By TNT Bureau
Mar 16, 2017: Astragalus, a plant from the legume family, is a Chinese herb used in traditional Chinese medicines. It helps to ward off stress and other diseases. It is a powerful herb and the extract from this root is used as a medicine, and also as a natural diet supplement.
This flowering plant, also called milkvetch root and Huang-qi, grows from 16-36 inches tall and is native to the north and eastern regions of China. It is also been traced back to Mongolia and Korea. Astragalus roots are harvested from 4-year-old plants and are the only part of the plant that’s used medicinally.
Astragalus contains three components that allow the plant to have such a positive impact on human health—saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides. Saponins can lower cholesterol, improve the immune system and prevent cancer. Flavanoids provide health benefits through cell signaling. They show antioxidative qualities, control and scavenge of free radicals, and can help prevent heart disease, cancer and immunodeficiency viruses. Polysaccharides have antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory capabilities, among other health benefits.
Astragalus boosts immune system and gives energy to the body. It also helps to treat common cold, upper respiratory problems, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and blood pressure. Astragalus is an adaptogen. Adaptogens adapt according to the needs of the body.
Health benefits of Astragalus
Several studies have shown that Astragalus is a heart-friendly herb as it is rich in antioxidants. It also lowers cholesterol levels. The flavonoids present in astragalus are antioxidants that help prevent plaque buildup in arteries and narrowing of vessel walls by protecting the inner wall of the vessel. According to s study, injection of astragalus, combined with conventional treatment for viral myocarditis (inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall), makes treatment more successful in heart conditions.
Studies have indicated that Astragalus root extract gives relief from the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Astragalus helps in controlling the stress level and calm the mind and body as it lowers cortisol—the stress hormone. People who suffer mood swings and nervous tension may benefit from Astragalus.
Insomnia, sleeplessness, and other sleep related issues can be cured by regular consumption of Astragalus root.
Astragalus helps to reduce signs of ageing as it helps in the growth of tissues and prevents chronic illness symptoms. This root is also beneficial for problems like wrinkles and age spots.
Astragalus protects the immune system from attacks from foreign substances. It makes it stronger as it has natural antibiotic properties, and can increase resistance to viral infections. It also protects cells against free radical damage.
Inflammation is the root cause for many diseases—from arthritis to heart disease. Many studies show that saponins and polysaccharides found in astragalus can reduce inflammatory in a number of illnesses, helping to heal wounds and reducing inflammation in diabetic kidney disease.
The best way to consume Astragalus is to add it in soups or drink it like tea.