The best principles and healing herbs of medicine from the Far East are often ignored in America, but the runaway success of the system has led many health researchers to believe that it’s about past due time that we started paying attention.
Chinese medicine has a long history of successful use, along with health benefits of herbal and holistic treatments that have been meticulously catalogued and shared over centuries of research and applications.
One of the most foundational herbs of this medicinal tradition is astragalus, and while it is not used as often in the United States and other parts of the world it is quickly gaining notoriety and inclusion in many supplements, superfoods and herbal tonics because of its surprising effectiveness in several different healing capacities.
Chinese medicine is a much more complex system than we all realize in terms of combining various forms of herbs as medicine, but astragalus is a versatile herb with unique beneficial properties.
Astragalus is a perennial flowering plant in the family Fabaceae.
Typically take in the form of a tincture or powder like this one, astragalus can aid your immune system, bring a “warming energy” to your internal organs, protect against colds and viral infections, and to act as an overall body tonic that will help against all forms of stress while giving you more energy.
Although I have taken astragalus for a while and often keep it in my herbal medicine cabinet, I was actually blown away by something while conducting research recently.
Astragalus is capable of preventing the shortening of our telomeres, which extend the lifespan of your DNA according to a 2008 UCLA study that also found it may be effective in supporting the immune system against HIV.
Telomeres are shortened throughout our lives due to the stress-related aging process, which essentially gives your cells a shorter lifespan. The shortening of these telomeres has been linked to all sorts of diseases, mainly the big ones like heart disease and diabetes among many others.
The bad news is that the shortening of telomeres is a natural process and one that we haven’t quite figured out how to stop completely just yet.
The good news is that you can definitely delay the process by using herbs like astragalus, a powerhouse of good health that is especially effective for supporting overall health and well-being.
Astragalus is also known for the following properties:
-Also known as huáng qí or milkvetch, and is one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine
-There are over 2,000 species of astragalus, but only two varieties, Astragalus membranaceus and Astragalus mongholicus, are primarily used in the supplement industry
-It can be taken in liquid extract, tea, and powder forms
-It has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and its main functions are to improve the immune system and reduce inflammation
You can get astragalus in a nutrient blend that has been scientifically created to increase telomere length.
Use code ‘HEALTHWORKS’ to receive a discount at checkout, or click on the picture below.
Other Health Benefits of Astragalus
Aside from these health benefits, astragalus has many potential uses.
-Some research has shown that it may help kill infections in laboratory animals
-Astragalus has been shown to potentially widen the blood vessels and increase the amount of blood pumped from your heart
-May prevent infection in people with reduced kidney function.
One study found that the risk of kidney infection was lowered by almost 40% when astragalus was taken at a dose of 7.5 to 15 grams over a period of three to six months by patients with badly compromised kidney function from a condition called nephrotic system
-Astragalus also can support the lymphatic system by alleviating congestion and swelling in the body, especially when taken with echinacea
Astragalus has a lightly, slightly nutty taste. I’ve been taking it lately by putting organic astragalus powder in my smoothies or coffee.
It is also found in capsules like these ones.
While it is best to take under the care of a dedicated Chinese herbal practitioner and with a doctor’s permission, many people have gotten excellent results by experimenting with the herb.
Astragalus has also been known to support the health of the lymphatic system, stabilizes blood sugar, and supports and tonifies the kidneys. Astragalus root may improve blood flow as well as markers of kidney function, according to an article from Healthline.com which includes both benefits and possible side effects (read it here).
If you’d like to try astragalus for yourself, click here or click on the picture below.
I like to try out different herbs like astragalus in three-four week trials or so, “cycling” them out as I see fit, such as with maca root, which can create a dependency in the body.
Astragalus is one of the more commonly and safely used herbs in the world, however, and is useful for people of all ages.