, and removes seasonal allergies. 

You can prepare soups, teas, and syrups with Astragalus root. Unfortunately, it can cause itching, rash, stomach discomfort, and nasal symptoms if consumed excessively. In addition, it may react with your medications to suppress your immune system. Therefore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from its use. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What health benefits does astragalus have?

A. Astragalus is highly beneficial to your health. It boosts your energy levels, reduces blood pressure, and treats anxiety-related disorders. In addition, it supports good reproductive health for both men and women. 

Q. Can astragalus be taken daily?

A. There is no official recommendation regarding the frequency of taking astragalus. But you take it daily with 9 to 30 grams as the typical dose. It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting a supplement for a health condition. 

Q. Does astragalus give you energy?

A. Yes, Astragalus gives energy. It boosts strength and stamina to desired levels. Athletes improve their performance in sports by consuming it. It may also improve metabolism. 

Q. Does astragalus raise blood pressure?

A. No, Astragalus does not raise your blood pressure. Instead, it has an excellent diuretic effect and treats several heart conditions. It relaxes your blood vessels and lets your heart pump more significant amounts of blood. 

Q. Is Ashwagandha the same as astragalus?

A. No, Ashwagandha is not the same as astragalus. They both are adaptogens and share some similarities. However, they differ in terms of their application. One has relaxing properties while the other generates more energy. 

Q. Who should not take astragalus?

A. If you are on other medications, you should consult a doctor before starting a supplement. In addition, pregnant women and breastfeeding should refrain from its use. 

Q. What are the side effects of astragalus?

A. There are several side effects of astragalus. For example, it can cause some people’s rash, itching, and nasal symptoms, though they are scarce. In addition, some species of astragalus may cause diarrhoea, irritability, and nausea. These occur due to higher selenium levels. 

Q. Is astragalus good for anxiety?

A. Yes, Astragalus is perfect for anxiety. It curbs the stress level to promote peace and calm in your mind and body. It also treats frequent mood swings and constant nervous tension in certain people. 

Q. Does astragalus increase estrogen?

A. Astragalus balances the estrogen levels and supports the reproductive health of both men and women. You can consume it with other herbs to maximise results. In addition, it improves your sexual performance. 

Q. Is astragalus good for the lungs?

A. Yes, Astragalus is perfect for the lungs. It even has the potential to treat lung cancer. In addition, one can combine with chemotherapy to increase the chances of survival. Hence, it enhances your respiratory health. 

Q. Does Astragalus cause blood thinning?

A. Yes, Astragalus may cause blood thinning in some individuals. Its constituents have anticoagulant properties. Therefore, they might increase the risk of bleeding when used with certain drugs. 

Q. Does astragalus interact with any medications?

A. Yes, Astragalus might interact with any medications and cause harmful side effects. It might suppress your immune system and worsen your condition. Hence, please do not use it without a prescription by a doctor. 

Q. What is the nutritional value of astragalus?

A. Astragalus has incredible nutritional value. It is rich in antioxidants to protect your cells against damage. In addition, it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which protect and support the immune system.

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