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Astragalus Root: 10 Health Benefits & Uses

Astragalus root is an adaptogen herb that has the ability to lower cortisol levels in the body, while fighting off disease. It's believed to be one of the most powerful plants on the planet for the immune system. Astragalus grows from 16-36 inches tall and is native to northeastern regions of China. The root is the only part of the plant that is used medicinally. Astragalus benefits stem from the powerful compounds the root contains, which work to improve the immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and even help prevent cancer. (1)

Astragalus Benefits

1. Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory

Astragalus root contains saponins and polysaccharides that can help reduce inflammation in the body caused by a variety of different illnesses and medical conditions. The herb can prove helpful in reducing inflammation linked to arthritis, heart disease, wounds, fever, and even kidney disease. (2) Astragalus root anti-inflammatory

2. Boosts the Immune System

The most well-known astragalus benefit is the ability to boost the immune system. A study conducted in Beijing found that astragalus root is able to control T-helper cells 1 and 2 to regulate the body's immune responses. (3)

3. Slows or Prevents Tumor Growth

The saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides in astragalus root have been shown to help decrease or eliminate tumors. Studies have also shown that astagalus may be able to reverse multi-drug resistance and may be a helpful addition to chemotherapy. (4)

4. Protects the Cardiovascular System

Astragalus benefits the cardiovascular system, thanks to the antioxidants it contains. Studies have shown that astragalus root has the ability to naturally reduce blood pressure levels and triglyceride levels to lower the risk for heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. (5) Astragalus root heart health

5. Regulates and Prevents Diabetes

Astragalus root has been studied as an anti-diabetic herb. Research has shown that astraglus benefits those who diabetes by relieving insulin resistance and treating diabetes naturally. The saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides in astragalus have anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve diabetes symptoms. (6)

6. Contains Anti-Aging Properties

Many of the compounds found in astragalus root help fight free radical damage and prevent oxidative stress. The herb works as a natural anti-aging remedy by improving brain function, boosting the immune system, and preventing free radical damage that causes premature aging. (7)

7. Heals Wounds

Astragalus benefits cuts, scrapes and other wounds, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2012 study found that wounds treated with the active ingredient in dried astragalus root, astragaloside IV, showed increased recovery rates of two- to three-fold over 48-96 hours. Astragalus benefits wounds by working as a natural anti-scarring, anti-inflammatory, and healing agent. (8) Astragalus root heals wounds

8. Alleviates Chemotherapy Symptoms

Studies have shown that astragalus benefits chemotherapy patients by helping them recover more quickly. Astragalus root has been shown to help reduce chemotherapy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bone marrow suppression. (9)

9. Treats Cold and Flu

Thanks to its antiviral properties, astragalus benefits include treating symptoms of the flu and the common cold. Use the herb regularly to help prevent illness, or combine it with ginseng, licorice, and angelica as a natural cold remedy. (10)

10. Benefits Chronic Asthma

Astragalus benefits patients with chronic asthma by decreasing mucus production as well as hypersensitivity in the airways. The herb can be used as a natural remedy to help prevent and reduce asthma attacks. (11) Caution: Astragalus is generally safe to use, but it is best to start with smaller doses to prevent any unwanted side effects. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use the herb. Those who suffer from autoimmune diseases should talk to their doctors before using astragalus due to its ability to stimulate the immune system. Individuals with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immune system conditions may be especially sensitive to astragalus.

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