11 Astragalus Benefits (Fact Checked), Supplements, Anti-Aging

astragalus benefits

Astragalus, also known as Huang Qi, is a herbaceous plant native to China that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various diseases (more on that later).

Its root is the part of the plant that is primarily used for medicinal purposes, and it is known for its many health benefits. In recent years, Astragalus has gained attention for its potential anti-aging properties, as well as its ability to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, manage diabetes, and support kidney function.

In this article we will explore the various Astragalus Benefits, how it works, and the recommended dosages for different conditions.

What is Astragalus

Astragalus is a genus of over 2,000 species of herbs and small shrubs in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is commonly known as milkvetch, and its roots have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

The plant is native to Asia, Europe, and North America, and is commonly found in China, Mongolia, Korea, and Siberia.

In traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus is known as Huang Qi, which translates to “yellow leader,” due to the yellow color of its roots.

It has been used for centuries as a tonic and to boost the immune system, and is often prescribed as a treatment for fatigue, allergies, respiratory infections, and chronic illnesses.

Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus — Borrego Milkvetch. In Anza Borrego Desert State Park, southern California.
Astragalus lentiginosus var. borreganus — Borrego Milkvetch. In Anza Borrego Desert State Park, southern California. / Source: Wikipedia

Astragalus is also used to improve digestion, increase energy levels, and support overall vitality.

Astragalus has a long history in Chinese culture and medicine. It was first mentioned in the Shennong Bencao Jing, an ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia dating back to the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).

It is also one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Chinese medicine, and has been used in many different formulas for various ailments.

In addition to its medicinal properties, astragalus has cultural significance in China. It is often used in traditional Chinese cooking, and is believed to bring good luck and fortune. The plant has also been used in Chinese gardens as a decorative plant.

Astragalus Benefits

Astragalus has many (many) health benefits. Here are the most well know Astragalus benefits known to modern medicine.

  1. Boosting the immune system and preventing infection

Astragalus has been shown to have immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can regulate and enhance immune function.

Studies have found that it can increase the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting off infections. [1]

It has also been found to have antiviral properties, making it a potential treatment for viral infections such as the common cold and flu. [2]

  1. Reducing inflammation and improving heart health

Astragalus has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease. [3]

It has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, both of which are important for maintaining heart health. [4] [5]

  1. Managing diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity

Astragalus has been found to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which can help manage diabetes. [6] [7]

It may also have a protective effect on the pancreas, the organ responsible for producing insulin. [8]

  1. Supporting kidney function

There is some scientific evidence to suggest that Astragalus may have a positive impact on kidney function, particularly in people with certain kidney-related conditions.

For example, a study found that Astragalus extract improved kidney function in people with chronic kidney disease. [9]

Another study found that Astragalus injection improved kidney function in people with IgA nephropathy, a type of kidney disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the kidneys. [10]

  1. May improve digestion

One way that astragalus can aid digestion is by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that help break down food into smaller, more easily digestible molecules.

Astragalus contains compounds that have been shown to increase the activity of digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines, which can help improve the overall digestive process. [11]

Astragalus may also help regulate the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts. These microbes play a crucial role in our digestion and overall health.

Studies have shown that astragalus can help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, which can help maintain a healthy balance in the gut. [12] [13]

  1. Potential anti-cancer properties

Some studies have found that astragalus may have anti-cancer properties, including inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. [14]

Recent studies have shown that it contains compounds that may have anti-cancer properties. [15]

Specifically, these compounds may help to activate the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells, which can help the body to fight off cancer cells.

  1. Anti-aging properties and skin health

When it comes to anti-aging properties, there’s some evidence to suggest that astragalus may be helpful.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Reverse Aging in Humans
Image by Landon | Production on YouTube

One study found that astragalus extract helped to increase the lifespan of fruit flies, which is often used as a model organism for studying aging. [16]

Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, found that taking astragalus supplements helped to reduce the amount of a type of cell damage called telomere shortening. [17]

Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes that shorten as we age, so anything that can help to prevent that shortening could potentially have anti-aging benefits.

It may also improve skin health by increasing collagen production and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. [18]

Related: Top 10 Best Supplements for Telomere Protection & Elongation

  1. Can help Hair grow faster

Astragalus may have hair growth-promoting effects due to its ability to to improve circulation and nourish the blood, which may promote hair follicle health and support healthy hair growth.

According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, astragalus is believed to tonify Qi, which is considered the life force or vital energy that flows through the body.

