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Astragalus Membranaceus Root

picture of Astragalus Membranaceus
Image courtesy of http://www.herbs.org/gallery.htm

In Chinese it is called huang qi, hwanggi and bei qi, (in traditional Chinese medicine, the vital energy or life force proposed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang), ogi and milk vetch.

Astragalus is native to China. Used for centuries it is one of the best-known immune stimulating herbs in Chinese medicine. Some of the known active components include choline, flavonoids, free amino acids, trace minerals, polyphenols and a polysaccharide called astragalan B. Astragalus is used as one of the ingredients in the five most popular Chinese herbal combinations. It is often used in combination with licorice, ginseng and angelica. Uses include:

Astragalus also reduces autoimmune response (allergy, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus), and stimulates B-cells and antibody production. Researchers confirmed that astragalus enhances T-cell activity and stimulates macrophages, which produce cytokine tumor necrosis factor—a potent immune weapon—and interleukin-6 which mediates acute-phase response. At the same time, astragalus suppressed tumor growth and restored immune function compromised by tumor growth. A recent study in Houston found it restored T-cell function in nine out of ten cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Modern Chinese use astragalus in combination with other herbs in Fu Zheng therapy for patients undergoing chemotherapy. 4

In a study on astragalus extract, researchers tested a group of people and measured the number of their white blood cells that looked old, and the number that looked young. After three months of supplementing with astragalus extract, their immune systems acted up to 20 years younger. 5

Can boost growth hormone and testosterone levels to help increase the muscle to fat ratio and raises thyroid hormone production to accelerate metabolism and weight loss.

A combination of Astragalus and Ginseng was found to lower LDL cholesterol levels, increase strength and reduce body fat in a 2005 clinical survey. 6

Numerous studies show the herb enhances immune function by increasing natural killer cell activity, increasing T cell activity and enhancing macrophage activity in immune-compromised patients. 7

1. Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology by Michael Friedman, ND
2. Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
3. Smart Medicine for Healthier Living : Practical A-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Adults by Janet Zand, LAc, OMD, Allan N. Spreed, MD, CNC, James B. LaValle, RPh, ND
4. http://darcynat.com/hepo_whprotocol.asp
5. http://www.alsearsmd.com/the-best-herb-to-boost-your-immunity/
6. http://www.jssm.org/vol5/n1/7/v5n1-7pdf.pdf
7. http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Adaptogenic_Herbs.shtml
8. http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/herbs/astragalus-benefits-sideeffects.php
9. http://www.womens-health-symmetry.com/astragalus.html




Astragalus is normally used as an ingredient in the following Healthelicious products: