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Astragalus, known as milk vetch in North America, is also called "locoweed" by some, due to the effect it has on animals. The dried root and extract have long been used in Chinese medicine and are now enjoying popularity in the west due to their myriad healing properties. Astragalus contains flavonoids known for their anti-inflammatory properties and saponin to boost the immune system. These compounds can help treat many different illnesses. Experience the health benefits of astragalus by adding it to your diet in the form of dried root powder capsules or liquid extract.

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Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is the body's response to injury. When you have an auto-immune disorder, the body can respond with excessive or unnecessary swelling and inflammation which can lead to damage of the joints and connective tissue. Choosing supplements with anti-inflammatory properties can help people with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. The saponin and polysaccharides in astragalus have anti-inflammatory abilities and can soothe inflamed tissues and reduce pain.

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Immune System Booster

Helping your immune system fight off viruses and bacteria is critical. Astragalus extract can be used to increase immune cell function. Consistent supplementation can protect against many diseases and seasonal infections by strengthening your body's ability to ward off illness and infection. Another benefit of astragalus is its ability to boost the performance of helper T cells 1 and 2, thereby regulating the body’s immune responses. This is especially helpful for HIV patients.

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Slows Tumor Growth

Oxidative stress or the presence of free radicals can cause many types of cancer. These molecules affect healthy cells by inhibiting their ability to regenerate. They also block the production of new, healthy cells and encourage the growth of cancerous cells and tumors. The antioxidant properties of astragalus impede free radical development. Phytochemicals in the herb are especially known for their ability to ward off or reduce the spread of certain cancers, such as liver cancer.

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Boosts Cardiovascular Health

The antioxidants in astragalus help reduce the buildup of arterial plaque and reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties keep the walls of your blood vessels supple. Some scientific studies have indicated astragalus can even help manage high blood pressure and drop the triglyceride levels in your bloodstream. Each of these can contribute to heart disease; by adding astragalus to your diet or supplement regimen, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing a heart condition.

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Helps Manage Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are all caused by insulin resistance in your body at the cellular level. Diabetes and chronic inflammation go hand in hand, with chronic inflammation affecting the symptoms of diabetes and diabetes increasing inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effect of astragalus may help break this cycle and delay the progress of the disease. Metabolic syndrome can also encourage the development of free radical molecules that inhibit the growth of new cells and attack healthy cells, leading to poor kidney function that furthers diabetes progression.

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Contains Powerful Antioxidants

Antioxidants help reduce cell damage by balancing the levels of free radicals. By adding antioxidant supplements like astragalus to your diet, you can reduce the population of free radicals. In addition to imposing wear and tear on your internal organs, free radical damage can also increase the appearance of aging of the skin, hair, and nails. Antioxidants can help you look and feel younger, giving you glowing skin and shiny hair.

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Aids Wound Healing

Astragalus can be used both topically and internally to treat wounds. The herb has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to accelerate wound repair. It can promote tissue regeneration at the cellular level. Topical application of an ointment containing astragalus can help speed the healing of wounds to the skin and improve healing internally after surgery. As with any healing supplements and creams, check with your doctor to ensure they are complementary to your current care regimen.

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Eases Chemotherapy Side Effects

Oxidative stress from free radical damage to cells is one of the most common causes of many types of cancers. Chronic inflammation also promotes abnormal tissue growth. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of astragalus can help ease some of the physical side effects of chemotherapy. For those experiencing severe chemotherapy reactions, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bone marrow suppression, an IV mixture containing astragalus and other Chinese herbal mixtures can be effective. When choosing alternative medicines, make sure you work in conjunction with your treatment team.

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Treat Cold and Flu Symptoms

Astragalus has antiviral and antifungal properties that help it treat common colds and the flu. In fact, the responsiveness of this herbal remedy can be more powerful than traditional over the counter medication for combatting the various cold and flu strains. As viruses adapt, medication might not be able to treat them fully. In fact, herbal remedies can destroy cold and flu viruses as they mutate. Supplementing your diet with astragalus before you get sick can boost your immune system and ward off bouts of the cold and flu.

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Treats Chronic Asthma

Astragalus is proven to be effective in reducing asthma symptoms, including those that come along with respiratory tract infections and seasonal allergies. The anti-inflammatory effect of the herb reduces inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. It can also help improve narrowed airways that cause shortness of breathing and wheezing in people with asthma. In some studies, treatment with astragalus even prevents asthma recurrence.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.