Astragalus is not referred to as the Immune Warrior without good reason!
It is hands down one of our best Winter month support allies and is primarily used for restoring and strengthening the immune response, enhancing cardiovascular function, and increasing vitality.
As an immune tonic, astragalus is considered an adaptogen, providing deeper immune-system support than echinacea. There have been many clinical studies showing how astragalus not only boosts the immune system, but also encourages an increase in immune cell (T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, immunoglobulin) activity, production, and function.
Astragalus appears to help trigger immune cells from a resting state into heightened activity. The number of macrophages (cells of the immune system that ingest foreign antigens to protect against infection) has been shown to increase after administering a decoction of astragalus. The natural killer cells of the immune system also have a markedly enhanced ability to fight intruders (five- to sixfold).
As a cardiotonic (an agent that has a tonic effect on the heart), astragalus increases the heart’s contractions. Several studies also show that astragalus offers heart-protecting effects, including protection against free-radical oxidative damage. One study in China of 92 patients who had insufficient blood supply to their heart muscle had significant relief from angina, and the effective rate of electrocardiogram improvement was 82.6 percent after being treated with astragalus. In another Chinese study of 20 patients with angina, cardiac output (the volume of blood being pumped by the heart, in particular a ventricle) was significantly increased after they were given astragalus for two weeks.
In addition to these heart-helping benefits, astragalus has also been shown to be hypotensive, lowering blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
Traditionally, the Chinese considered astragalus a superior qi (energy) tonic that enhanced energy, especially for those recovering from an illness or for those exhausted by fatigue.
In Chinese traditional medicine, astragalus is used to strengthen the spleen and augment qi, and is appropriate for cases where there is lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, prolapsed rectum, and abdominal bleeding. It is used to strengthen the lungs and is therefore used to treat frequent colds or shortness of breath. It is also recommended to strengthen qi and blood for postpartum fever and blood deficiency.
In extensive tests, no toxicity has been found in this herb, even when taken in large quantities making Astragalus a great powder to incorporate into your morning hot beverage, smoothie or even your soups and broths.
Astragalus is a general tonic useful for many functions, especially building the immune system as we move into the Winter months and is a fantastic herb to use for proactive, natural immune support against possible environmental threats.
Start with ¼ – ½ tsp daily.
Stir into hot water or plant milk for an instant tonic tea.
Works well in hot or cold drinks, smoothies, hot chocolates, broths and meals.
Ingredients: Semi-wild astragalus root dual-extract powder 10:1 ratio.