What is Astragalus Membranaceus?

Astragalus membranaceus is a perennial plant native to northern and eastern China, Mongolia and Korea. It was used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, often in combination with other herbs (cordyceps sinensis), primarily for boosting immunity and as a tonic to lift the mood and increase strength in chronic tiredness and lack of energy (adaptogen). It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Astragalus membranaceus helps the body to resist viral infections by increasing the production of interferon, an immune factor that prevents the propagation of viruses.

In combination with the Panax ginseng, astragalus membranaceus has been shown as a powerful protection against stress, whereas in combination with ehinaecea represents protection of the common mucosal infections (colds and fever). Traditional Chinese medicine recommends the use of this herb drink with echinacea when you notice the first sign of a cold. As well as being used to protect and support the immune system and thus prevent colds and respiratory infections, astragalus membranaceus is recommended for people suffering from diabetes. It also lowers blood pressure, and there is evidence that protects the liver.

Astragalus extract is recommended for patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Numerous studies point to the positive role of astragalus in such patients. It strengthens the body’s natural protective function by stimulating the T cell response. This plant does not directly attack cancer cells in people suffering from cancer, but strengthens the body’s immune defense system to fight against the development of cancer cells. There was also evidence that the increased production and activity of white blood cells. Numerous studies have confirmed the traditionally known immunizing effect of Astragalus – its extract restored immune system to 90% of patients suffering from cancer.

Astragalus Benefits and Side Effects

Known astralagus benefits are:

  • stimulates the immune system
  • reduces the risk of certain forms of cancer formation
  • reduces the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and speeds recovery from them by acting  as an adaptogen (nonspecific resistance to stress)
  • raises the energy level of the human body (at the chronic fatigue and malaise)
  • improves appetite in patients
  • improves mental function, which is noted in particular  in old people
  • accelerates wound healing

Research has shown that Astragalus membranaceus is particularly useful for symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. A strong immune system is a key to maintaining good health. The immune system is our body’s army: it fights with bacteria, viruses, fungi.

Astragalus membranaceus is safe for use in the proper doses and can be taken with other immunostimulating plant extracts because of its synergistic effect. Recommended dosage of dried astragalus root is 5-20g. per day in the form of tea. When it comes to side effects of astragalus membranaceus – they are few. Rare side effects of astragalus are: nausea, bloating, diarrhea and some allergic reactions.  Even if astragalus membranaceus is a medicine which comes from nature, it still can cause allergic reactions. This article was about astragalus membranaceus, and astragalus benefits and side effects.