Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a perennial plant native to China, Mongolia, and Korea. Only the root of the Astragalus plant is used medicinally. It has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Astragalus has been used for several ailments and is being studied further. It’s been shown to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It also stimulates the immune system, and has been used as a topical wound treatment. Several studies tout Astragalus’ usefulness as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb.
Astragalus has been used to treat colds, flu, chronic infections, fevers, asthma, chronic fatigue, problems caused by chemo (fatigue/lack of appetite), anemia, heart and kidney disease, hepatitis, digestive disturbances, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and more. Astragalus comes in many forms, including dry root, topical mixture, capsules, tinctures, or can be made as a tea. Find the route of administration that works best for you. Make sure to follow the dosing instructions however you are taking it. You can buy Astragalus at a local supplement store or somewhere that fits your budget.
Astragalus does have some drug interactions and should be used with caution or not be taken with certain groups of medications, including blood thinners, diuretics, antivirals, diabetic medicines, or high blood pressure medications. The interactions arise from Astragalus having a similar effect as the medication, for example, it may lower blood pressure, therefore, making high blood pressure medication stronger. As with any supplement, you should check for drug interactions to avoid medication problems. If you are taking other medications for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects you should always double-check with your doctor.
If you want to use Astragalus and have concerns talk to your doctor or health care provider.
Tips & Warnings
- Alternative medicine, such as Astragalus, is very useful as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb.
- Get the assistance of a person specializing in alternative medicine, such as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.
- This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.