Astragalus: tonic to increase energy and stimulate the immune system
Astragalus : Plant Family: Leguminosae
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb.
It is derived from the root of the perennial Astragalus membranaceus.
In China, astragalus has enjoyed a long history of use.
In traditional medicine, it is used to strengthen the Wei Ch'i or "defensive energy" or as in western terms, the immune system.
Astragalus is regarded as a potent tonic for increasing energy levels and stimulating the immune system.
It has also been employed effectively as a diuretic, a vasodilator and as a treatment for respiratory infections.
Benefits of Astragalus
Astragalus is used in many of the following ways:
- as an antibacterial
- used with the ginseng
- for young adults for energy production and respiratory endurance
- to generate warming energy
- for hypoglycemia and used for "outer energy" as ginseng is used for "inner energy"
- used to bolster the white blood cell count
- strengthens the body's resistance
- used to reduce debilitating conditions
- helps to promote the effects of other herbs and helps to improve digestion
Astragalus is one of the most popular herbs used in the Orient; the Chinese name for astragalus is Huang Ch'i.
This is a tonic producing warm energy and specifically tonifying for the lungs, spleen, and triple warmer via meridians.
In studies performed at the National Cancer Institute and 5 other leading American Cancer Institutes over the past 10 years, it has been positively shown that astragalus strengthens a patients' immune system.
Researchers believed on the basis of cell studies that astragalus augments those white blood cells that fight disease and removes some of those which make the body more vulnerable to it.
There is clinical evidence that cancer patients given astragalus during chemotherapy and radiation, both of which reduce the body's natural immunity while attacking the cancer, recover significantly faster and live longer.
It is evident that astragalus does not directly attack cancers themselves, but instead strengthens the body's immune system.
In these same studies, both in the laboratory and with 572 patients, it also has been found that Astragalus promotes adrenal cortical function, which also is critically diminished in cancer patients.
Scientists have isolated a number of active ingredients contained in astragalus, including bioflavanoids, choline, and a polysaccharide called astragalan B.
Animal studies have shown that astragalan B is effective at stimulating the immune system and protecting the body against a number of toxins.
Astragalus is well known for strengthening the immune system. Historical uses include oriental tonic and promoter of health, supports natural defenses and supports peripheral circulation.
Astragalan B seems to work by binding to cholesterol on the outer membranes of viruses, destabilizing their defenses and allowing the body's immune system to attack the weakened invader. Astragalus shows support for peripheral vascular diseases and peripheral circulation.
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