Astragalus root (Radix astragali), also known as milk vetch and Huangqi, has a long standing reputation. In fact, practitioners of Chinese medicine have used it to enhance the immune system, even before we knew about the immune system!
How does it work?
This ancient herb has strong antiviral effects and astragalus is a good source of polysaccharides, which work to inhibit viruses or even kill them outright.
Polysaccharides are able to block a virus from being absorbed to the body by impeding the positive charge on a cell’s surface.
What does it do?
- helps prevent/treat colds and upper respiratory infections
- fights bacteria and viruses
- reduces fatigue and increases energy levels
- treats symptoms such as nasal congestion, itching, and sneezing
How is it administered?
- add to smoothies and soups
- chew like a candy
- take in a capsule
- in a tincture
- brew as a tea or decoction
- administered as an injection by a medical professional
What are the side effects?
Astragalus root is well tolerated by the young and elderly alike, but should be avoided by people with:
- pregnant and breastfeeding women
- people with autoimmune diseases
- those using immunosuppressant drugs such as rapamycin
Summary: Astragalus root is an effective immune booster and can help the body fight off bacteria and viruses. It can ease symptoms like nasal congestion and sneezing. Astragalus root can be administered in many forms, including tea, tincture, and capsule.
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Chen, X., Han, W., Wang, G., & Zhao, X. (2020, December 1). Application prospect of polysaccharides in the development of anti-novel coronavirus drugs and vaccines. International journal of biological macromolecules. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7358770/.
Goulart, F. S., & Goulart, F. S. (2009). Astragalus. In Super immunity foods: A complete program to boost wellness, speed recovery, and keep your body strong (pp. 29–32). essay, McGraw-Hill.