Astragalus is a powerful adaptogenic herb that supports the immune function. The Chinese have been using it for centuries. It comes from a type of bean or legume. The herb offers multiple health benefits, for instance, one can use it to treat the common cold, upper respiratory infections, and diabetes. It is available in the form of dried whole root, dried sliced root, root powder, capsules, and liquid extracts.
The regular use of Astragalus roots protects us against many diseases and viral infections. Its extract increases immune cell function, by activating T-cells that are central to the immune function. These cells identify foreign antigens and destroy abnormal cancer cells and virus-infected cells. You can use the herb for treating hepatitis, where it displays an interferon-like action on hepatitis B infection. One can see an increase in macrophages post the administration of the herb. This explains, at least partly, the excellent immune boosting action of this herb. The roots have anti-inflammatory properties, which enhance the body’s wound healing process.
Scientists have discovered that Astragalus has compounds that can turn on telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that maintains telomere length. Telomeres are the caps on the ends of each strand of your DNA. They get shorter each time your cells divide, and the shorter your telomeres get the older your cells act. Telomerase is the enzyme your body uses to repair your telomeres. Telomerase production is turned off most of the time. Recently, scientists isolated a molecule from a rare form of the Astragalus plant that turns telomerase production on. This causes your cells to act younger.
You can take Astragalus root in a standardized extract, tea or decoction, tincture or ointment, all have their recommended dosages. The typical recommendations are 2 to 6 grams daily of the powdered root.
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