Astragalus is an amazing root that helps to support immune system function and protect the liver and heart. This article will explore astragalus health benefits in both the Chinese and Western Herbalism perspectives.
Astragalus root originally comes to us from China but it has quickly integrated itself into western herbalism. In a recent poll of practicing herbalists it placed as 16th in the top 50 herbs commonly used by western herbalists.
Astragalus root seems to prolong the life of cancer patients by supporting the immune system and inhibiting cancer growth. Scientific studies have also shown that specific constituents within astragalus are highly anti-oxidant, which slows the rate of aging.
A telomere is a structure found at the end of a chromosome and is a region of repetitive DNA. Its job is to prevent deterioration of the chromosome. Shortened telomeres are associated with poor health and aging. Astragalus has also shown that it can slow telomere shortening, giving us further clues as to how to promotes longevity.
The Astragalus herb is extremely potent and when consumed on a regular basis, has the power to not only bullet-proof your immune response, but also protect and repair any existing DNA damage you may have.
During the DNA replication process, telomeres keep the DNA together (like how the plastic caps on the end of shoelaces keep them from unraveling). Every time DNA replicates, the telomeres get slightly shorter and eventually when they get small enough, the process of cell death begins. Research has linked this process of cell death to aging and cancer.
Good For Diabetics
Astragalus seems to be a decent food for diabetics. For a reson that’s not entirely clear patients who take astragalus exhibit better blood sugar control.
The different polysaccharides protect against radical scavengers, and the benefits astragalus provides to cellular health seem to carry over in its ability to metabolize different nutrients.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, a condition in which the body does not use insulin properly. Therefore, the purpose of many diabetic drugs is to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Astragalus may be able to do both, according to a study in the October 2011 issue of “Acta Pharmacologica Sinica.” In the study, a type of sugar extracted from astragalus known as polysaccharides decreased blood glucose and improved insulin sensitivity in diabetic rats. Due to these anti-diabetic effects, astragalus may show promise as a potential treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
Other Health Benefits of Astragalus Root
Reduces metastatic spread increasing survival rates
Helps with heart disease and high blood pressure 3/4
Improves liver function
Boosts the immune system
Minimizes the side-effects of Chemotherapy
Can be used as a general tonic
Treats burns and abscesses
Prevent common colds
Help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
How To Grow Your Own Astragalus Root
Astragalus is one of the superfood varieties we recommend growing in your own garden or permaculture landscape. Although it will take at least 4 years before you can harvest the roots, it is fairly easy to grow in deep, sandy, well-drained soil with a good amount of sun exposure. Many rare plants and herbs can be purchased from Horizon Herbs, either as seeds or as seedlings depending on where you live.
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