Astragalus is a perennial plant that is native to eastern and northern China. It has 12 to 18 pairs of leaflets and a hairy stem, typically harvested from four-year-old plants. Astragalus root is used in traditional Chinese medicine to support the immune system and fight disease. It is available in various forms, including liquid extracts, capsules, and dried roots. It can also be made into teas or ground into powder. We are confused about the products, some are made of Astragalus root while some are Astragalus root extract, are them the same? and which is better?
Before we can answer this question, we need to understand the definition of Chinese medicine and extracts. What is Chinese medicine? Strictly speaking, TCM refers to natural products such as plants, animals and minerals used under the guidance of TCM theory. Astragalus root is the dried root of the plant Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge, is usually cut into thin slices to make tea or soup. What is astragalus extract? It is one or more chemical ingredients extracted from astragalus root by the use of modern scientific methods, usually astragalus polysaccharide and astragaloside IV.
Astragalus root has a sweet taste, has been used for centuries for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. In China, it’s used for a variety of reasons, including fatigue, lack of appetite, and organ prolapse. Modern technology has concentrated more purified chemicals from the root of astragalus, which means better results and smaller doses. no matter whether Astragalus root or extract, people take them for several health benefits.
Astragalus root is an adaptogen herb, which means that it works in response to a person’s environment to improve their immune system. Astragalus polysaccharide is proven to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help the body cope with daily stressors including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and adrenal fatigue. It is also said to treat wasting and thirsting syndrome, which is typically caused by diabetes or tuberculosis. It has also been reported to help people with allergies, hay fever, and even diabetes.
One of its extracts is phytochemicals, astragaloside IV, which helps regulate the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines can contribute to many different diseases and can affect immune cells in the body. According to a 2008 study, astragalus reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood. This effect was particularly beneficial for chronic stress sufferers.
Astragalus root is an antioxidant plant including improved heart function. Recent studies show that astragalus may help prevent heart diseases like angina pain, and myocarditis. Astragalus root and Astragalus extract might help widen blood vessels, which in turn results in better blood circulation and blood pressure regulation. One recent study found that astragalus root supplementation improved heart function in heart failure patients. However, it is best to discuss any supplement with your doctor, as it may interact with other drugs.
Another benefit of astragalus root and its extract is that it lowers stress hormones in the body. This may help people with nervous disorders, depression, and panic attacks. Stress manifests in many ways, including physical symptoms like chest pain and headaches. People who are stressed also tend to become agitated, and chronic stress weakens the immune system and makes people more vulnerable to various health problems.
Astragalus is also a powerful herbal medicine that helps to protect the liver and kidneys. Its polysaccharides support the white blood cells’ ability to fight off foreign substances. It also contains saponins, which protect the liver and stimulate the release of cytokines. Its antioxidant properties also reduce free radicals in the blood. In addition, it supports the liver, which plays a vital role in detoxification and cleansing the body.
Astragalus root is available in dried form from health food stores or Chinese grocery stores. Astragalus extracts are also available in the market in the form of liquid or capsules. Although astragalus root has a variety of medicinal benefits, it is not known which dose will be most effective for different conditions. Its dosage depends on the type of condition you are treating, your age, and your weight. Higher dosages may suppress the immune system. Therefore, it is important to use standardized astragalus supplements. There are no serious side effects associated with this herb, but it can interact with some medications and herbs.