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4 Health Benefits of Astragalus Root [Infographic]

Astragalus Root
Astragalus root is considered one of the key herbs fundamental to traditional Chinese medicine and has been used in various systems of medicine for thousands of years. Scientists have found evidence confirming or showing promise that the herb may have anti-aging benefits, and improve heart, immune and liver function, making it a potent medicinal herb to add to any tea blend.
Astragalus Root Infographic
What is astragalus?
Astragalus is a flowering plant that has been used in Chinese, Persian and other Asian cultures for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. It was believed to protect the body from various diseases and to boost the immune system.
The herb was first mentioned in ancient writings from the first century AD. It was used as an energy tonic to increase stamina and endurance, and to raise immune resistance. Today, it is still commonly used today to support cardiovascular health and to improve immune function. There is significant scientific interest in its potential anti-aging and anti-cancer effects.
Botanical name: Astragalus membranaceus
Other names: Milk vetch, huang qi
Description: A perennial plant that grows to about 1 feet tall and has hairy stems and leaves
Habitat: Native to China, Mongolia and Korea and grows in grassy regions and on mountainsides
Properties*: Anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antiviral, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory
The health benefits of astragalus root according to research
1. Anti-Aging
Astragalus may have anti-aging benefits by improving brain and immune function as indicated so far in animal studies. Researchers believe astragalosides, constituents found in astragalus, may be responsible for these effects as they are thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-aging properties. Another study found that compounds contained in astragalus slow cell aging through reducing oxidative stress (a contributing factor in aging) and increasing DNA repair activity.
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles AIDS Institute are now studying the function of cycloastragenol, a compound extracted from astragalus root, in the aging process of immune cells, and its effects on the response of immune cells to viral infections.
2. Fitness & Strength
Preliminary clinical research suggests that taking astragalus along with other herbs could improve athletic performance by increasing time to exhaustion and reducing recovery times. Astragalus may also help increase endurance, according to investigations conducted in China.
In a 2014 study published in the academic journal Molecules, astragalus was found to improve exercise performance, increase forelimb grip strength, and had anti-fatigue effects on laboratory mice. The researchers suggested that astragalus may be a potential aid in exercise training.
3. Heart and Circulatory Health
Astragalus has been shown in human studies to have a material effect on improving heart function in those with congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should). In one particular study, astragalus was found to improve cardiac function in aged patients with chronic heart failure.
Preliminary clinical evidence suggests that astragalus may also help control blood sugar and insulin levels, which could benefit those with type 2 diabetes. Several research studies in which astragalus was used in combination with other ingredients showed improvements in fasting, blood sugar and insulin levels.
4. Immunity and Overall Health
Astragalus has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and is often promoted for its positive effects on the liver, and on the immune and cardiovascular systems. There is preliminary evidence that the herb can restore or improve immune function in certain cases of immune deficiency.
In the US, researchers have looked at astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, astragalus supplements seem to help people recover faster and live longer.
Preliminary studies suggest astragalus may also have anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects, specifically against melanoma, leukemia, and gastric cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, in instances of chemoresistance in the treatment of liver cancer, astragalus showed potential in reversing resistance. As a result, researchers believe it may be a positive complement to conventional chemotherapy. The herb may also have positive effects against other conditions such as hepatitis and HIV.

Disclaimer

* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.

Sources

"Astragalus." University of Maryland Medical System. University of Maryland School of Medicine, March 24, 2015. Web. July 23, 2016.
Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2016. Print.
Hong Lei, Bin Wang, Wei-Ping Li, Yan Yang, Ai-Wu Zhou, Min-Zhu Chen. “Anti-aging effect of astragalosides and its mechanism of action.” Acta Pharmacol Sin. March 2003;24(3):2304.
Jin-guo Zhang, Na Yang, Hua He, Guang-he Wei, Dong-sheng Gao, Xiao-li Wang, Xue-zhong Wang, Guang-yao Song. “Effect of Astragalus injection on plasma levels of apoptosis-related factors in aged patients with chronic heart failure.” Chin J Integr Med. September 2005;11(3):18790.
Kane, Charles W. Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions. New York, NY: Lincoln Town Press, 2009. Print.
L L Tang, J F Sheng, C H Xu, K Z Liu. “Clinical and experimental effectiveness of Astragali compound in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B.” J Int Med Res. May 2009;37(3):6627.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. July 3, 2016.
Na D, Liu FN, Miao ZF, Du ZM, Xu HM. “Astragalus extract inhibits destruction of gastric cancer cells to mesothelial cells by anti-apoptosis.” World J Gastroenterol 2009;15(5): 570-577.
Peichang Wang, Zongyu Zhang, Ying Sun, Xinwen Liu, Tanjun Tong. “The two isomers of HDTIC compounds from Astragali Radix slow down telomere shortening rate via attenuating oxidative stress and increasing DNA repair ability in human fetal lung diploid fibroblast cells.” DNA Cell Biol. January 2010;29(1):339.
Steven Russell Fauce, Beth D. Jamieson, Allison C. Chin, Ronald T. Mitsuyasu, Stan T. Parish, Hwee L. Ng, Christina M. Ramirez Kitchen, Otto O. Yang, Calvin B. Harley and Rita B. Effros. “Telomerase-Based Pharmacologic Enhancement of Antiviral Function of Human CD8+ T Lymphocytes”. The Journal of Immunology. The Journal of Immunology November 15, 2008 vol. 181 no. 10 7400-7406.
Tzu-Shao Yeh, Hsiao-Li Chuang, Wen-Ching Huang, Yi-Ming Chen, Chi-Chang Huang, and Mei-Chich Hsu. “Astragalus membranaceus Improves Exercise Performance and Ameliorates Exercise-Induced Fatigue in Trained Mice”. Molecules. 2014;19(3):2793-2807.
Z L Zhou, P Yu, D Lin. “Study on effect of Astragalus injection in treating congestive heart failure.” Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. October 2001;21(10):7479.
Zhang, Yifang, and Yingzhi Yao. Your Guide to Health with Foods & Herbs: Using the Wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine. New York, NY: Better Link, 2012. Print.
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