Updated: Oct 20, 2019
Astragalus is a medicinal root initially cultivated for Chinese herbal remedies and revered for its powerful immune revitalizing properties. It is said to rejuvenate natural body energy known as 'qi'. It is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat colds, flu, stomach ulcers and diabetes.
Source: Native to China, Mongolia and Korea. It grows in grassy regions or on mountainsides affording lots of sunshine.
Immune Boosting: Long used as an immunostimulant, Astragalus has been shown to increase white blood cells and antibodies, proofing against viruses and bacteria. There is evidence it increases immune cells such as T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages and immunoglobulins
Adaptogen: One of its most prevalent uses is in proofing against stress and aiding in the normalization of body processes. It has been effective against adrenal fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Anti-Inflammatory: Multiple studies have shown it to significantly reduce inflammation in the body
Heart Health: Evidence shows Astragalus improving those who suffer Congestive Heart Failure(CHF), Ischemic heart disease, angina and viral myocarditis
Wound Healing: By altering certain cell proteins, Astragalus has been shown to speed up wound and ulcer healing while reducing scarring
Respiratory Issues: Shown to reduce the recurrence of asthma as well as reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infection
Liver: Protects the liver while preventing and reducing fatty liver issues caused by alcohol.
Blood Glucose and Diabetes: Helps control glucose and acts as an antioxidant. Astragalus is beneficial for those who suffer insulin resistance
Male Sexual Health: Proven to increase sperm motility. It balances glucose levels, which help to improve testosterone and growth hormone levels. It decreases cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) of spermatogenic cells as well as increase the amount of glutathione in the testes
Risks: Due to its immunostimulant properties, those who suffer from autoimmunity may suffer adverse side effects from Astragalus. It interferes with drugs which suppress the immune system. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use Astragalus. People with herbal sensitivities have reported it causing insomnia when taken in the evening
Sustainability: As this herb both thrives in the wild and is cultivated domestically for sale to consumers, there is a robust supply line of this herb. Astragalus takes about 4 to 5 years to harvest from the time it is planted. While cultivation takes some time, due to the easy conditions needed for it to thrive, there are plenty of opportunities to cultivate it well
Processing: After 4 to 5 years of growth, the plant is able to grow as tall as four feet, then will be pulled out of the ground. The roots are collected, dried in the sun and then chopped up to then be processed into supplements or sold otherwise for teas and medicinal broths
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.464.1351&rep=rep1&type=pdf - Benefits on immune system and inflammation
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1534735403256419 - Effects on immune system
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24658979 - Acceleration of skin wound healing
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24709311 - Anti-stress effects
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21910341 - Preventing recurrence of asthma
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320362/ - Effects on alcohol induced fatty liver
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19201177 - Effects on insulin resistance
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19157111 - Astragalus and protection of male testes