Here are the 22 health benefits of astragalus (Huang Qi). A plant, native to Asia, where it has been considered for centuries as a major plant of traditional medicine alongside ginger, Dang Gui, White Fig, Fu Ling, and others.
Extremely effective for several health problems, let’s see all the virtues of this plant and its root.
I. What Is Astragalus
Astragalus is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It is thought to be an adaptogen, helping the body adapt to stress and maintain balance.
It is a species of the Fabaceae family, native to Central Asia and Northern India. Its root bark has been used as an herbal remedy since at least the 12th century and in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
It is an herbaceous perennial plant with erect stems and leaves, reaching 1 to 3 m high. The leaves are usually heart-shaped with toothed edges, while the flowers are small and yellowish green.
The roots have many white fibers visible through their leafy parts.
Astragalus membranaceus has antioxidant properties and may help in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
II. 22 Health Benefits of Astragalus
1. May improve heart health
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent cells from oxidizing, that is, losing electrons to free radicals – unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and cause damage and mutations.
Oxidative damage contributes to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, so finding ways to reduce it is essential to staying healthy.
Astragalus can improve cardiovascular health by inhibiting enzymes involved in inflammation and tissue damage.
This means it can help keep your arteries clear while reducing swelling after an injury or illness like pneumonia or the flu.
Astragalus appears to have potent anti-tumor activity against colon cancer cells in vitro (i.e. outside the body).
It blocks signals from tumor cells that promote their growth and spread in the body by preventing them from activating certain genes.
2. Can prevent heart infections
Astragalus may be able to reduce the risk of heart infections (myocarditis), which can cause inflammation or swelling of the heart muscle.
This herb has been shown to stimulate the immune response and help fight viruses, which may reduce your risk of contracting a virus that causes myocarditis, such as Coxsackievirus B5.
The reason this is especially important for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems is that they are more likely to develop heart infections like myocarditis than healthy people without these conditions.
If you have diabetes or another chronic disease, your immune system doesn’t work as well as it should – making it easier for viruses like Coxsackievirus B5 to attack your heart muscle!
3. May help boost the immune system
The immune system plays a vital role in fighting infections, and it can become weaker with age. This may be why people often develop colds more frequently as they age.
Astragalus has been shown to help strengthen the immune system, which helps fight off illnesses like the common cold.
It is not known exactly how this works, but some research suggests that astragalus may increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells (lymphocytes).
It also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling and pain associated with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
4. May help regulate blood sugar levels
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for many years in treating diabetes.
Many studies show that it can lower blood sugar levels and reduce the symptoms of high blood sugar.
This effect seems to be due to astragaloside IV, which helps slow down the absorption of glucose into your cells by inhibiting an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase.
Astragalus also appears to improve insulin sensitivity, which means your body uses insulin better to lower blood sugar levels.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took 1 gram of astragalus daily had lower fasting blood sugar levels after 12 weeks than those who took a placebo.
Other research suggests that taking 900 mg per day reduces HbA1c (which measures average blood glucose levels over time) by 0.6% over 6 months compared to a placebo.
5. May help relieve colds and flu
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat colds and flu.
Research shows that taking astragalus can help reduce the amount of time and intensity of symptoms. This herb can also help prevent respiratory infections.
6. May lessen the side effects of chemotherapy
Astragalus is an herb used to treat a variety of conditions, including the side effects of chemotherapy.
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that astragalus can improve the immune system and help prevent infections that can be caused by chemotherapy drugs.
7. May help improve kidney function
Astragalus may help improve kidney function. One study showed that it significantly reduced the risk of developing kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
It also appears to improve glucose regulation and reduce blood pressure in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
8. May reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue
Astragalus is a natural herb that can help reduce the severity of chronic fatigue. It can also help boost your energy levels.
One study showed that people who took astragalus for 12 weeks saw their energy levels improve and their quality of life improve.
Another study found that taking astragalus improved fatigue in people with cancer-related fatigue.
Astragalus may also help you cope better with stress, which may be one reason it seems to be so effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome.
In animal studies, researchers found that animals treated with this herb had lower blood pressure and less oxidative damage after experiencing stressful situations.
