The flowering plant Astragalus comes from China and Korea. The root of the astragalus plant is used as a tonic and an adaptogen in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The root is cut and dried, then ground into a powder, steeped as tea, or even added to the stock in stews. Researchers have found that it boosts the immune system and helps the body stay in balance. Here are six great astragalus benefits that scientists have found:
Lower Stress Level:
Astragalus has been linked to the “earth” element in Chinese medicine. It is called an adaptogen because it helps the body get back to a state of homeostasis when it is stressed.
In one study, scientists looked at milk-making cows that were stressed out by heat to see what effect astragalus had on stress hormones. Cows usually make less milk when they are exposed to heat, but astragalus was shown to reduce this effect by lowering cortisol, which is the main hormone in the body that causes a stress response.
In a study with mice, astragalus was shown to reverse the effects of stress on the brain and behaviour. Scientists think that the mice who were given astragalus had better spatial memory, learning, and less anxiety because they did better in mazes.
Boosts Heart And Blood Vessel Health:
Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up in the arteries and makes them hard. In a study that was published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers said that the ability of astragalus to reverse atherosclerosis in rabbits was due to antioxidants in the plant. In the study, rabbits who were given astragalus had lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure after 12 weeks. This showed that they were less likely to get heart disease.
There isn’t much research on how astragalus affects people with heart disease. But tests on animals show that astragalus may help protect the heart, which could help prevent heart disease.
In tests on people, astragalus was found to make chemotherapy work better against tumors. Astragalus can actually make tumors smaller and stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. Studies in the lab have shown that astragalus can help people with lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Astragalus works in part by making the immune system better at stopping cancer cells from growing. Astragalus may also help prevent cancer because its antioxidants protect cells and organs from damage caused by free radicals.
Boost Your Immunity System:
As an adaptogen, astragalus can boost an immune system that is down or overworked. Chronic stress and eating or drinking too much caffeine, sugar, or alcohol can weaken your immune system and make you more likely to get colds, the flu, and other infections. Astragalus root seems to wake up the immune cells and get them to do their jobs. This makes white blood cells move around the body and fight off threats more effectively. Even though more research needs to be done, it’s possible that taking astragalus supplements could help protect against colds by making the immune system stronger.
Protect Brain Health:
When it builds up in the brain, amyloid beta is the toxic waste that causes Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In a study where amyloid beta was injected into rats, the group that was also given astragalus root had less damage to their nerves and less anxiety than the control group. Even though more research with people is needed, it is possible that astragalus could help stop neurodegeneration.
Support Kidney Health:
In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is used to help keep the kidneys healthy. Proteinuria, which is when there is too much protein in the urine, can be helped by astragalus root. Chronic kidney disease is caused by damage to the kidneys that makes it hard for them to filter waste. In a study of people with long-term kidney disease, it was found that taking astragalus root supplements improved kidney function.