Astragalus Health Benefits
Astragalus health benefits include an ability to strengthen and balance the immune system and possible anticancer effects, particularly against prostate cancer. Some research also suggests astragalus health benefits include antibiotic properties.
Astrgalus is a traditional Chinese medicine herb that is also known as Beg Kei, Hwanggi, Membranous Milk Vetch, and Mongolian Milk. Herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners have counted on astragalus health benefits for centuries to support and strengthen the immune system. This advantage leads some to argue that it could improve the body’s natural response to cancer.
In fact, researchers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong report that astragalus showed anti-tumor effects in mice. (Cho 2007a) The herb also has antioxidant properties, and possibly even antibiotic abilities. A study conducted in 2007 in China found that astragalus was effective as both an immunomodulator (something that adjusts the immune response to a desired level) and an immunorestorative (something that restores the immune system to a more optimal level of function. (Cho 2007) A more recent study from China showed an anti-tumor effect of astragalus in mice. (Tian 2013)
A typical adult dose of astragalus ranges from 1 gram to 25 grams daily. Higher doses may suppress the immune system, so astragalus should be used with caution. Look for a standardized astragalus root extract (standardized to 0.4% 4-hydroxy-3-methyoxy isoflavone 7-sug) if you want to enjoy astragalus health benefits. The suggested way to take astragalus is to divide the daily dose into three to four dosages. (University of Maryland)
Cho WC, Leung KN. In vitro and in vivo immunomodulating and immunorestorative effects of Astragalus membranaceus. J Ethnopharmacol 2007 Aug 15; 113(1): 132-41.
Cho WC, Leung KN. In vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects of Astragalus membraneceus. Cancer Lett 2007a Jul 8; 252(1): 43-54
Tian QE et al. Astragalus polysaccharides can regulate cytokine and P-glycoprotein expression in H22 tumor-bearing mice. World J Gastroenterol 2012 Dec 21; 18(47): 7079-86
University of Maryland Medical Center: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/astragalus-000223.htm