What is Astragalus?Astragalus, as a general term, refers to a genus of some 3,000 species of herbs, plants, and shrubs, which are native to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. These are fairly varied, with some being flowering plants, some more herb-like leafy plants, and others being more akin to decorative or ornamental shrubs. However, members of this species have been used for hundreds or thousands of years in Chinese traditional medicine, as well as the traditional medicine practices of several regions of the Middle East – both places where members of the genus can be found in abundance. In terms of modern supplements, the shorthand Astragalus most often refers to Astragalus propinquus, a specific species within the genus. It is a flowering plant with small, short leaves. While several species in the genus are known to have toxic components, none of these have ever been found in Astragalus propinquus, and as it has been used for many centuries in traditional Chinese medicine without ill effect, it is generally considered to be safe.
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What Parts of Astragalus are Used for Supplements and Medicine?In traditional Chinese medicine, the leaves (and sometimes flowers) of the herb are primarily used. The root may also be used, usually in powdered or extract form, for similar purposes. Again, it is important that the correct species be used, as several species contain toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. The Astragalus propinquus, also known as Astragalus membranaceus, has not been shown in any formal testing to contain toxins or harmful components. Most supplements use the root of the plant, as it contains larger concentrations of the compounds that are thought to be active and convey the positive health effects, discussed in more detail below.
What are the Uses or Benefits of Astragalus Supplements?Astragalus, especially astragalus roots, have been shown to contain many chemicals that may be effective for anti-aging and other health purposes. In fact, astragalus has been marketed, in various forms, and studied for the treatment of some 30+ conditions or diseases. Most often, however, supplementation is focused on the life-prolonging, anti-aging effects of the compounds in the plant root. It has been shown in several studies to boost the immune system, and have a positive effect on telomerase, which in turn acts on telomeres. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes, and their shortening (often caused by age, stress, and disease factors) has been shown to be linked to cancer development. Telomerase, which tends to be more prevalent with astragalus supplementation, works to lengthen the telomeres, which form a protective barrier at the end of chromosomes. This is believed to have an anti-malignancy effect and may protect against cancer development. These "life boosting" abilities make Astragalus a great addition to the HCG Drops Diet. This is why it has been added as one of the essential ingredients in Access HCG Drops.
What is the Typical Dosage?This supplement is typically supplied as capsules or tablets for oral ingestion. Generally, the dosage range is 400 mg to 1200 mg, though individual effectiveness may vary considerably (i.e., someone might get full effect at 400 mg while others need much more). As in many cases, the dosage should be started on the low end, and increased gradually. As with most supplements, discussion of a supplement plan and dosage with a doctor or healthcare professional is recommended, as they will know best if there are any contraindications with your health conditions or medications, which might be exacerbated or advise against the use of astragalus or other supplement products.
What are the Side Effects of Astragalus?It is generally well-tolerated with few well-documented side effects. The most common (though still rare) side effects are diarrhea or upset stomach. It may also have an impact on blood sugar levels and blood pressure, so those with diabetes or blood pressure problems should definitely consult a doctor prior to taking it for the first time or changing dosages. Those suffering from auto-immune conditions may or may not wish to take it. It is thought to increase immune system activity, which can be a negative factor for those with auto-immune disorders, exacerbating their conditions. However, there is some limited evidence that it may help to resolve or increase remission of auto-immune conditions in the long run, so, as ever, individual results may vary, and should be discussed with a doctor. Medications such as cyclophosphamide, lithium, and immunosuppressant’s may have interactions with astragalus and may contraindicate use. As with any supplement, patients should consult with their doctor or healthcare provider, reviewing all their current medications, supplements, and health conditions, prior to beginning a supplement regimen. Buy HCG Drops Other Supplements