Health Benefits of Astragalus

Health Benefits of Astragalus

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  1. Origins

    Astragalus thrives naturally in temperate climates. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The root of the astragalus plant is used in herbal preparations. Dried astragalus root is used in capsules, tinctures and tea bags, both singly and with other combinations of herbs.

    Active Components

    Complex polysaccharides make up the active components in astragalus. Simple carbohydrate chains of starch and cellulose are the building blocks of complex polysaccarides. The chains act together as immunomodulators. Immunomodulators strengthen the immune system, while regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

    Benefits

    Astragalus root is well known for treating a wide variety of upper respiratory illnesses. Asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia respond well to herbal combinations that contain astragalus, according to the health professionals at the University of Michigan Health Center.

    Astragalus also strengthens the immune system and helps to stabilize and control blood pressure. The stimulatory effects of the herb apply to the circulatory and urinary tract as well. People with autoimmune dissorders should consult a physician before taking astragalus. Even though astragalus is beneficial in fighting infections, it may cause adverse reactions or interact with other medications. Astragalus may counteract the effects of beta blockers and blood thinners, that are sometimes prescribed after a person has a heart attack.

    A number of medical professionals claim astragalus can lessen the side effects of popular cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. Others claim that it enhances the effects of specific chemotherapy medications. It has also been suggested that astragalus may prevent certain types of cancers or prohibit the growth of cancer cells. None of these, however, have been proven and more research needs to be performed.

    Dosage

    The recommended dosage for astragalus root is 2 to 3 capsules once a day at mealtime with water. The dosage will vary with each individual. As with any alternative therapy or remedy, consult your physician before using astragalus.

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