Astragalus: Benefits, Properties?
Astragalus products are derived from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus or related species, which are native to China. In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is commonly found form in mixtures with other herbs and used to treat many ailments, among which include the following: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease as well as cancer, viral infections and immune system disorders. The Western herbalists began using astragalus herb in the early 1800s as an ingredient in various tonics. The use of astragalus became popular in the early 1980s based on theories about the anti-cancer properties, although these supposed effects have not been conclusively demonstrated in studies in humans.
Some medicinal uses of astragalus are based on the assumption of its immune boosting properties, which have been reported in previous studies in laboratory animals, but have not been convincingly demonstrated in humans. Most astragalus research has been made in China and they have not been well designed or reported.
The sticky juice (tragacanth) from astragalus is used as binder (on ice), as emulsifying substance, denture adhesive and anti-diarrheal agent.
The following uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and have not always been proven safe and effective. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Acute cerebral infarction, adaptogen, adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease), aging, AIDS / HIV, allergies, Alzheimer's disease, anemia, angina, ankylosing spondylitis, anorexia, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, asthma, astringent, thinners blood disorders blood vessels (vascular endothelial cell proliferation), loss of bone marrow, brain injury (minimal brain dysfunction), bronchitis, cardiac ischemia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cervicitis, "chi deficiency" (fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite) pre-term, childbirth, chronic fatigue syndrome, cleanser, colitis in children; rotavirus enterocolitis, cytomegalovirus, dementia, demulcent, denture adhesive (astragalus juice), dermatitis, ulcers in the diabetic foot, diabetic neuropathy, diarrhea, better digestion, diuretic (urination stimulant), ear infection, edema , expectorant, fatigue, fever, gangrene, gastrointestinal disorders, genetic damage, graft versus host disease, hearing damage, hemorrhage (bleeding), hemorrhoids, hypertension, high cholesterol, hyperthyroidism, infections, insomnia, joint pain, kidney disorders, laxative, leprosy, leukemia, loss of appetite, low platelet count in the blood, lung cancer, male fertility (sperm motility), memory, menstrual disorders, metabolic disorders, multiple sclerosis, myalgia (muscle pain), acute myasthenia nephritis, neuroprotective, night sweats, pain, palpitations, pelvic congestion syndrome, postpartum fever, postpartum urinary retention, prostatitis, psoriasis, pulmonary fibrosis, radioprotection, rectal prolapse, childhood respiratory infections, shortness of breath, stomach disorders, stomach ulcers, stress , stroke, sweating (excessive), systemic lupus erythematosus, tissue oxygenation, tonic, tonsillitis, uterine bleeding, uterine prolapse, uterine bleeding, weight loss, wound healing.
We have tested the following uses in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Aplastic anemia (C)
Herbal combination formulas containing astragalus may have EFFECTS beneficial in aplastic anemia.
Athletic performance (C)
According to preliminary investigations, a formula containing astragalus combination can reduce fatigue and enhancing athletic performance. Further research is needed before a conclusion.
There are very few human studies have investigated the use of astragalus in patients with burns. Additional research is required before making a conclusion.
Chemotherapy side effects (C)
In Chinese medicine, sometimes herbal mixtures containing astragalus with the intention to reduce side effects of cancer treatments are used. Due to the lack of well-designed research, no firm recommendations can offer.
Coronary artery disease (C)
In Chinese medicine, herbal mixtures containing astragalus have been used to treat heart disease. Human research is needed in high quality before reaching a conclusion.
There is some evidence that astragalus may improve the effectiveness of conventional therapies for diabetes. Further research is needed before a recommendation.
Heart failure (C)
There is some evidence that astragalus may help improve symptoms of chronic heart failure. Major clinical studies of good design before making conclusions are required.
Research indicates that astragalus may have effects against hepatitis. Further research is needed in this area.
Some studies suggest that astragalus may inhibit herpes viruses. Further research is needed in this area.
Preliminary studies reported antiviral effects. Further research is required.
Immune stimulation (C)
Several small studies report that astragalus can stimulate and enhance immune system function in conditions such as common cold, blood disorders, cancer, HIV and AIDS. Further research is needed in this area.
Renal failure (C)
Research indicates that astragalus may be effective against kidney disease. However, there is insufficient evidence to support these findings.
Liver disease (C)
Research indicates that astragalus may be effective in cirrhosis. Additional research is required before making a conclusion.
Menopause symptoms (C)
The evidence is unclear as to whether astragalus is helpful in reducing the symptoms of menopause. Limited study has reported on the use of a combination product and therefore the effects of astragalus alone are unknown.
Mental performance (C)
According to the results of a clinical trial, astragalus may help the mental performance of children with low IQ. Further research is needed with well-designed clinical trials before they can offer recommendations.
