What is Astragalus?

Astragalus, which belongs to the Fabaceae family of plants, is an herb with the Latin name Astragalus membranaceus. It is found in various regions around the world, such as Southwestern Asia, the Chinese Himalayan region, the Americas, and Europe.

Some of the common names for astragalus include milkvetch, huáng qí, and Radix astragalus. In traditional Chinese medicine, people use the root of the astragalus plant to make supplements and herbal remedies, often combined with other herbs.

Scientists have studied over 100 species of astragalus to identify biologically active compounds. The three primary active compounds in astragalus are polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), flavonoids, and saponins. However, astragalus also contains many other compounds, including three groups of toxic constituents.


Astragulus health benefits

Astragalus, commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, is believed to offer numerous health benefits. Some of these benefits include antioxidant effects, modulation of the immune system, antiviral effects, and cardiotonic activities that stimulate the heart muscle. However, it is important to note that further scientific research is necessary to fully understand the effects of astragalus on the human body and to make conclusive statements.

It may have properties for graceful aging support

A 2017 research review found that astragalus could potentially offer support for aging. The review also suggested that the herb may reduce oxidative stress and neurodegeneration while acting as a tonic to improve stamina and boost immune function.

It may have potential benefits for cancer

Astragali radix, a specific type of astragalus, has been found to have potentially positive effects on tumors and cancer, according to research. Studies on humans, laboratory experiments, and animal research suggest that the herbal extract may reduce the risk of bladder cancer, improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy, and kill gastric cancer cells.

However, it is important to note that the quality of studies varies and the anticancer effects of astragalus are not conclusive. Individuals with cancer should discuss appropriate treatment options with their doctor.

It may help with diabetes

Astragalus polysaccharides have been shown in laboratory studies to regulate blood glucose levels and enhance insulin sensitivity. As a result, scientists suggest that astragalus could potentially play a significant role in treating diabetes and its associated complications.

It may help with symptoms of liver disease

A 2022 study suggests that various astragalus species contain active ingredients that could potentially alleviate symptoms of liver disease, including cirrhosis and portal hypertension. The study’s authors also noted that the roots and aerial parts of astragalus species possess anti-fibrotic and diuretic properties. Anti-fibrotic agents are known to prevent scarring.

It is important to note that the study was conducted in a laboratory, and further research involving human participants is necessary to make definitive conclusions.

It may have potential benefits for kidney disease

A 2014 review of 22 studies found that astragalus could potentially serve as an additional treatment for chronic kidney disease alongside conventional therapies. However, the authors of the review noted that most of the studies were of low quality, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

Similarly, a 2019 review of 66 studies suggested that astragalus may provide benefits for individuals with diabetic kidney disease. However, experts require further high-quality studies to assess the safety and effectiveness of the herb.

It may support the immune system

Studies suggest that astragalus possesses antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Its compounds, including flavonoids and polysaccharides, may support the immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Moreover, the herb may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Nevertheless, further research involving human participants is required for scientists to draw definitive conclusions about its effects.

Dosage: How Much Astragalus Should I Take?

At present, there is insufficient scientific evidence to establish an appropriate dosage of astragalus for different age groups or conditions.

Determining the right dosage for you may depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, and medical history. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and to always inform them of any herbs or supplements you are using.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Astragalus?

To date, researchers have not established a recommended daily intake or upper tolerable limit for astragalus. Taking excessive amounts of astragalus can raise the risk of adverse effects.

If you suspect that you have taken too much astragalus, it is advisable to contact your healthcare provider promptly for further guidance or seek emergency medical attention.

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