Health & Wellness

4 Top Astragalus Benefits: Fighting Stress, Fatigue, Viruses and More!

I’m commonly asked about herbs that I find the most beneficial for health—and astragalus benefits always rank high on the list!

From fighting adrenal fatigue and supporting the immune system to aiding cancer treatments and offering nutritional support, I use it in many formulations. In fact, I personally take this herb every day!

Astragalus is a member of the pea family, which happens to be the third largest plant family in the world. This family of plants can actually increase the fertility of the soil by fixing nitrogen, which creates a synergistic partnership between a bacterium in the root of astragalus and the soil. How neat is that?

 

What is Astragalus?

If you’re new to using herbal therapies, you may not be very familiar with astragalus. So, let’s take a closer look at what this herb actually is.

Astragalus is an herb that’s been commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years for its therapeutic properties. As a synergistic herb, astragalus is best used in conjunction with glycyrrhiza, ginseng, schisandra, and ashwagandha.

The root of astragalus is ground and used in teas, soups, and extracts. It’s also what you’ll find in supplement form. [1]

Astragalus is commonly used for many conditions and health concerns, such as fatigue, viral infections, fibromyalgia, edema, blood disorders, certain cancers, and even diarrhea. It’s also commonly used to treat adrenal fatigue and the impact of stress on the body.

While it’s considered safe in lower doses for most adults, it can cause stomach upset and impact blood sugar and blood pressure levels in higher doses. Astragalus is also know to interact with certain medications, especially those commonly prescribed to cancer patients and recipients of organ transplants. 

Therefore, anyone with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, should use caution and consult their physician beforehand.

Now that you know a little more about astragalus, let’s take a look at some of the top astragalus benefits.

Top 4 Astragalus Benefits

Here are four of the top astragalus benefits that may surprise you.

1. Helps fight stress and fatigue

As you know, I believe that stress and the resulting adrenal fatigue is the root cause for most of the major health concerns we’re facing today. That’s why of all the astragalus benefits we’ll review here, its ability to help fight stress and fatigue is my favorite.

According to a 2009 animal study, using astragalus significantly reduced stress-induced learning and memory deficits in lab animals. Specifically, the astragalus improved the animals’ special learning and memory and also reduced their stress-induced anxiety.

As a result, the researchers surmised that astragalus shows potential as a treatment to help recover from behavioral or mental impairments caused by stressed. [2]

Additionally, another 2009 study on 75 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome revealed that an herbal mixture containing astragalus reduced their fatigue better than other herbal mixtures. [3]

2. Fights bacterial and viral infections

Perhaps most relevant to our current times, astragalus has been shown to fight both bacterial infections and viral infections, such as the common cold, certain flu strains, and even upper respiratory infections.

In fact, according to a 2018 study, astragalus benefits those suffering from viral bronchitis. Specifically, researchers found that the polysaccharides in astragalus inhibit certain viral bronchitis infections by slowing the rate at which the virus replicates. [4] How amazing is that?

Meanwhile, a 2019 study proved that astragalus exhibited anti-flu activity. It not only blocked the effects of the influenza virus on the cells but also improved the survival rate of the cells that were infected. [5]

Finally, another study revealed that using astragalus not only inhibited certain flu strains but also enhances overall immunity! [6]

 

Astragalus benefits - Dr. Pingel

 

3. Supports healthy blood pressure levels

If you struggle with high blood pressure, of all the astragalus benefits, this one may be of particular interest: Astragalus has been shown to support healthy blood pressure levels.

In fact, a 2014 review revealed that astragalus use significantly decreased not only the amount of protein in subjects’ urine (which is often associated with kidney disease), but also decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. [7]

Additionally, a 2017 study found that astragalus may offer protection against oxidization and endothelial dysfunction (a type of coronary artery disease). [8]

4. Helps fight cancer

Finally, astragalus benefits extend to fighting an illness we all fear: cancer.

According to a 2016 study, astragalus use increased the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy while also decreasing toxins derived from platinum in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. [9]

Moreover, in a 2017 study, researchers discovered that astragalus displayed anti-cancer activity in non-small cell lung cancer cells. In fact, in certain animal models, astragalus actually delayed the growth of certain tumors! [10]

 

Key Takeaways

  • From fighting adrenal fatigue and supporting the immune system to aiding cancer treatments and offering nutritional support, astragalus benefits your health in many ways.
  • Astragalus is a synergistic herb that’s been commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years for its therapeutic properties.
  • Some of the top astragalus benefits include fighting stress and fatigue, fighting bacterial and viral infections, supporting healthy blood pressure levels, and helping to fight cancer.

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