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Astragalus Root

Sharon Leake


Astragalus membranaceaus is an immunomodulator that has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Western medicine adapted its use after research highlighted its effects on the immune system. The polysaccharides in Astragalus enhance phagocytosis in reticuloendothelial systems, stimulate pituitary-adrenal cortical activity, stimulate production of interferon, and restore RBC formation in bone marrow.

Astragalus also has anticancer effects and may be beneficial for some who are immunocompromised. This herb has been used in treating chronic leukopenia, which is a side effect of steroids and cancer drugs. It strengthens many functions of the immune system and helps protect the liver from damage that is associated with certain cancer medications.

Astragalus has also been used traditionally to normalize heart and kidney function, treat bladder infections, burns & colds. Having antioxidant effects, astragalus inhibits free radical production which helps protect cells from damage associated with aging.

Precautions: Astragalus enhances the effects of interleukin (IL2) and acyclovir. Lower dosing may facilitate the same therapeutic effects when astragalus is added to IL2 (aldesleukin). Astragalus may be contraindicated if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs (e.g., cyclosporine, azathioprine & methotrexate) or suffer from an autoimmune disorder.


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