Astragalus Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

For generations, astragalus root has been a staple of herbal treatment. There’s some indication that it has valuable characteristics and maybe even health advantages.

Astragalus has been studied for its possible role in treating various disorders, including cancer and diabetes. However, more definitive studies on Astragalus’s effects on humans are required.

The potential health advantages of Astragalus root are discussed in this article. The page delves deeper into the topic, including possible adverse reactions and drug interactions, and provides answers to frequently asked concerns.

What is astragalus?

Astragalus is a member of the Fabaceae family and has the Latin name Astragalus membranaceus.

Astragalus is a plant native to many parts of the world, including the Americas, Europe, and the Chinese Himalayas.

Astragalus also goes by the following names:

  • milkvetch
  • huáng qí
  • Radix astragalus

Astragalus is a plant whose root is used in Western herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. In most cases, it is used in conjunction with other herbs.

Scientists have studied more than a hundred astragalus species for their biologically active chemicals. These three chemicals are the primary catalysts:

  • Complex sugars, or polysaccharides
  • flavonoids
  • saponins

There are many additional chemicals in Astragalus, however, and three classes of hazardous ones.

Astragalus health benefits

Astragalus is used in TCM, supposedly for its beneficial health effects. It’s possible to think of some of them, like:

  • Benefits for the body’s immune system
  • immune system regulation
  • effects against viruses
  • Workouts that get the heart pumping are called cardiotonic exercises.

However, further research is needed to determine the extent of Astragalus’s effects on the human body.

It may have anti-aging qualities.

There may be pro-aging support for Astragalus, according to a 2017 scientific review. Furthermore, the review indicated that the herb might inhibit oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. It has the potential as a tonic to improve stamina and immune system health.

Possible cancer health benefits?

Research reveals that astragali radix, a specific form of Astragalus, benefits tumors and cancer. Animal and human research suggest that the herbal extract may reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer, boost the efficacy of chemotherapy, and kill gastric cancer cells.

Contradictory evidence exists regarding the anticancer effects of Astragalus due to the varying quality of the studies conducted on the topic. A person with cancer should see their physician for the best treatment.

Diabetes patients may benefit from it.

Astragalus polysaccharides have been shown to control blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity in test tubes. Astragalus has garnered interest from researchers due to its potential to aid in managing diabetes and its related problems.

The condition’s side effects on the liver could be alleviated.

In 2022, researchers found that the active compounds in the astragalus species could help people with liver disease. It was also mentioned that the astragalus species’ anti-fibrotic and diuretic properties were found in the roots and aerial parts of the plant. With the help of anti-fibrotic medicines, scarring can be avoided.

The study was conducted in a lab. Thus definitive conclusions cannot be drawn without further research involving humans.

In the case of kidney disease, it may be helpful.

Astragalus may offer promise as a supplementary treatment for chronic renal disease, according to a limited assessment of 22 research published in 2014. However, the authors cautioned that most of the research quality was insufficient to draw firm conclusions.

Experts need more high-quality research to assess the efficacy and safety of Astragalus before it can be widely recommended for diabetic kidney disease, as suggested by a modest 2019 review of 66 papers.

It could help the body’s defenses.

There is evidence that Astragalus has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Flavonoids and polysaccharides are just two compounds found in them that may help the immune system and slow the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The herb may also have anti-inflammatory properties. However, further research with human participants is needed before scientists can draw firm conclusions.