We all know about herbs and how they can be used in the cooking process, but they can also be invaluable in treating ailments. The Chinese for example, are experts in this field. They should certainly know what they’re doing as they’ve had centuries of experience. There are lots of amazing plants involved in the process. Astragalus is just one of them, but how much do you know about this healthy herb and its healing properties? Well this article will explain everything.
What is Astragalus?
You can find this truly wonderful plant in Asia, and its name means, ‘yellow leader’, simply because of its famous yellow root. It does have several other names including Milk vetch and Huang Qi. It’s the root we use for medicinal purposes, and it’s specially prepared before use.
This plant is considered one of the most important herbs used in Chinese medicine.
How is It Used?
The Chinese will create what they call, ‘a decoction’, with the plant. They place the roots in boiling water then sometimes use it combined with other herbs like Ginseng. You can also find astragulus in many health stores as a food supplement. The herb is actually very popular in the West and many people swear by it. But remember, what works for one individual may not work for another in terms of results. But For more than 2,000 years, Chinese herbalists have used astragalus to help the human body resist diseases including heart problems, liver and kidney problems, and infections.
Astragalus is sold in tea bags, tinctures, and even capsules. It is also available as dried slices of the root and as a powder. Visit your local health store for more information and advice on how to take it.
So Why Do We Use It?
Well the herb can perform many wonders and there’s an impressive list of ailments it can both prevent and cure. Traditionally, the Chinese will use the herb for things like energy tonics, diarrhea and even night sweats. It’s also been known to help clear up the dreaded cold, but though more evidence is needed some experts believe it can help the immune system big time.
So Let’s Look at the Immune System Theory?
Ok so we’ve mentioned experts are getting excited. This is because it’s thought astragulus can actually improve the function of the immune system. It could possibly do this by increasing the production and population of immune cells in the body. It’s also a possibility it could have certain anti-viral properties, but of course much more research is needed to confirm this, and the work is ongoing. If this is found to be the case then the herb will certainly shoot further up the alternative medicine world rankings!
More about Astragalus and Heart Disease
You’ll be pleased to discover the herb can be effective for those suffering from a heart condition or ongoing problem. It’s thought it can lower blood pressure because it has a diuretic effect enabling blood vessels to relax even under certain stress. Yet again there is no conclusive evidence and more studies are being undertaken. For this reason you should consult your doctor if you feel it might be of benefit to you.
Recent scientific evidence does not back up some claims astragalus can prevent or cure cancer, extend survival, or reduce side effects of conventional cancer treatment. Some experts have intimated it may enhance the effects of certain chemotherapy drugs, but more research is required before a conclusion can be reached
When considering taking Astragalus you should consult a medical professional as it could interfere with certain other medications:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Multiple Sclerosis
Anyone who has recently had transplant surgery of any kind should also talk to their specialist if thinking of using the herb. The effects on pregnant women and children aren’t fully known, so it’s best to check.
So as you can clearly see the herb can be beneficial for a number of uses and of course, the Chinese have used this for centuries. If you’re thinking of using it then you must get advice from your medical professional, and you can take it in all sorts of forms. More research needs to be done involving certain conditions, and you must be certain it’ll be fine for you personally. It certainly has its place and can work well for certain conditions. In terms of herbs: