With the resurgence of ancient Eastern forms of healthcare as alternatives to modern Western medicine, people seek plant-based solutions for holistic healing. Several herbs like astragalus have emerged as effective treatments for immune health. Astragalus is an herb commonly used in Chinese medicine for a variety of ailments. Over 3,000 species compose the Astragalus genus that grows mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, but only two types of astragalus are known to be used for health purposes. In fact, a few of the species are toxic to humans. The benefits of astragalus are widely purported in the East, but Western medical research scientists have put the herb to the test to discover if the benefits are scientifically based.
Uses Of Astragalus In Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine promotes the balance of the body’s functions, processes, and fluids. Chinese herbalists traditionally used astragalus combined with other plants to stimulate the immune system, cleanse the liver, and help treat cancer. The herb works to strengthen the immune system primarily against viral infections like influenza, hepatitis, and colds. Hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver. Astragalus is especially beneficial to those suffering with this disease because the herb not only fights viral infections but also serves to cleanse the liver. Although there are no reported serious side effects, those seeking to use astragalus as a health tonic need to consult a trained Chinese herbalists or other naturopathic physician before beginning a comprehensive wellness regime.
Other Reported Benefits Of Consuming Astragalus
Astragalus is a potent antioxidant, and like most other antioxidants it deters degenerative diseases and slows down the aging process. The unassuming, legume-like plant also helps the spleen, circulatory system, and lungs. In supporting the body’s immune health, astragalus works best with other herb combinations like ginseng and periodic alternates such as echinacea.
Medical Science Research Results
Much of the research conducted by medical Western research scientists confirms what traditional Chinese herbalists have purported from the start. Astragalus’ effects on certain types of cancers including breast and lung cancer have been studied and found useful in alternative healthcare treatments. The scientific community needs to conduct further research on astragalus’ proposed benefits to the heart, however.
How To Use Astragalus Effectively
Chinese herbalists traditionally prescribed cutting the root of the astragalus plant and steeping it in hot water to make a tea for medicinal purposes. The astragalus herb also is prepared in soup form along with other herbs. Traditional Chinese medicine seems to advocate using whole foods while modern Westerners use an astragalus extract made using alcohol. Potency is important when attempting to use astragalus for alternative medicine cures. Standardized extracts from reputable manufacturers help to ensure that astragalus is taken in the right quantity and strength for effectiveness. Those choosing to purchase their astragalus roots with the guidance of a Chinese herbalist will learn how to prepare the root to help their particular situation. Often times people believe that just because a substance is all natural and beneficial in moderate amounts that even greater benefits are derived from ingesting more of the substance. However, Chinese herbalists and Western scientists both caution people against consuming too much astragalus because consumption of daily amounts over 25 grams actually weakens the immune system.
Topical Uses Of Astragalus For Healthy Looking Skin
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and its condition is a great indication of one’s overall health. The effects of astragalus as a liver tonic aids in detoxification resulting in a cleaner body and eventually great looking skin. However, astragalus does not stop at supporting the body internally; it is also a powerful external skin tonic. The herb is well-known for its wound healing properties, and its effect on the circulatory system helps to improve blood flow to targeted areas where one applies astragalus. The benefit of improved blood flow when applied to the scalp is perhaps the reason that astragalus is thought to stimulate hair growth. Psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema are all skin conditions that benefit from the external use of astragalus. The antioxidant properties of astragalus makes it an extraordinary natural beauty product that helps diminish the appearance of wrinkles and heal skin damage caused by over exposure to the sun.