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A member of the pea family, Astragalus is an important tonic herb in Chinese medicine. In the same family as licorice root, it has a sweet taste and a similar warming, strengthening quality. Astragalus is a classic tonic herb, on par with American ginseng, and far less expensive. In Chinese medicine it is believed to strengthen the wei chi, the protective energy that surrounds the body. In Western terms, we would say it strengthens the immune system.
Research showed that of astragalus used with cancer patients tended recover faster and live longer after undergoing radiation or chemotherapy if they were also given astragalus. In American studies, 90% of cancer patients had an increase in white blood cell count, improved resistance and enhanced digestion. It prevents damage to bone marrow and the immune system from chemotherapy and radiation. Similar Canadian studies also indicate that astragalus does not target the cancer cells, but it does advance recovery and adrenal cortical function.
Astragalan B, has been shown to have antiviral properties. It appears to bind to viruses and helps the immune system recognize and destroy them. Astragalus has also been shown to increase interferon production, which helps the body respond to viral infections. This makes it useful for viral disorders like colds and flu.
Astragalus helps regulate fluids in the body, acting as a diuretic and reducing excessive sweating or night sweats. Since it also reduces thirst, it has a balancing effect on the fluid control mechanisms in the body. It has also been shown to increase endurance.
Astragalus can be taken as a tonic by people who have a tendency to chronic respiratory illness. It also benefits the circulatory system. More than 82% of heart patients displayed improvement on EKGs after administration of astragalus. After receiving injections, congestive heart failure sufferers professed that chest tightness, breathing, and aerobic activity all improved. Those afflicted with a disorder known as Coxsackie B often find relief with astragalus due to its ability to regulate heart rhythms and to limit cellular damage.
The Chinese culture has long used astragalus for the treatment of chronic hepatitis. It has proven to decrease glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) serum levels. Symptoms have been eliminated with one to two months of treatment.
The single herb can be taken to increase energy and reduce stress; it improves immunity in people who suffer from frequent colds and infections. Unlike ginseng, it is well suited to the young and to physically active people.
Astragalus (100 capsules)