Hair growth is believed to be related to the quality and quantity of Qi in the body. When Qi is strong and flowing smoothly, the body is believed to be in a state of balance and able to support healthy hair growth.

On the other hand, when Qi is weak or stagnant, the body may be more prone to hair loss or thinning.

  1. May Help Regulate the Thyroid gland

While there is some research suggesting that astragalus may have a positive effect on the thyroid gland, more research is needed to fully understand its potential effects. [19]

Some studies have suggested that astragalus may help regulate the levels of thyroid hormones in the body, particularly in cases of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). [20]

This may be due to astragalus’ ability to support the immune system, as autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can lead to hypothyroidism.

  1. Improves fertility in both men and women

A few studies suggest that Astragalus may have potential benefits for male reproductive health. For example, one study found that Astragalus supplementation improved sperm motility and concentration in infertile men. [21]

Similarly, there is some evidence to suggest that Astragalus may have potential benefits for female reproductive health. For example, a study in mice found that Astragalus extract improved ovarian function and increased the number of viable embryos. [22]

  1. May have an impact on Weight

Astragalus may also have an impact on weight, with some studies showing it can help reduce body weight and fat accumulation. [23]

For example, a study in overweight and obese adults found that Astragalus extract supplementation for 12 weeks resulted in significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference compared to a placebo group. [24]

How It Works

Astragalus contains a variety of active compounds, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, and saponins. These compounds are believed to be responsible for the herb’s health benefits.

  • Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress.
  • Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that can help to modulate the immune system and improve overall health.
  • Saponins are compounds that have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Forms and Dosage

Astragalus is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, teas, and extracts. The recommended dosage depends on the form of Astragalus and the condition being treated.

  • For capsules and tablets, the recommended dosage is typically 500-1,000 mg per day.
  • For teas, the recommended dosage is typically 3-6 grams of dried Astragalus root per day.
  • For extracts,the recommended dosage varies depending on the concentration of active compounds.

Potential Side Effects

Astragalus is generally considered safe when taken as directed. However, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. These may include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash

Astragalus may also interact with certain medications, including immunosuppressants and medications for diabetes. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking Astragalus if you are taking any medications or have a pre-existing medical condition.

Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking Astragalus, as there is not enough research on the safety of this herb in these populations.

Where to Buy Astragalus

Astragalus supplements or herbs can be found all over the internet or local brick and mortar tea or herb stores. Below is a selection of recommended Astragalus products to purchase.

astragalus benefits

Recommended Astragalus Tea

For Astragalus Tea, we recommend these Premium Astragalus Root Tea Slices that are sold on Amazon. Its one of the few products that are 100% natural and have ONLY astragalus in them.

Plus, the price is just $15 and the supply will last you long.

astragalus benefits

Recommended Astragalus Supplement

If you prefer taking Astragalus in a supplement form then you should definitely go with Astragaloside IV Capsules from Nootropics Depot.

Astragaloside IV is one of the most powerful compounds contained in Astragalus membranaceus and each dose will yield you 100 mg of Astragalus and 50 mg of Astragaloside. It costs just $30 for you monthly supply.

astragalus benefits

Recommended Astragalus Root Powder

If you are more of a smoothie person and you like mixing powders all together, we recommend getting the Organic Astragalus Powder, 10 Ounces from Micro Ingredients.

It is 100% astragalus powder, organic and best part – costs just $23 for more than a months supply.

astragalus benefits

Recommended Astragalus Extract

Moving on, if you would like to consume astragalus as an extract, we recommend checking out this super concentrated astragalus root extract from German pharma company Horbaach – sold on Amazon.

It is one of the highest quality extracts as it uses cold extracting methods to get the extract out of the plant (slower and more expensive method but yields huger dense extracts).

aeon longevity supplement

Bonus: Perpetua Life AEON

As a bonus supplement you may want to check the US manufactured AEON supplement by Perpetua Life. This supplement includes a combination of 11 anti-aging ingredients that are backed by science – including astragalus.

The best part is that is ships worldwide and it costs just $47/bottle if you choose the recurring subscription. We wrote an extensive AEON review here if you care learning more.

Bottom Line

Few.. that was a big article. Astragalus is a wonderous herb with many health and anti-aging benefits. Here’s a recap of what you should keep in mind about astragalus.

  • Astragalus is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • It is believed to have numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and supporting kidney function.
  • Astragalus is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, teas, and extracts.
  • It is generally considered safe when taken as directed, but it may interact with certain medications and should be used with caution in certain populations.

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