Astragalus root’s scientific name is Astralagus Membranaceus. This plant belongs to the legume family. It is commonly known as Huang Chi, Astragalus Huang Qi and milk vetch. In Chinese, Huang Qi means ‘yellow leader’ as the root is in yellow colour and it is considered a leader among herbs.
Astragalus has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. This plant is usually combined with other herbs to protect the body against disorders.
Astragalus is native to China and is grown in Korea, Mongolia and Japan as well.
It is known as an adaptogen, which means that it is said to give protection to the body against physical, emotional and mental stresses.
Astragalus protects the body against diabetes and cancer. It comprises of antioxidants which protect the cells from damage by free radicals. Because of its antiviral properties it helps to prevent cold and flu. It acts as a diuretic which means it helps to flush out excess fluids.
In native China, the root of the plant is dried, coated with honey and sold as a snack.
It does not interact with other prescription medications except for a few and other herbs.
There are several studies being done to understand the complete benefits of Astragalus.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ASTRAGALUS ROOT
It is a perennial plant which has small yellow flowers. The plant grows up to 36 inches in height. The stem is hairy and has 12-18 pairs of leaflets. The root is thick with a fibrous, yellowish, hard skin and has a mild liquorice taste. The Astragalus plant needs to be at least four years old before its roots can be used for medicinal purposes.
PARTS USED AS MEDICINE
The dried root of the plant is used as a medicine. It is often used to form capsules and tablets for medicinal purposes. Tincture too is prepared from the root decoction. It is also used in an injectable form for usage in hospitals in Asian countries. Astragalus is also part of topical applications for wound dressings.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF ASTRAGALUS ROOT
- It improves the digestive and adrenal gland functions.
- It boosts and strengthens the immune system by improving the capability of white blood cells. It helps fight against bacteria, viruses and fungi. The root also promotes the interferon production in the body. Helps to build up resistance against colds and flu.
- Addition of this herb to cancer medicines increases the effectiveness of the medicine and reduces the side effects.
- It can be used as a supportive medicine for preventing liver damage.
- It promotes body metabolism and sweating of the body, provides energy to overcome fatigue.
- Astragalus is beneficial in reducing high blood pressure and improves the immune system.
- Heart patients can use this herb for better blood circulation and also protection of the tissues.
- It relieves angina pain without causing any side effects.
- This herb Fights against the formation of kidney stones and relieves bladder infections caused by bacteria.
- In diabetic patients, it improves blood circulation and improves fasting blood sugar levels.
- It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Astragalus contains various saponins, polysaccharides and isoflavones.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Astragalus has several properties and is used to relieve diseases like:
- Anemia: The use of Astragalus may increase the blood count in people suffering from aplastic anemia.
- Hepatitis: A combination of herbs when used with Astragalus to relieve patients with Hepatitis gave encouraging results.
- Seasonal allergies: Astragalus reduces the symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis.
- Fatigue: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy regain their strength by using Astragalus.
- Cancer: When it is used with other herbs like Ligustrum lucidum, Astragalus proves effective in relieving cervical cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.
- Wounds: Astragalus can be applied on the skin for increasing blood flow and helps in speedy recovery.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING ASTRAGALUS ROOT
The herb should not be consumed by persons suffering from fever or an illness. It is advised to use it while recuperating from the illness.
Persons using beta-blocker or blood thinning medications should consult the doctor before consuming Astragalus as it may cause bleeding.
It is always better to take herbal medication under guidance from a certified practitioner.
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