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Astragalus

Also indexed as:Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Astragalus membranaceus

Parts Used & Where Grown

Astragalus is native to northern China and the elevated regions of the Chinese provinces, Yunnan and Sichuan. The portion of the plant used medicinally is the four- to seven-year-old dried root, collected in the spring. While over 2,000 types of astragalus exist worldwide, the Chinese version has been extensively tested, both chemically and pharmacologically.1

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Adaptogens such as astragalus are thought to help keep various body systems--including the immune system--functioning optimally.
Heart Attack
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary clinical trials in China suggest that astragalus may be beneficial for people after they have suffered a heart attack.
Hepatitis
2.5 grams licorice three times per day providing 750 mg glycyrrhizin, taken under the supervision of a doctor1 star[1 star]
Early clinical trials in China suggest astragalus root might benefit people with chronic viral hepatitis.
Immune Function
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Complex polysaccharides in astragalus affect the immune system. One study showed that astragalus elevate antibody levels in healthy people.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Astragalus supports the immune system and protects against microbes.
Lupus
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Though a safe amount has not been established, one preliminary trial found that this herb could decrease overactive immune function in people with this disease.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Shen Nung, the founder of Chinese herbal medicine, classified astragalus as a superior herb in his classical treatise Shen Nung Pen Tsao Ching (circa A.D. 100). The Chinese name huang qi translates as "yellow leader," referring to the yellow color of the root and its status as one of the most important tonic herbs. Traditional Chinese Medicine used this herb for night sweats, deficiency of chi (e.g., fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite), and diarrhea.2

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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