Known as Huang Qi in Chinese medicine, astragalus root has long been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners as a general tonic, to strengthen and energize the body, to support the health of the respiratory system, and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. It is among the most widely used herbs in Chinese Medicine and has recently garnered the interest of western science for its potential to boost immunity and lessen side effects of traditional therapies.
Astragalus contains three components that allow the plant to have such a positive impact on human health: saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides, which are all active compounds contained in certain plants, including some fruits and vegetables. Saponins are known for their ability improve the immune system and destroy cells that have developed improperly. Flavanoids, provide health benefits by allowing cells to communicate better, cellular signaling and they show antioxidative qualities. Flavanoids are a powerful class of compounds that scavenge for free radicals, and can help prevent health issues from becoming unmanageable. Polysaccharides are known to have antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory capabilities, among other health benefits.
Although Astralgus has been used predominately to directly support the body’s immune system, some of the indirect benefits may be due to its effects on numerous internal organs such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, and urinary system. These organs and system are the body’s primary detoxifying centers, removing obstacles that enhance immune system development and impact.