29 Aug 8 Astragalus Health Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects
Astragalus has a long background in Chinese medicine as a complementary approach to hepatitis, cancer, and other problems. Now in the western world, it has been rediscovered as a “superb herb”, but most of its utilizes still lack strong clinical evidence. This informative article reveals Astragalus benefits, dosage, and side effects.
What is Astragalus?
Astragalus is a huge genus of about 3,000 species belonging to the legume family Fabaceae. This plant is a native to the temperate regions from the Northern hemisphere. Common names include milkvetch (many species), locoweed (several species in North America) and goat’s thorn.
Astragalus root is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in which it’s also known as Huang Qi.
It is also utilized as a “Qi tonifier” in the oriental system of medicine.
Many Astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus and are promoted as life-prolonging extracts for human use.
The origin is the only part of this plant used medicinally and is normally harvested from 4-year old plants. Herbalists telephone astragalus an “adaptogen”.
- Boosts the Immune system
- Helps fight infections
- Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
- Protects the kidneys and heart
- Might have anticancer effects
- Interacts with immunosuppressants
- Might Not Be suitable for autoimmune ailments
- People report headaches and insomnia from higher doses
- Most conditions demand intravenous program
Potentially Active Chemical Constituents
Polysaccharides are the most important functional constituents in Astragalus and accountable for the antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory capacities of the herb.
It also has several saponins, known as Astragalosides (I to X) that are famous for their ability to lower cholesterol and enhance the immune system.
Astragalus also comprises flavonoids which show antioxidative qualities and help prevent cardiovascular disease and immunodeficiency. Other components include amino acids, folic acid, etc and nutritional supplements like selenium, zinc, and aluminum.
In The Chinese medicinal system, Astragalus is suggested for spleen deficiency symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, spontaneous perspiration and lack of appetite.
Other traditional indications include squandering Ailments (a procedure in which disease causes muscle and fat tissue to”squander” away), night sweats, chronic ulcerations and nausea, numbness and paralysis of the limbs and edema.
Astragalus is also traditionally used as an antidiarrheal or a laxative and for the treatment of common cold.
Health Benefits of Astragalus
1) Heart Disease
Intravenous injection of Astragalus considerably improved heart function in 2 studies of 134 patients using congestive heart failure (CHF).
Another study Astragalus (Astragaloside IV) injected to 19 patients with Congestive heart failure decreased symptoms of chest discomfort and dyspnea (shortness of breath) from 15/19 patients. There was also a substantial improvement in heart function.
92 patients with ischemic heart disease treated with Astragalus experienced considerable relief from angina (chest pain) And heart rate improvement. In another research on angina pectoris, 20 patients given Astragalus for two weeks had an increase in heart function.
Astragalus (A. membranaceus injection) combined with traditional treatment appeared to improve the treatment of viral myocarditis (heart problems ) in six different studies. However, the authors pointed to constraints like small sample size, limited variety of trials, and a high risk of prejudice.
A. mongholicus, when given to rats using elevated lipids, resulted in a substantial decrease in the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL, and a gain in HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
In obese rats, investigators detected the potential of astragalus to improve the role of the heart and blood vessels.
Astragalus Has the capability to boost heart function and assist with different types of heart disease, but well-designed clinical trials should affirm these consequences. The simple fact that most studies used intravenous forms is a substantial limitation.
2) Immune Response
In 1 study, 8 grams of Astragalus given orally to 14 healthy volunteers for 2 months considerably stimulated white blood cells. In another study, Astragalus extract given to healthy adults for 20 times increased blood IgM, IgE, and cAMP.
An herbal tincture of Astragalus stimulated CD4 and CD8 T-cells and triggered the creation of CD69 in human subjects.
Viral myocarditis patients showed improved T3, T4 and T4/T3 cell ratios indicating an increased immune response when given an infusion of Astragalus orally.
One Chinese researcher found that astragalus could decrease overactive immune function in people with systemic Lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disorder.
Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) activated B cells and macrophages in human and mouse tumor cell lines.
APS suppressed regulatory T-cells (Treg) and pioneered the CD4+T-cell-mediated immunity in mice with P. aeruginosa disease.
In preliminary clinical research, astragalus has revealed immune-supporting effects by stimulating macrophage and natural killer cell action and inhibiting T-helper cell type 2 cytokines.
The Consequences of astragalus on the immune response look promising, but the lack of strong clinical evidence prevents us from drawing conclusions.
3) Kidney Function
High-dose Astragalus injection used together with cyclophosphamide (CTX) was effective in reducing infection rates and enhancing kidney and immune function in 43 patients using Lupus nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).
According To one analysis, Astragalus injection enhanced kidney function in 67 patients with IgA nephropathy (Immunoglobulin A buildup from the kidneys).
In A meta-analysis of five clinical trials (429 sufferers ), Astragalus injection revealed a protective influence in hypertension patients with kidney damage.
Another meta-analysis (25 studies with 1,804 patients), it could also improve kidney function in patients with diabetic nephropathy.
Scientists Have observed the capacity of Astragalus to reduce kidney inflammation, enhance their function, and protect them against toxic drugs in multiple animal research
Clinical studies discussed previously used injected Astragalus; oral consumption likely would not produce the same consequences.
Back in China, Astragalus is the most popular herb for diabetes management.
According to a meta-analysis of 13 studies with 1,054 participants, both oral and intravenous administration can reduce glucose levels, when added to standard therapy. Oral ingestion also significantly reduced hemoglobin A1c, a step of long-term blood glucose levels.
But, the authors pointed to the limited quality of the included trials and indicated further investigation.
Astragalus could effectively control blood glucose, reduce the free radicals, and encourage the antioxidative action in 84 pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
In laboratory animals, scientists analyzed the potential of Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) to decrease insulin resistance and ER stress induced by high glucose.
Astragalus enhanced fasting blood sugar levels and kidney function in diabetic rat models.
APS could increase pancreatic beta-cell mass in type 1 diabetic mice.
5) Cervical Cancer Remedy
The Findings mentioned below stem from preliminary clinical research and animal research. They ought to guide additional investigation but shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of the anticancer effects until more study is finished. Astragalus can’t prevent or cure cancer; it might only be thought of as a complementary approach to cancer therapy by your doctor.
As per a meta-analysis of 34 studies with 2,815 Cancer patients, Astragalus-based Chinese herbal medicine combined with chemotherapy may improve survival, increase tumor response, and reduce chemotherapy toxicity. The authors underlined the low caliber of the included trials and indicated further research.
The Addition of Astragalus to conventional treatment (chemo) considerably enhanced quality of life and reduced the symptoms from 136 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
In 120 cancer patients, the addition of Astragalus to chemotherapy may”inhibit the development of tumors, reduce the toxic-adverse effect of chemotherapy, raise the immune function of the organism and also enhance the standard of life in patients”, according to study authors.
Astragalus Polysaccharide (APS) could promote the creation and maturation of cancer-fighting immune cells in the samples from chronic myelogenous leukemia patients.
Astragalus saponins (AST) suppressed the growth of colon cancer in Mice with equivalent efficacy and fewer side effects, compared with chemotherapy.
In Test tubes, this plant showed inhibitory effects against liver and stomach cancer cells, but this doesn’t imply exactly the exact same impact in living organisms.
Further, well-designed clinical trials are needed to check the potential of Astragalus to increase cancer therapy.
6) Anemia and Other Blood Diseases
Therapy with Astragalus origin was effective and secure in 57 children with beta-thalassemia. It improved hemoglobin and red blood cells while causing no significant side effects.
Astragalus Injection improved therapeutic efficacy and stimulated the production of blood elements from 60 patients with chronic aplastic anemia.
Astragalus (60 g) as a portion of a Chinese herbal medication reduced the severity of aplastic anemia in 62 patients, yet this study lacked a control group.
