This adaptogenic root herb is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and is used as both a preventive and curative medicine for respiratory infections, diarrhea, fatigue, heart disease, and hepatitis. (4) The polysaccharides (complex sugars) in astragalus stimulate the production of and bind to B-cells, a type of white cell responsible for destroying pathogens. (5)
Further, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory astragalus contains potent antioxidants that prevent cell damage. It has been shown to moderate cholesterol, prevent and alleviate renal (kidney) damage, and relieve symptoms of heart disease. (6, 7) The multiple modes by which astragalus works make it an excellent immune system booster, resisting infection and combating illness and disease without the harsh side effects associated with drugs.
Perhaps most notable and least known is astragalus’ uses for cancer patients: when taken in conjunction with chemotherapy, it can alleviate adverse side effects. Moreover, astragalus inhibits cancer cell growth and proliferation and can reduce tumor size. (8)