9. Can reduce stress
Astragalus may help reduce stress. Stress is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Astragalus may also improve sleep quality. Astragalus has been shown to increase the amount of time and quality of sleep in patients with chronic insomnia.
10. May relieve the effects of Seasonal Allergies
Astragalus root is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat seasonal allergies, and studies suggest it may be effective in reducing symptoms.
In a study published in Alternative Medicine Review, researchers found that taking astragalus daily for four weeks improved allergic rhinitis (AR), which includes symptoms such as congestion, itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.
Participants also reported being less tired during their treatment period than before the treatment began.
Another study of people with allergic rhinitis at Soongsil University Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, published in 2011 by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that astragalus extract reduced nasal congestion by about 44 percent after two months, compared with a placebo group.
11. May help reduce the effects of anemia
Astragalus contains large amounts of active ingredients called saponins. Studies show that these compounds can help reduce the effects of anemia by improving the production and quality of red blood cells.
Saponins are also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which may help protect against heart disease and other conditions caused by inflammation in the body.
12. May help relieve the effects of asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes difficulty breathing. Astragalus may help prevent or treat asthma by reducing inflammation, which can lead to a decrease in asthma symptoms.
13. May help wound healing
Astragalus may aid in the healing process by helping the body regenerate. It has been shown to help increase the production of new cells, which can help restore tissue that has been damaged or injured.
Increased cell regeneration is also linked to overall improved health and reduced symptoms associated with aging and disease.
14. Good anti-inflammatory
Astragalus is a medicinal plant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is a natural alternative to ibuprofen, which can help reduce pain and swelling.
Astragalus is also thought to help lower blood pressure, improve immune function and ease allergic reactions.
15. May help reduce sleep problems
Astragalus may help reduce sleep problems. Astragalus has been studied for its effects on sleep, and researchers have found that it can improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster.
16. Has anti-aging properties
Astragalus root is known for its anti-aging properties. This plant helps rejuvenate the skin, reduce wrinkles and improve elasticity.
It also has antioxidant properties, which protect the body from free radicals that cause premature aging or oxidative stress.
The herb has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is an ingredient in many traditional formulas designed to slow the aging process by nourishing and supporting immune function.
17. May help relieve symptoms of menopause
Astragalus has been shown to improve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
In one study, middle-aged women with menopausal symptoms took astragalus extract for three months.
After that time, they reported a decrease in the severity and frequency of hot flashes compared to women who did not take the supplement.
Other studies have also shown that astragalus can help relieve symptoms associated with menopause, including vaginal dryness and decreased sexual desire.
18. May relieve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used for a group of lung conditions that make it difficult to breathe.
It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as other related conditions such as asthma. Astragalus may help reduce the symptoms associated with COPD.
Astragalus also has antioxidant properties, which means it can reduce oxidative stress on the lungs and therefore reduce the risk of developing COPD or worsening your symptoms if you already have it.
19. May help improve liver health
You may have heard of the liver as a place to store your toxins. But did you know that the liver also plays a major role in digestion and nutrient absorption? Or that it is responsible for making cholesterol, which is needed for hormone synthesis and vitamin D?
If you have difficulty digesting food or suffer from gallbladder disease or autoimmune hepatitis, it may be time to add astragalus to your diet.
The active ingredient in this herb is called flavonoids. They help protect against oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals before they can cause damage.
Oxidative stress has been linked to many serious diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
20. May help prevent certain cancers
Astragalus has been shown to boost the body’s immune system, which may help protect against certain types of cancer.
Research has shown that astragalus can reduce tumor growth in mice with breast cancer, as well as inflammation and cell death in prostate cancer cells.
It also appears to have antitumor activity in colorectal adenocarcinoma (a type of colorectal cancer) cell lines.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may help prevent or slow the development of stomach ulcers by inhibiting an enzyme called prostaglandin H synthase (PGHS), which plays an important role in digestive health.
21. May help relieve the effects of HIV/AIDS
Astragalus may help reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS, including immune system dysfunction and opportunistic infections.
It may also be beneficial for people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other diseases.