Myocarditis / endocarditis (heart infections) (C)
Several studies suggest that astragalus may improve symptoms of viral myocarditis. However, such studies are small and poorly designed. Higher quality studies are needed in this area.
Smoking cessation (C)
Traditionally, astragalus has been used to help smoking cessation. Additional well-designed studies before recommendations are required.
A clinical trial suggests a potential benefit of astragalus in patients with tuberculosis. Further well-designed clinical trials before recommendations are required.
Infection of the upper respiratory tract (C)
Often the astragalus used in Chinese medicine as part of herbal mixtures to prevent or treat infections of the upper respiratory tract. Due to the absence of well-designed research, you can not reach a firm conclusion.
The healthcare professionals with formal training Many complementary techniques are practiced in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case; adverse effects may occur. Due to limited research, in some cases there is only little information available on the safety of treatment.
In theory, patients with allergies to members of the legume family (peas) may react to astragalus. It has been reported cross-reactivity with Quillaja bark (soap bark) by astragalus gum tragacanth.
Side Effects and Warnings:
Some species of astragalus have caused poisoning in cattle, although these species are not usually used in preparations indicated for humans (which primarily include Astragalus membranaceus). The toxicity in cattle, which is known as locoweed poisoning (kind of poisonous astragalus) has occurred with species that contain swainsonine (Astragalus lentiginosus, mollissimus Astragalus, Astragalus nothrosys, pubentissimus Astragalus, Astragalus thuseri, Astragalus wootoni) or species that accumulate selenium (bisulcatus Astragalus, Astragalus flavus, Astragalus praelongus, saurinus Astragalus, Astragalus tenellus). Ingestion of certain toxic astragalus plants may cause neurological syndromes, some of which are irreversible.
In general, it is difficult to determine the side effects or toxicity of astragalus, since the most common use is given to this is in combination with other herbs. There are many reports of side effects ranging from mild to deadly effects as reported by the computerized database of the Administration of Food and Drug. UU. (FDA), although most of these are with products containing multiple ingredients and they can not be attributed to astragalus specifically. Side effects have been reported in people using a combination product containing astragalus; such effects are heart palpitations, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and aspiration pneumonia.
Astragalus used alone and in recommended doses is considered safe, although safety has not been well studied. The most common side effects appear to be of medium intensity stomach upset and allergic reactions. In the United States, tragacanth (astragalus gummy sap) has been included in the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for food use, but astragalus does not have this rating.
Based on preliminary animal studies and limited human research, astragalus may decrease the level of blood sugar. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. It may be necessary that a medical provider control serum glucose levels and medication adjustments.
Based on anecdotal reports and preliminary laboratory research, astragalus may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. It may be necessary to adjust the dose.
Preliminary reports of the use of astragalus in humans in China have noted decreased blood pressure at lower doses and increased blood pressure at higher doses. Animal research indicates possible effects that lower blood pressure. Due to the absence of well-designed studies, one can not draw firm conclusions. However, people with abnormal blood pressure or taking drugs for high blood pressure should use caution and qualified the medical provider must control. Palpitations have been noted in human reports in China.
Based on animal studies, astragalus may act as a diuretic and increase urination. In theory, this could lead to dehydration or metabolic abnormalities. There is one report of pneumonia in an infant due to the inhalation of dust from a herbal medicine, including herb Astragalus sarcocolla.
Since astragalus can stimulate immune response, people with autoimmune diseases or organ transplants should consult a health care professional before starting therapy. Astragalus for people with acute inflammation or acute illness with fever is not recommended.
Astragalus may increase the level of growth hormone.
Pregnancy and lactation:
Astragalus is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation, due to the adverse effects that have been observed in animals.
Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided during pregnancy.
Interactions with Drugs
Based on preliminary animal studies and limited human research, astragalus may decrease the level of blood sugar. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs that affect blood sugar. May be necessary for a health care provider monitor the levels of serum glucose and medication adjustments.
Preliminary reports of the use of astragalus in humans in China have noted decreased blood pressure at lower doses and increased blood pressure at higher doses. Animal research indicates possible effects on lowering blood pressure. Although there is no well-designed studies available, people taking drugs that affect blood pressure should use caution and be monitored by a qualified healthcare provider. It has been suggested that drugs of beta-blockers such as propranolol (Inderal ®) or atenolol (Tenormin ®) can reduce the effects of the talus in the heart although this has not been well studied.
Based on anecdotal reports, astragalus may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. In some instances, include: aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin ®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix ®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen ( Motrin ®, Advil ®) or naproxen (Naprosyn ®, Aleve ®).
