NEW MEDICINES FROM ASTRAGALUS
It has been observed that some species of Astragalus – namely Astragalus membranaceus have associated medicinal usage in traditional Chinese medicine, ranging from broader use of protection against disease to prevention of cancer and diabetes. Antioxidants, as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities are also common amongst some Astragalus species.
Astragalus is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The root is a sweet tonic herb that stimulates the immune system and many organs of the body, whilst lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is particularly suited to young, physically active people, increasing stamina and endurance and improving resistance to the cold and is superior to ginseng in this respect. Astragalus is used especially for treatment of the kidneys and also to avoid senility. The root contains a number of bio-active constituents. It is used in the treatment of cancer, prolapse of the uterus, abscesses and chronic ulcers. Recent research in the West has shown that the root can increase the production of interferon and macrophages and thus help restore normal immune function in cancer patients. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy recover faster and live longer if given Astragalus.