22. Can help spice up sex life
Astragalus can also improve your sex life. Astragalus root extract has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men and improve sperm count and motility in women.
If you are looking for an herbal supplement that can boost your libido, astragalus is worth a try.
III. How to Take Astragalus
Astragalus can be taken as a capsule, tincture, tea, or as a liquid extract. To increase your chances of benefiting from the plant’s healing properties, it is best to take at least 1,000 mg of astragalus root powder daily, either alone or in combination with other plants such as reishi mushroom and schisandra berry.
There are many ways to make astragalus tea, but the most common method is to boil water, then steep the roots in it for 5-10 minutes before straining the roots.
You can also drink astragalus tea hot or cold, depending on your preference. The taste can be slightly modified by adding honey or sugar.
Astragalus tea can increase your stamina, help fight fatigue and strengthen your immune system.
It can also help relieve insomnia and calm anxiety, making it a good choice for people who are stressed or anxious about something. This is very beneficial for hair health.
IV. Potential Side Effects
Astragalus is generally considered safe for most healthy people when taken in amounts up to 9 grams per day (about 2,000 milligrams), but some people may need to limit their intake due to a risk of side effects.
As with other supplements, it is important to consult your doctor before starting any new herbal medicine or dietary supplement.
In particular, pregnant or nursing women should avoid taking this herb, as little is known about its effects on fetal and infant development.
Because Astragalus is a stimulant and can increase blood pressure, it is also not recommended for regular use by people who have difficulty maintaining normal blood pressure.
V. Other Questions About the Health Benefits of Astragalus
1. How to Store Astragalus
Astragalus can be stored at room temperature. It is best to store astragalus in an airtight container to prevent moisture from being trapped inside the jar.
It is also important not to expose the plant to direct sunlight, as too much light can dry it out and cause it to die prematurely, losing almost all of the health benefits of astragalus.
2. May I give astragalus to my child?
Astragalus is safe for adults, but it is not recommended for children. The FDA states that astragalus has not been evaluated in pregnant women or children.
If you are breastfeeding your baby and have been taking astragalus, ask your doctor if you should stop.
3. Can you take astragalus everyday?
Astragalus can be taken every day for two months at a time. But you should not take it more often than that, as your body may get used to it and not get any additional benefits.
There are also a few precautions to take with Astragalus:
- Do not take this herb if you are pregnant or nursing, as there is not enough information on how it affects these groups of people. If you plan to have children within the next year, talk to your doctor before starting astragalus treatment.
- It is not recommended that people under 12 years of age take this product except under the supervision of a health care professional.
4. How much astragalus should you take a day?
Root powder: Take 4 g to 7 g of root per day (divided into 2 or 3 doses of 2 g.)
Dry extract: Take 250 mg, 2 to 3 times a day.
Tincture (in alcohol). Take 2 ml to 4 ml, 3 times a day.
Decoction (astragalus tea): Boil 15 g to 30 g of dried root in 1 liter of water over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 500 ml to 1 liter per day.
5. Can astragalus cause liver damage?
Astragalus is considered safe for most people, but it can interact with some medications.
Astragalus may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.
As a general rule, avoid using astragalus if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as it may interfere with your body’s ability to heal itself.
Consult your doctor before taking this herb if you have any health problems.
6. Is astragalus good for hair loss?
Astragalus is commonly used to treat hair loss. Astragalus can help thicken and strengthen hair, as well as stimulate circulation in the scalp. It can also be helpful in the treatment of dandruff.
Some people experience negative side effects when taking Astragalus, such as gastrointestinal problems or increased anxiety.
If you are allergic to plants such as ragweed or daisies, it is important to consult your doctor before including astragalus in your diet.
7. Does astragalus increase estrogen?
Astragalus is known to help women with hormonal imbalances. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for premenstrual syndrome.
However, no studies have been done on the interaction between astragalus and estrogen levels in women.
We know that it helps with hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, but we don’t know if it causes an increase or decrease in estrogen levels.
8. Is astragalus good for anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mental health problem that can be debilitating. It is characterized by prolonged feelings of worry or fear, often in response to specific triggers.
