Also is known as huang chi and huang qi.
The genus Astragalus is an enormous group of more than 2,000 species distributed worldwide, commonly known as milk vetches. The Chinese species A. membranaceus and the related A. mongholicus are thought to be varieties of the same species. Both are perennial herbs native to the northern provinces of China and are cultivated in China, Korea, and Japan. The dried root is used medicinally. Astragalus roots are sold as long pieces, which have a tough, fibrous skin with a lighter interior. Some products are produced by frying the roots with honey, although the untreated root itself has a sweet, licorice-like taste.
Astragalus is an adaptogen that has the ability to help the body deal with physical, emotional or mental stress. It is also famous for aiding the body in curbing infections and other diseases. In one study conducted, it was found out that the astragalus plant contains both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
What Do We Know About Safety?
Astragalus is considered safe for many adults. The most commonly reported side effects are diarrhea and other mild gastrointestinal effects. However, it may affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure and be risky for people with certain health problems, such as blood disorders, diabetes, or hypertension.
Astragalus may interact with medications that suppress the immune system, such as drugs taken by organ transplant recipients and some cancer patients.
Some astragalus species, usually not found in dietary supplements, can be toxic. Several species that grow in the United States contain the neurotoxin swainsonine and have caused “locoweed” poisoning in animals. Other species contain potentially toxic levels of selenium. text