Based on animal research and traditional use, astragalus may act as a diuretic and increase urination. In theory, this can lead to dehydration or metabolic abnormalities (low potassium or sodium in the blood), especially if used in combination with diuretic drugs such as furosemide (Lasix ®), chlorothiazide (Diuril ®), or spironolactone (Aldactone ®).
Based on animal studies and laboratory, astragalus has immune stimulating properties, although research in humans is less clear. Some research suggests that astragalus may interfere with the effects of drugs that suppress the immune system, such as steroids or agents used in organ transplantation. Better research is needed before a firm conclusion.
Some sources indicate potential interactions with other drugs, although there is no reliable scientific evidence in these areas. Within these interactions include a reduction in the effects of astragalus if it is used with sedatives such as phenobarbital or hypnotic agents such as chloral hydrate; a greater number of effects if administered with colchichina; a greater number of paralyzing as pancuronium or succinylcholine when used with the talus; more stimulant effects as ephedrine or epinephrine; a greater number of side effects of dopamine antagonists, such as haloperidol (Haldol ®); and a greater number of side effects of the drug for cancer procarbazine.
In theory, consumption of the tragacanth (gummy game from astragalus) may reduce absorption of drugs administered orally, which should be taken at separate times.
Based on laboratory studies, astragalus may have additive effects with ribavirin, acyclovir or other antiviral agents.
The activity of lipid-lowering drugs (lower cholesterol) may increase.
Based on human studies, the activity of recombinant interferon 1 may increase with the talus.
Astragalus may also interact with antibiotics, antivirals and agents that protect against radioactivity.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements:
Based on preliminary animal studies and limited human research, astragalus may decrease the level of blood sugar. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs or supplements that affect blood sugar. People using other herbs or supplements that may affect blood sugar levels in the blood must be constantly monitored by a provider of health care, while using the talus. It may be necessary to adjust the dose.
Preliminary reports of human use in China have noted decreased blood pressure at lower doses and increased blood pressure at higher doses. Animal research indicates possible effects of decreased blood pressure. Although there are no well-designed studies available, people taking herbs or supplements that affect blood pressure should use caution and qualified healthcare provider should monitor the.
Based on anecdotal reports, astragalus may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs or supplements that increase bleeding risk. Within Examples include Ginkgo biloba and garlic (Allium sativum).
Based on animal research and traditional use, astragalus may act as a diuretic and increase urination. In theory, this can lead to dehydration or metabolic abnormalities (low sodium or potassium in the blood), particularly if used in combination with herbs or supplements that have diuretic properties.
Based on animal studies and laboratory, astragalus may possess immune stimulating properties, although research in humans are not conclusive. It is not known if astragalus interacts with other agents that are supposed to affect the immune system.
In theory, consumption of the tragacanth (gummy sap derived from astragalus) may reduce absorption of herbs and supplements that are taken orally and should be taken at separate times.
Based on laboratory studies, astragalus may inhibit the actions of immunosuppressants and immunostimulants Leveraging herbs such as echinacea or Panax ginseng.
The activity of lipid lowering herbs (lower cholesterol) may increase.
Based on laboratory studies, astragalus may potentiate the effects of herbs and supplements that protect against radioactivity.
Astragalus may interact with antibacterial, antiviral, central stimulants, hypnotics, herbs and hormonal supplements, licorice, rauwolfia alkaloids and nervous system sedatives.
Adults (18 years and older)
According to Chinese medicine, astragalus is used in soups, teas, extracts and pills. In practice and in most scientific studies, astragalus is a component for mixtures of various herbs. Therefore, there is no precise dosage directly astragalus. No established safety and effectiveness for any particular dose. Astragalus several doses have been used or studied, including 250 to 500 mg of extract to be administered four times a day; the 1 to 30 g of dried root of daily administration (higher have been reported up to a maximum dose of 60 grams); or 500 to 1,000 milligrams of root capsules administered three times per day. Dosing of tinctures or extracts power fluid depend possessing preparations. We used a tincture (1:5) at a dose of 3-6 ml three times a day orally, or fifteen to thirty drops twice daily by mouth. It is important to note that the dyes can be high in alcohol.
They have been applied to skin 0.5 mL of the talus (extract 1:1) for three weeks for the treatment of herpes simplex keratitis. For wound healing, an ointment was applied to 10% in the wound surfaces. The maximum level used is 1.3% when used topically in lotions, denture creams, toothpastes and cosmetics, according to secondary sources.
Injections should be administered only under the supervision of a qualified professional health.
Note: In theory, consumption of the tragacanth (gummy sap derived from astragalus) may reduce absorption of drugs administered orally, which should be taken at separate times.
Children (under 18 years)
There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of the talus in children.