The herb Astragalus is a very important immune system boosting herb. Often those who need to restore T-Cell counts to their blood use this herb. T-Cells are a specific type of white blood cell that are a part of the lymphocyte family. This is something that is very important to cancer patients.
While there seems to be no effect on the malignancy, meaning that it is not cytotoxic (poison for cells) it does however, appear to strengthen the immune system in a way that it makes the battle with cancerous cells less taxing for the patient.
It should also be noted that Astragalus is a common medicine that is used in adjunctive support for those patients who are required to undergo chemotherapy.
Astragalus contains a number of components including flavonoids, polysaccharides, triterpene glycosides, amino acids and trace minerals. The great Chinese Emperor Shen Nung first discovered the Astragalus during the 1800’s.
Later, Dr. Alexander van Bunge, a Russian physicist, first described the species to doctors in the west in 1868.
Slowly becoming one of the more popular Chinese herbs, Astragalus has the ability to protect the liver, stimulate the immune system, and fight bacteria, viruses, and inflammation. It also acts as a diuretic and adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that are non-specific to actions within our body, yet cause minimal disruptions and no change in normalization, no matter condition, or disease.
Astragalus also strengthens your bodily resistance and promotes the growth of healthy new tissues via phytochemicals that are present in the plant, including saponins and triterpenes. While Astragalus cannot attack a cancer directly, it can buffer the immune system in order to prevent other diseases and illnesses from attacking a patient during cancer treatment.
Astragalus to Build the Immune System
Astragalus augments white blood cells, which are capable of fighting off disease and removing some of the toxins that make the body vulnerable. Astragalus ameliorates bone marrow press ion and gastro intestinal toxicity caused by chemotherapy and radiation.
Astragalus is currently being researched as a possible treatment for those people who are living with the AIDS disease, as well we for other viral conditions where it can increase interferon production and increase the NK and T-Cell functions.
Astragalus has also been shown to be effective against peripheral vascular diseases and peripheral circulation enhancement.
With traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus is usually used in a daily dose, anywhere between 9g to 15g a day of the sliced dried root that has been simmered for several hours in a quart of water. Usually, the water is consumed when it has been steeped down to a pint of liquid.
On the other hand, you can also prepare Astragalus by combining 1 part honey, 4 parts of the dried root and a small amount of water in a work or a skillet. Simmer this mixture until the water evaporates and the herbs have been slightly browned.
If you want to boost your immune system further, you could make your own tea. Boil 3 tsp of Astragalus root into 1 cup of water for about 20 minutes. If you choose to take this in a tablet or capsule form, you should know that it is typically combined with ginseng and taken up to three times a day. As far as doctors are aware, Astragalus has no known adverse side effects.