In 115 patients, Astragalus was successful against leukopenia (a reduction in the number of white blood cells), especially in higher dosages (2×15 mg daily). Once again, the absence of placebo control prevents us from drawing on solid conclusions.
Researchers observed the potential of the herb to safeguard and stimulate bone marrow cells from anemic mice.
No Valid clinical evidence supports the use of astragalus for some of the conditions within this part. Below is a summary of up-to-date animal studies, cell-based research, or low-quality clinical trials that ought to spark an additional investigation. But, you shouldn’t interpret them as supportive of any health advantage.
7) Respiratory Problems
Astragalus Played a role in preventing the recurrence of asthma at a study of 90 children. A combination of astragalus and regular treatment showed better consequences.
According To two low-quality clinical trials, Astragalus may reduce the incidence of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) in children with nephrotic syndrome.
Astragalus (Astragaloside IV) could prevent the development of chronic asthma and decrease asthma attacks in mice.
8) Brain Protection
Astragalus could improve functional recovery in 78 stroke patients.
Extract of the herb enhances nerve injury in research on mice.
In rats, energetic components of Astragalus reduced iron overload as found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Animal and Cellular Research (Lacking Evidence)
No Clinical evidence supports the use of astragalus for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the present creature and cell-based studies. They ought to direct further investigational efforts but shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of any medical benefit.
Both oral and colonic Astragalus (A. membranaceus) treatments shown significant protection against colitis (colon Disease) in rats.
Alcoholic and water extracts of Astragalus (A. hamosus) given orally generated an extremely significant anti-inflammatory effect in rats in another study.
10) Cellular Aging
TA-65Ⓡ Is a pure telomerase activator purified from the origin of Astragalus. The use of the organic product in animals showed a decline in the percent of old cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells.
In the absence of telomerase, telomeres shorten with time plus stress, leading to disease and aging.
Isomers Produced from Astragalus slowed down telomere shortening rate, decreased DNA damage and enhanced DNA repair ability (various factors which are responsible for the delay in aging).
Astragalus (A. membranaceus) stimulated immune cells (Th1) of 27 children with recurrent tonsillitis (tonsil inflammation).
It’s used traditionally as an immune stimulant in treating and preventing colds and upper respiratory tract ailments.
Astragalus Polysaccharide had immunomodulatory effects on cells subjected to Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) and Classical Swine fever virus (CSFV).
Astragalus Polysaccharide (APS) treatment reduced H9N2 Avian Flu virus replication and sparked the immune response in animal and cell-based trials. In China, APS is broadly used as an immune adjuvant.
A. membranaceus has an inhibitory influence on herpes simplex virus type 1(HSV-1).
Astragalus inhibited viral replication in the heart muscle tissue of mice infected with Coxsackie B-3 virus.
Oral Administration of Astragalus root extract to mice infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus improved their survival rate by 30-40%.
Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) may also be efficient against the Epstein Barr virus.
Sulfated Astragalus polysaccharide (sAPS) had activity against the cellular infectivity of infectious bursal disease virus, and also the sulfated modification improved its antiviral activity.
APS has an inhibitory effect on the replication of the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
In test tubes, astragalus demonstrated antibacterial activity against Shigella dysenteriae, Streptococcus hemolyticus, Diplococcus pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus.
It showed significant antifungal activity against Trichophyton verrucosum in a guinea pig model of dermatophytosis.
12) Wound Healing
Topical application of Astragalus (chewing gum tragacanth) accelerated skin wound regeneration and recovery in rats.
Astragalus (astragaloside IV) could promote ulcerated wound healing in cultured mouse keratinocytes.
In animal and cellular studies, scientists observed could healing and anti-scar effects of Astragalus (Astragaloside IV).
Researchers observed the powerful anticonvulsant effects of Astragalus (A. mongholicus) root in mice.
Mechanism: Anticonvulsant effects may be mediated by its protective action against oxidative damage and enhancing adrenal dysfunction.
