Friday, December 3, 2010

Astragalus: Cures the Common Cold?

Astragalus is an herb that has many possible benefits, including fighting infection and the common cold, to benefiting AIDS patients. Traditional Chinese medicine has used Astragalus for a remedy for weakness, edema, repiratory infections, diabetes, night sweats, diarrhea, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is considered to be the "yang" in nature; and is used in TCM to treat conditions of the stomach and in women, the uterus. Studies confirm it contains medicinal qualities that stimulates the immune system. Some research also suggests that Astragalus may be useful in the fight against diseases such as lupus, cancer; not to mention it's anti-aging effects. Many people use it as an overall good-health tonic to support healthy digestion and to help increase energy levels and stamina.

Traditional herbalists have long used Astragalus as a diabetes treatment and modern research has indicated it may be helpful for prevention of the diabetes as well as, for those who have complications associated with the disorder such as, diabetic retinopathy.

Clinical studies show the herb has an anti-clotting agent and acts as a blood thinner which may help prevent coronary heart disease and improve circulation.

American Cancer Society publication reports that it restored immune functions in 90% of the cancer patients studied. It is presently being looked upon as a possible treatment for people living with AIDS and for its potential to prolong life by stimulating the T-helper cells that are depleted. Research also suggests the herb might be useful in treating atherosclerosis, hytperthyroidism, insomnia, chronic active hepatitis, genital herpes, AIDS, and the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. It is relied on in Chinese medicine for reducing the portentially damaging effects of chemotherapy by helping the bone marrow produce more white blood cells.

Astragulus also appears to have have a protective effect on the liver. In one study, Astragulus helped protect the liver against the toxin carbon tetrachloride.

Astragalus is considered an anti-inflammatory that is said to be effective in treating lung weakness and may promote general healing, which may be helpful in treating emphysema. Astragalus enhances the protective effects of the immune system. Similar to echinacea it increases the levels of certain immune cells that fight viruses and other microbial intruders. Natural killer cells are also activated that attack and destroy cancer cells and viruses. It boosts the level of antibodies and signal the immune system to destroy the most common intruders-bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes.

Astragalus is one of the best herbs during cold and flu season, it is thought to be a reliable treatment for the common cold, as well as, protect against the number of colds caught or possibly shorten their duration. It has been used to treat respiratory tract infections. Its effective for people who are susceptible to asthma. It is known as a remedy for poor appetite and weak digestion.

Traditional Chinese medicine sometimes recommends astragalus for organ prolapse-that is, conditions like prolapsed uterus or hemorrhoids. It also acts as a natural diuretic, helping to excrete excess fluids and relieve conditions such as edema and may reduce the potential of infection in the bladder. It is also said to be an anti-hypertensive, which promotes healthy blood pressure by helping rid the body of excess water weight. Astragalus is also known to heal ulcerations of the skin and help with the cause of weak muscles due to poor digestion.

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