Astragalus is an extraordinary root for strengthening your body’s resistance to disease over time. It helps keep your immune system healthy and able to stop those cold and flu bugs in their tracks. This root is an ancient Chinese remedy renowned for its ability to reduce the severity and duration of viral infections and more importantly, to prevent them!
Astragalus and Immunity
Research demonstrates that Astragalus works on a number of different levels within the immune system. It can increase white blood cell counts and levels of interferon in the body, which in turn, helps stimulate the elements of the immune system that swallow up viruses and prevent them from replicating. Pharmacologically, it is thought that the polysaccharide components of Astragalus are responsible for its multi-faceted immune support. However, the root as a whole contains a wide array of other active ingredients, including saponins, flavonoids and coumarins, that give Astragalus its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial
In the laboratory, Astragalus has shown itself to be not only an effective anti-viral, but also an impressive broad-spectrum antibiotic. In vitro trials of the root demonstrate the inhibition of staphylococci, haemolytic streptococci, pneumococci, diptheriae and Bacillus dysenteriae – all bacteria that can potentially cause severe illness in the body.
Though astragalus is safe for most people, the following people should avoid it:
Pregnant and breastfeeding women: There’s currently not enough research to demonstrate that astragalus is safe while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Individuals with autoimmune diseases: Astragalus may increase the activity of your immune system. Consider avoiding astragalus if you have an autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Individuals taking immunosuppressant drugs: Since astragalus may increase the activity of your immune system, it may decrease the effects of immunosuppressant drugs.