14) Male Fertility
Astragalus demonstrated a significant stimulatory effect and increased the motility of human sperm cells in lab studies.
In male mice, A. membranaceus improved relative testes weight and sperm parameters and reduced reproductive toxicity.
It might significantly reduce the apoptosis of spermatogenic cells, reduce the level of fat peroxidation and safeguard glutathione action in rat testes.
15) Gut Protection
In test tubes, Astragalus (A.membranaceus) could strengthen the movement and muscular tonus in the intestine.
A high dose had a protective effect on bleeding injury of the intestinal mucosa.
Astragalus Polysaccharide (APS) effectively reduces colitis (colon inflammation) in rats.
16) Liver Protection
Oral administration of an alcoholic extract of Astragalus (A. membranaceus) root decreased the liver harm in mice.
Intake of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Astragalus membranaceus, Morus alba, Crataegus pinnatifida, Alisma Orientale, Salvia miltiorrhiza, and Pueraria lobata) can be useful in preventing and improving fatty liver caused by alcohol, based on animal research.
Astragalus (Radix Astragali), as a part of Chinese herbal medicine, reduced fatigue by increasing the oxygen uptake from 12 athletes.
Astragalus Could significantly reduce exercise-induced exhaustion in oxygen-deprived mice and enhanced exercise performance in trained mice.
Flavonoids from this herb decreased chronic fatigue syndrome in rats.
18) Tissue Scarring (Fibrosis)
Astragalus As a component of a Chinese herb”Danggui Buxue tang” (DBTG) had an inhibitory effect on kidney and lung scarring in rats.
A decoction of Astragalus exerted a substantial therapeutic effect on biliary scarring in rodents.
According To another study on rats, Astragalus may be effective against peritoneal dialysis (PD)-induced peritoneal tissue scarring.
Astragalus Safety, Side Effects, and Precautions
Astragalus is deemed safe for most adults and usually doesn’t cause any major side effects.
Pregnant and lactating women shouldn’t take this herb.
1 study indicated that oral administration of A.membranaceus may result in a growth in CA19-9 and the creation of liver and kidney cysts.
Some Astragalus species might be poisonous; few of them contain the alkaloid swainsonine that might trigger”locoism” in livestock. Few species contain potentially toxic levels of selenium.
Supplement-drug Interactions could be harmful and, in rare cases, even life-threatening. Always ask your physician before supplementing and let him know about all medications and supplements you’re using or considering.
It may interact with medications that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids and drugs taken by organ transplant recipients. It may also affect blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and therefore potentially interact with medication for these signs.
According To a preliminary study, astragalus could have diuretic properties. In theory, this impact may decrease excretion and increase the levels of lithium.
Astragalus Nutritional supplements have not been accepted by the FDA for medical usage. In general, regulatory bodies aren’t promising the quality, safety, and efficacy of supplements. Speak with your physician before supplementing.
The Below doses may not apply to you personally. If your doctor suggests using a grape seed extract supplement, work with them to find the perfect dose according to your health condition and other things.
In most health states, astragalus was injected under strict medical supervision. Oral ingestion may not produce the very same effects.
General oral dosages:
Heart disease: 2.25-7.5 g, twice per day for 14-30 days.
Astragalus root: Around 1-4 g of freshly dried origin.
Powdered root capsules: 250-500 milligrams, two capsules 3x a day.
Tincture: 3-6 ml (1/2 — 1 tsp), 3x per day.
Textbooks On Chinese herbs recommend taking 9-15 g of the crude herb per day in decoction form. A decoction is made by boiling the root in water for a couple of minutes and then brewing the tea.
Based on preliminary research, Astragalus may yield much better results with these plants:
- Goji berries
- Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)
- Chinese ginseng (Panax notoginseng)
- Red sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza)
- Female ginseng (Angelica sinensis)
- Fo-ti (Polygonum multiflorum)
Well-designed clinical trials haven’t accepted the efficacy and safety of these combinations.