The Chinese have used astragalus since ancient times. It provides one of the essential sugars called collectively, Glyconutrients. There are 8 polysaccharides that make up this group. They have only recently been discovered and research has been done on Glyconutrients since the 90’s. Astragalus is used as an herbal supplement and comes in capsules and powder form. teaspoonful of powder is mixed with milk or water. It can also be made into a tea.
Astragalus is a root and belongs to the legume family. It grows in the northern hemisphere in temperate regions. It is also known as milk vetch, or goat’s-thorn. It is a perennial that will grow to about 16 inches high. Its stem is hairy and the root is harvested after 4 years. It originated in China.
Uses: In ancient times, it was used for its healing properties. However, now research has found the reason why. Astragalus is known to help the immune system by producing interferon and increasing red blood cell formation. Interferon is an antiviral substance and helps the immune system to destroy viruses and microbes that can harm the body. It is especially useful to those whose immune systems are weakened either naturally, or by disease. It can also be beneficent for those with serious diseases like cancer. It can also help with blood circulation and increase energy.
It is also an antioxidant. This means that it will help the body get rid of free radicals. The liver makes free radicals when metabolism takes place. Free radicals can destroy cells and cause premature aging of your system. Astragalus will also help rid the body of toxins, which can build up due to ingestion, or pollutants in the air we breathe. Due to environmental pollution, we are now more susceptible to toxins in the air, water, and the food we eat.
Counter uses: it is not advisable to take astragalus when you are taking other herbal remedies or if you are pregnant.
Research continues to be done with astragalus and more uses are being found. Mannatech is a leader in research into Glyconutrients and were the first to look into these essential sugars. They manufacture a diet supplement called Ambrotose which has all the Glyconutrients, including astragalus. Ambrotose is available from distributors. It helps with many functions in the body, but is especially useful as an immune system booster and antioxidant.