Also known as Huang Qi, Astragalus is a medicinal herb that has been commonly used in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. It is used to support the immune system and as an anti-inflammatory, but is best known for its incredible anti-aging properties.
Immune System support
As an immunostimulant, studies show Astragalus can increase the white blood cell count and stimulate the production of antibodies in the body, building up resistance to viruses and bacteria.
Not only does the traditional Chinese medicine boost the immune system, it has also been shown to encourage an increase in the activity, production and function of immune cells. It appears to do this by triggering the cells from a resting state into heightened activity.
Research suggests Astragalus could improve heart health in those with certain heart conditions, such as heart failure. It is thought to widen the blood vessels and increase the amount of blood pumped from the heart, whilst also helping to prevent plaque build up in the arteries. Astragalus has also been show to reduce blood pressure and lower triglycerides.
Longevity & Anti-ageing
Astragalus has been used for its life-prolonging extracts for centuries in China. Scientific research shows that a proprietary extract of the dried root, called TA-65, is linked to significant age-reversal effects in the immune system. As well as this, a saponin of this powerful herb called Astragaloside IV has shown benefits in reversing cell damage and activating telomerase, which slows down cellular aging by extending the length of telomeres.
Telomeres help to protect the genetic material on the strands of DNA. These strands are twined together to make up each cell’s chromosomes and without them the chromosomes could become damaged and cause the cell to die. The theory is that by activating the telomerase which then extends the length of the telomeres, then in turn extends the lifetime of the cell and therefore the lifetime of the person.
Astragalus has a long and rich history of use in Asian cultures and is native to China, Mongolia and North Korea. In China it is known as Huang qi, which translates to ‘yellow leader’. This is not only in reference to the colour of its inner root, but also likely a reference to the high regard in which the plant is held. It was listed in the superior class of herbs in classic texts and is still considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in this practice.
The appropriate dose of Astragalus depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions.