12 Hidden Benefits of Astragalus Root

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Astragalus Membranaceus alias Astragalus Propinquus which is the official scientific name of this root was used in ancient Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese herbal medicine uses herbs that have hidden benefits and astragalus is one of those hidden herbs. This particular herb has an exhaustive list of health benefits but it’s healing abilities may be limitless. The healing properties include antiviral, antibacterial, adaptogenic, antihydrotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antihypertensive, and anticancer properties, the herb is an essential part of many alternative branches of medicine worldwide. It may have hidden benefits in the traditional health world but it is well-known for its healing properties in many branches of alternative medicine.

1. Brain Protector

If the brain is deprived of oxygen it will lead to a stroke for certain if the supply of oxygen is left unchecked to the brain. The oxygen will stop flowing to the brain when the blood stops circulating to the brain and this is such a dangerous condition. It could be fatal. Supposedly, Chinese studies conducted have concluded that the inflammation in the brain  would cause these circumstances. It is suggested this astragalus root would ease the inflammatory in the brain and restore a healthy flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This would greatly lower the risk of having a stroke. It is claimed that astragalus root can re-initiate blood flow to the brain causing the brain to recover and lower the risk of stroke induced death. It is claimed that this root forms a “shield”around the brain.

2. Cardiac Challenger

This root may help reduce cardiovascular issues. Studies involving 90 people who suffered from chronic heart failure consumed this root over 30 days. The results showed that the root visibly improved their heart conditions. The study was conducted over a period with 30people in each test group. Those who were given a significant amounts of astragalus root showed noticeable improvement over those who were given lower doses. It would be practical to to conduct more extensive studies to verify these results of improved heart health from consuming astragalus roots.

3. Cancer Fighter

It is said that these roots may be able to fight cancer. The roots could inhibit the growth  and metastasis (development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.a metastatic growth.) of cancerous cells in the human body. The roots may cut off the blood supply to the infected cells which in turn will kill them. This may be especially effective killing cancerous cells that cause breast and gastric cancers. Astragalus roots contain saponins (a toxic compound that is present in soapwort and makes foam when shaken with water. any of the class of steroid and terpenoid glycosides typified by this, examples of which are used in detergents and foam fire extinguishers.) which have chemotherapeutic properties. This root is supposed to be one of the most sought after alternative forms of medicine to fight cancer. It is used to help stop the progress of advanced as well as metastatic stages of cancer by ending it and preventing the cancer from returning. People who drink a concoction of the roots twice a day may lower the risk of developing cancer.

The cancer fighting benefits of these roots may not be valid. There are no recorded studies to confirm these findings that the roots can stop these types of cancer. There should be more defined and extended studies to verify these health claims.

4. Allergies No More

Astragalus roots are well-known to fight allergies. A tincture made from the dried roots if consumed twice a day can give relief from allergic rhinitis and asthma. It may be a natural relief from hay fever, allergy-induced colds, because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. If astragalus roots are consumed for  six weeks or more they are know to stop seasonal allergies and their related symptoms.    

5. Anti-Ager  

The human body contains telomeres when they begin to deteriorate signs of ageing will set in. Studies suggest that these roots may be able stimulate the synthesis of telomerase, the enzyme that manufacturers telomeres. If you like you can drink the root in liquid form two times a day and it will impede the aging process. The root also contains antioxidants so tis root can stop free radical damage related to ageing. Which follows that the ageing process would slow if the free radicals are stopped.

It seems like this root is being hailed as an eternal fountain of youth in the fact that it can stop ageing. It is claimed it can stimulate the manufacture of telomerase the enzyme that is responsible for producing telomeres. Telomeres seem to keep the body young and this root is supposed to be able to stimulate artificial manufacturing of telomeres. This would put this herb in the class of a super drug or a miracle anti-ageing agent. This seems highly implausible as there is not any sound scientific studies to confirm this claim. It seems likely the root may help to slow down the ageing process or the appearance of it. But to completely eradicate it doesn’t seem realistic.

6. Wound Healing Enhancer

The root has some solid antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties

The root has some solid antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties, and it has some promise of being a source of amazing polysaccharides, including calycosin, formononetin, as well as astragaloside IV. This group of compounds combat inflammatory by lowering nitric acid levels in the body. These compounds als restrict the flow of blood to the infected areas by interfering in the pathways of metabolic pathways and genes. The immune system is boosted to a higher level of functioning, this sets off a synergic effect of these actions that will help the healing of wounds without inflammatory and infection setting in to the affected areas.

7.  Type II Diabetes Fighter

The antioxidant properties and polysaccharides in the roots protect people with diabetes from radical scavengers or maybe free radicals. They also vastly improve the metabolic rate of the body. The accelerated metabolic rate ensures that blood sugar levels are kept in check.     

If people with type II diabetes use the roots carefully they can keep their blood sugar levels under control by drinking this root in liquid form.

8. Energy Away

Now, it is said that astragalus roots can give your body an energetic boost. The root is an adaptogen by nature and it can work like a stimulating tonic in the body. It helps to sooth fatigue, stimulate and enhance your stamina levels, and combat chronic stress and anxiety. If your stress levels go down your energy levels will go up. It gives your body a boost and it eases the dramatic energy levels that the body sometimes experiences when in engaged in strenuous physical activities.

9. Awesome Natural Detoxifier

This root herb can help your body eliminate all those unwanted toxins and chemicals. The root has a diuretic nature and along with its antioxidant abilities can stop free radical damage. This will then clear toxins out of the liver and stomach.

10. Digestive Booster

Digestion Enhancer

The root appears to lower the levels of acid in the stomach and maintain proper pH levels. This will protect the body from harmful gastric issues. It helps to give the digestive system a boost as well. The powerful detoxifying properties of this root help to push wastes through the digestive tract quicker. This in turn prevents constipation issues.

11. Liver and Spleen Enhancer

As stated earlier,the root’s solid detoxifying properties, helps to improve blood flow and eliminate waste from the liver and spleen. This helps the liver to stay healthy thereby eliminating any potential liver issues. Several studies, but they cannot be relied upon, have shown that consuming astragalus roots can help patients with chronic hepatitis. This most likely is an unlikely claim because it seems that there is no cure for hepatitis at this time.     

12. Other Benefits of Astragalus Roots

Keep High Blood Pressure at Bay

This herb is supposed to be a vasodilator which means the roots have the power to open and widen blood vessels. (This is quite a claim for a herbal root.) The widening of the blood vessels will improve blood circulation throughout the body. This helps in lowering blood pressure which benefits people who have hypertension. Keeping blood pressure levels in control will prevent cardiovascular issues from developing.

High Cholesterol Checker

It is suggested that regular intake of astragalus roots will reduce bad cholesterol in the blood. The roots are said to curb absorption of fats in the intestines and the root acts as a natural detoxifier. It protects the arterial walls from accumulation of plaque deposits and protects the body from many health conditions including atherosclerosis. (a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls.)

Immune System Booster

One of the vital roles of astragalus roots is that it can protect the immune system. It improves the metabolic rate as well as paves way for better circulation of the blood.  

The antiviral properties of the root helps to bolster the immune system so it is able to more effectively fight many health conditions including the common cold. The immunity enhancing properties of this root herb enables it to be used as an alternative treatment for HIV/AIDS. This is quite an assertion to be making about this herbal root. Can it be definitely said that this root can treat HIV/AIDS? There may not be any scientific evidence to support this very controversial claim.

Lung Booster

It is supposed to stimulate, tone and strengthen the function of the lungs. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this root help to reduce and inhibit certain respiratory conditions including bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and asthma.

Invincible Diuretic Properties

The diuretic abilities of this herbal root helps the body to eliminate excessive fluids that could collect in the urinary bladder and other pockets of the  body. It helps to prevent edema and some types of infections from developing in the urinary tract. Regular use of this root herb may lower the risk of the bladder from developing infections.

Side Effects Warning

Generally this root is safe to ingest but if taken at higher doses the following could occur:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Suppressing immune system
  • Hindering the action of various medications, including medications for autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lowers blood pressure levels
  • Affects blood sugar levels

There is no reliable information available as to whether it is safe for pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding should consume this root or not. It’s if best if these women don’t consume this root. Studies are quite limited as to the validity of the health benefits claimed for astragalus roots.

Root Recipes

Astragalus Root Immune Soup

Root Recipes Astragalus Root Immune Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (237 ml)
  • water 1 tablespoon
  • (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bulb garlic (at least 10 cloves)
  • minced
  • One 1 1⁄2 inch (3 1⁄2 cm) piece of fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 1⁄2 cups salted vegetable soup stock (I use chicken broth)
  • 5 pieces sliced dried Astragalus Root
  • 2 cups fresh, sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large reishi mushroom cayenne powder, if desired

Method:

  • Bring water to boil in large pot.
  • Heat olive oil, sauté garlic, onions, and ginger until soft and aromatic.
  • Add contents of skillet to water.
  • Add broth, shiitake, astragalus, and reishi.
  • Simmer covered for two hours.
  • Remove from heat, allow to sit for two more hours.
  • Remove astragalus and reishi mushrooms.
  • Reheat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne powder if desired. (just enough to bring out a light sweat)

Astragalus Root Tea

Ingredients:

  • 10 g dried astragalus root slices or astragalus powder
  • 1 g red tea leaves or 1 red tea bag
  • 500 ml water

Method:

  • Add the slices or powder to water and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the slices from the water or strain the water.
  • Place the tea bag in a cup and pour the astragalus water into the cup.
  • Steep the tea bag for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour the astragalus tea in a thermal flask and sip it slowly throughout the day.

Astragalus Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 free-range organic chicken thigh
  • 4 slices of astragalus
  • 8 red dates
  • 1 tbsp. goji berries
  • 500 ml water

Method:

  • Wash and clean the chicken thigh. Trim away excess fat and skin.
  • Parboil the chicken thigh.
  • Soak the Chinese herbs (astragalus, red dates and goji berries) for a short while.
  • Cut the red dates into halves and remove the seeds.
  • Place all the ingredients into the double-boiling jar.
  • Pour cold water into the jar, enough to cover the ingredients.
  • Place the jar into a deep pot and fill the pot with water until the jar is half submerged.
  • Bring the pot of water to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour.
  • Add salt to taste before serving.

How to Make Astragalus Oil

Benefits of essential oilIngredients:

  • Astragalus root
  • Carrier oil (serves as your base; popular choices include sweet almond, coconut, and olive oil)
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Unbleached cheesecloth, muslin or fine gauze
  • Double boiler or a crockpot
  • Glass jar for storage

Method:

  • Combine the herbs and the oil in the double boiler. The ideal ratio would be 1 cup of carrier oil to every ¼ ounce of astragalus.
  • Heat slowly over low heat (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for six to eight hours.
  • When done, strain the mixture and transfer it to a glass jar (or any container of your choice).

Immune Power Ball Recipe – with Astragalus root

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Astragalus root powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Maca root powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginkgo powder
  • ½ Tablespoon Spirulina, Blue-Green Algae, or Chlorella powder
  • 1 cup sesame butter (tahini) or peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey (or more to taste)
  • ½ cup crushed almonds
  • Your choice of shredded coconut, cocoa or carob powder, raisins or goji berries, chocolate or carob chips, and granola for flavor

Method:

  • Combine the powdered herbs and mix well.
  • Combine the sesame or peanut butter and honey, mixing to form a paste.
  • Add enough of the powdered herbs to thicken, and add the almonds and the other optional components to your liking.  Thicken to consistency with carob or cocoa powder.  Roll into walnut or teaspoon size balls and eat two per day.  Store in the refrigerator or in a sealed glass jar and eat within a week.

Roaring Conclusion

Immune Power Ball Recipe – with Astragalus root

Now that you know a little more about the health benefits of this root you can choose whether you want to apply any of them or not. The only concern with this list of health benefits for astragalus roots are that some of them give you the perception this is some type of miracle root. It certainly is not and a lot of the benefits have little clinical proof to verify the validity of the health claims. In some cases there is no clinical evidence to support these claims. It is advised you use your best judgment when choosing to apply any of these root applications. You would benefit if you consulted a medical professional along with applying any of these root remedies.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.