Native to Asia, theAstragalus is a plant which grows in northern China, in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan, but also in the forests of pine trees, the estuaries and the shores of Asian continent.
Known as "Huang qi " in China, « Ogi » in Japan and "Hwanggi " in Korea, the used parts of astragalus are roots picked in spring from a plant four to seven years old then, dried before being exploited.
Today there are more than 2,000 varieties astragalus, but the one that catches the attention of researchers, herbalists and scientists is theastragalus from china whose virtues have been touted for a very long time in botanical and in pharmacology.
Used for over 2000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus contains various properties whose virtues and benefits for health are to be considered.
What are they ? To what extent do these properties have positive effects on the human organism? At what scale? What are the precautions to take ?
Brief overview ...
Astragalus: for the record
Belonging to the fabaceae family, Astragalus occupies a significant place in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Indeed, the root of this medicinal plant is used as remedies at preventive title but also to curative title against various ailments.
At 19th century, an American medical school popularized astragalus root for stimulate the immune system.
Following a myocardial epidemic that rocked China in the late 1980s, researchers revealed that the disease was caused by a virus called Coxsackie B.
In 1987, to overcome this virus which attacks the heart muscle, Chinese researchers claimed that a preparation based on astragalus would be indicated.
AT preventive title, the root of astragalus is indicated for respiratory illnesses (whether microbial or viral) and thepatient weakening.
AT curative title, astragalus is used as general tonic : about what boost the immune system !
What are the properties of Astragalus?
Astragalus contains various active elements whose :
- the flavonoids (including astragaline, which is a powerful antioxidant).
- of amino acids
- of triterpene glycosides (like astragalosides I-VII),
- of polysaccharides,
- and finally, traces of minerals.
Astragalus: virtues and health benefits
Thanks to properties immune that it contains, this plant native to China has:
- the ability to regulate the rate of lymphocites (or white blood cells) in the case of some cancers. This property also helps to increase the rate ofantibody in healthy people.
- an effect anti-inflammatory
- an effect protector of liver cells subject to certain toxins.
From there, in the medical setting, the root of astragalus is used to traditionally prepare "Yu Ping Feng San", whose effectiveness is recognized in the Chinese pharmacopoeia to treat the cold repeatedly, the influenza, the chronic bronchitis, and the allergic rhinitis.
More so, used as general tonic, astragalus is recommended for:
– stimulate theappetite and the immune system in case of fatigue, convalescence,
– invigorate the elderly, those suffering from postpartum depression or other forms of chronically ill.
In the ranking of therapeutic virtues related to astragalus, this plant native to Asia:
- warns infections of upper respiratory tract, especially in people prone to the flu and colds.
- could even increase interferon levels that are, proteins naturally produced by cells of the immune system. These proteins that stimulate the immune system and fight tumors and the viral infections.
Uses, dosages, instructions for use
Depending on the conditions to be prevented or treated, the root of astragalus is sold in several forms, should be taken as follows:
- in infusion, the dosage daily is variable. As for its preparation, bring 50 cl to 1 liter of water to a boil. Pour 3 to 6 tablespoons of dried and chopped root into it. Simmer for about ¼ hour before drinking it. Drink 500 ml to 1 liter per day.
-in Dyeing, a dose of 2 to 4 ml, morning, noon and evening is sufficient.
-in Capsules, the usual dosage is 1 to 3 grams of dried root powder per day. However, it all depends on the manufacturing process as well as the type of condition to be treated.
- in Powder root. Take 4-7g of root per day in 2 or 3 servings.
Practical tips / tricks about astragalus
Have you ever heard of Astragalus "butter" which replaces the butter of
Nuts ? Do you know you can mold at home ? Here's what to do:
In a double boiler, heat over low heat 1 mustard glass of tahini and 7 tablespoons of pumpkin seed butter. Then add 3 tablespoons of astragalus root powder, then 3 tablespoons of oil
sesame. Mix everything together until you obtain a homogeneous and smooth paste. If the result is too firm, add up to 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Stir again.
You can store astragalus butter for 15 days in the refrigerator.
NB : these ingredients are on sale in organic stores.
Good to know about astragalus
Astragalus is very often well tolerated and safe.
However, she is contraindicated for subjects suffering from acute infection, to the pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding.
As for patients with autoimmune disease and those who have recently received graft, it is strongly recommended to have thenotice of your treating medicine, before using any immune stimulating herb, including astragalus.
Namely, the prolonged hold high doses of astragalus (more than 28 grams per day), could have a immunosuppressive effect on the patient.
Of course, in case of doubt, the opinion of a practitioner duly trained inTraditional chinese medicine is highly recommended.