Astragalus (Huáng Qí): Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage

What is astragalus?

Part of the beans and legumes family, huang qi known as astragalus is a plant traditionally used as Chinese medicine, for the immune system and said to fight off potential issues.

This plant is native to the northern and eastern regions of China and has traditionally been used as an adaptogen, which are plants that may help your body resist kinds of chemical, physical, or biological stressors.

It takes approximately 4 years to be able to be harvested and ends up growing somewhere between 16 to 36 inches. Surprisingly, the astragalus root has over 2,000 species, only two of which are used medicinally.

Flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides, all of which are present in astragalus, are active compounds that have their respective advantages into the roles working to potentially benefit your body in their unique ways. Below we will get into some of the benefits of astragalus and the active compounds it consists of.

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Over the years medicines, supplements, and vitamins have helped us become the best and healthiest versions of ourselves, which is exactly why it’s important to have the right ones in our daily diet. You’ve probably been told quite a few times about the benefits of western supplements like multivitamins and protein powders, but you’ll be surprised to hear about how traditional eastern medicine can work for your body.

It is important to remember that supplements are there to help us with our daily needs, that we may not be getting enough off from our current diets. This can be where we are deficient or may need higher concentrations. So it is always advised to use supplements for a set period of time before coming off them and potentially cycling back on again.

So where does this supplement come into the equation. Is it a must-have in your diet if you want to build better immunity?

You must be wondering, what even is huang qi? is astragalus good for you? best time of day to take astragalus? Where can I buy it? Luckily, you’re at the right place because we’re here to answer all these questions for you.

Astragalus Benefits in Research:

·      Flavonoids: Present in astragalus, flavonoids function may work to rid your body of free radicals while also being antioxidants. Research studies are looking at the association between this and prevention in major diseases like cancer, heart disease, and any kind of immunodeficiency virus. 

·      Saponins: This active compound function/role may be shown as of interest towards cancer research as well as immunity and lowering cholesterol within studies looking into its effects.

·      Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have great qualities such as being antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral.

·      Antiinflammatory: Astragalus may be known to reduce a great number of issues by potentially ridding your body of any inflammation, which has been researched to be the root of many major diseases such as arthritis, diabetic kidney disease, and heart disease. Research is currently looking into this to define if there is an effect. 

·      Cardiovascular System: Antioxidants present in the astragalus root may be the reason you’ll be able to prevent any plaque build-up in your arteries once you add it to your diet. Not only that, but the astragalus may prevent the narrowing of any vessel walls while lowering your blood pressure and triglycerides to a healthy level from some research published.

·      Immunity Boosting: The astragalus root’s potential role within some studies is to see if a boost to immunity system and shield from not only common diseases but major ones too. T-helper cells 1 and 2, which hold the responsibility of regulating your body’s immune responses.

Precautions:

Since astragalus is simply an organic root, it’s considered completely safe and healthy to use on its own, but there are a few precautions you should take.

For example, avoid consuming astragalus in any form if you’re pregnant and to speak to your doctor about astragalus if you already have an autoimmune disease, since some of them can be very sensitive to the plant.

Astragalus should be stored out of sunlight in a cool dry place. If you are ever unsure or have any concerns, speak to your local GP or health professional for further advice and recommendations.

Uses and consumption of astragalus:

Astragalus can be consumed in many different ways, all of which are equally beneficial to your health. Here are some ways you can add astragalus to your diet:

Capsules and tablets

Astragalus tea

Tincture

Topically for skin

Dried into tea leaves

There are also many recipes you can look up online that’ll help you incorporate the root into your diet in a delicious and healthy way, some options are as astragalus butterastragalus soup. If you are looking for other alternatives, teas or capsule and tablets may be the better solution.

A study suggested, that it may be effective to consume huang qi for up to 4 months for most people. Although, there is not sufficient amount of studies published to determine the effectiveness after this 4 month period of long term use and it’s ability on the body.

Based on some studies, there have been dosages of 60 grams per day during the 4 month period where it had been deemed safe for most people. However, this amount can vary from person to person depending on conditions and the desired effects the person is wanting to achieve.

Best time of day to take astragalus:

Although, the time of day has not been researched into enough for an effective time frame. It is said potentially to take this supplement during the morning and evening with food. This can be just before eating or during.

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