Astragalus is thought to have anti-anxiety effects due to its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.
In a placebo-controlled study, researchers gave 40 patients with generalized anxiety disorder either Astragalus mongholicus or a placebo for 8 weeks (in addition to their existing treatment).
The researchers found that those taking Astragalus had better cognitive function than those taking a placebo.
In another study of 58 participants, researchers found that Astragalus was effective in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder after 4 weeks of daily use, but did not appear to be effective after 12 weeks of everyday use.
9. Does astragalus give energy?
The short answer is yes. Astragalus is a stimulant that can increase energy, but it should be used with caution.
You should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have other health problems or are taking medication.
Some studies have shown that astragalus root acts as an adaptogen, which means it helps your body adapt to stressors such as illness or physical activity by balancing your natural response to those stressors.
This means that while Astragalus may give you more energy during times of high stress, it won’t leave you feeling groggy when the stressor has passed and your body returns to normal activity levels.
Studies have shown that astragalus may also have antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects, both of which help prevent free radical damage in the body or inflammation of certain cells and tissues.
10. Does astragalus increase testosterone?
Astragalus is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it helps the body maintain its balance in response to stressors or environmental factors.
It has also been shown to boost testosterone levels and increase libido, making it an ideal supplement for men.
If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your testosterone production, be sure to add astragalus to your diet!
In addition to its hormone-boosting powers, this herb can help treat erectile dysfunction (ED), improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.
11. What does astragalus do for the brain?
Astragalus is believed to help the brain recharge, and some studies show that it protects against oxidative stress. Its root may also help protect against cognitive decline in older people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
In a study of people with Alzheimer’s disease, those who took astragalus supplements showed improved thinking skills.
This suggests that astragalus may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and improve the quality of life for people who already have it.
12. Can you mix ashwagandha with astragalus?
Yes, you can mix ashwagandha with astragalus.
These two plants have similar benefits and work in the same way. They are both adaptogens, which means that they help the body adapt to stress without causing harmful side effects.
In addition, both plants have been shown to boost immune function, increase energy levels and improve sleep quality.
Although a person’s response to these herbs will vary depending on their age and health, they can be beneficial when used in conjunction with other therapies such as meditation or yoga exercises.
13. Is Astragalus good for your skin?
The short answer is yes. Astragalus has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat the skin and body. Yes, skin care is one of the health benefits of astragalus!
While there aren’t many studies on the subject, it seems that most people who use astragalus as a topical treatment have had positive results.
The key word here is “topical” – if you want to reap the potential benefits of this herb for your skin, consider applying an extract directly to the affected areas instead of ingesting it in pill form (which will take much longer to work).
14. Does astragalus affect the menstrual cycle?
Astragalus does not affect the menstrual cycle. Many women conceive children by taking astragalus.
The root is thought to have a tonic effect on the reproductive system and promotes healthy hormone levels in women.
It also helps maintain blood sugar levels and promotes energy flow throughout the body.
15. Does astragalus help with depression?
There is little research supporting the use of astragalus to fight depression, but it may be worth considering if you are struggling with this problem.
The herb has been shown to have beneficial effects on the immune system and may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve some symptoms of depression.
16. Is astragalus good for arthritis?
Astragalus is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
In addition, it contains compounds that block the production and release of pro-inflammatory chemicals in your body. Therefore, it can help relieve arthritis pain by reducing inflammation in your joints.
17. Does astragalus increase muscle growth?
Yes. Astragalus is known to improve muscle growth, according to research conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
This herb can also help increase testosterone levels in men, which can also promote muscle growth.
18. Best time of day to take astragalus
Astragalus is thought to be best taken in the morning, but it can also be taken in the evening. The time should depend on your schedule, but taking astragalus tea before bed can help you sleep better. But overall the health benefits of astragalus will be there no matter what time of day.
A Review of the Pharmacological Action of Astragalus Polysaccharide
A critical review of Astragalus polysaccharides: From therapeutic mechanisms to pharmaceutics
Repair Effects of Astragalus Polysaccharides with Different Molecular Weights on Oxidatively Damaged HK-2 Cells