Astragalus Mongholicus - Astragalus membranaceus, Milk-Vetch Root, and Huang-qi.
2007-02-06 15:17:56
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Herb name:
Astragalus mongholicus. Other names for this herb are Astragalus membranaceus, Milk-Vetch Root, and Huang-qi.
Herb overview: 
The Chinese have been using Astragalus mongholicus since ancient times for the treatment of high Blood pressure, fatigue, and as a natural diuretic. It is used all over the world today as a remedy for congestion, colds, certain flu viruses, chronic hepatitis, and for certain ailments of the digestive tract such as gas, Diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. It can also possibly be helpful in strengthening the liver. It is believed that Astragalus mongholicus can also aid the immune system, and can help prevent colds and other types of viruses. Researchers in the United States have been studying Astragalus mongholicus to see if it may have properties than can help enhance the immune systems of patients who are undergoing immunity-suppressing medical treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy. These studies are showing positive results, and many patients who are given Astragalus mongholicus have been recovering more quickly, and living longer. Although AIDS is an immunity-suppressing disease, studies of the use of Astragalus mongholicus by AIDS patients are not showing any conclusive results as of yet, but things are looking promising. Preliminary studies have shown that Astragalus can improve sperm motility, making it a possible promising treatment for male Infertility.
Chinese researchers have found that Astragalus could help people with some forms of Heart disease. Some studies in China have shown that Astragalus can lessen the severity of Heart disease symptoms, and can help improve overall heart function. The saponins in Astragalus have anti-coagulant effects, which could prevent blood clots , therefore possibly preventing strokes or heart attacks. With all of Astragalus' possible benefits and no apparent negative side effects, it has shown great promise as an herbal alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for many ailments.
Astragalus has also been shown to act on stress hormones that are produced in the body, and possibly balance the nervous system, easing such disorders as anxiety, Depression, and panic attacks. More studies need to be done in this area before any conclusive results are published.
Herb Description:
Astragalus mongholicus grows naturally in certain areas of China, and in Mongolia. It grows to a height of sixteen inches, and is harvested when it is approximately four years old. The stems are fuzzy, and grow leaves that have twelve to eighteen pairs of smaller leaf offshoots. In certain greenhouse conditions or in the right climactic conditions, Astragalus can be grown in other areas.
Herb make-up:
Some of the ingredients that have been isolated in Astragalus are flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, and polysaccharides.
Types available:
The root of the Astragalus plant is dried, and this is what is used for medicinal purposes.
Method of intake:
Astragalus mongholicus can be taken in capsule form, as a fluid extract or powdered extract, brewed in tea, as part of an injectable substance, or it can be contained in an ointment at ten percent strength and applied directly to the skin.
It is used in its various forms to treat such ailments as fatigue, uterine bleeding, chronic infections, menopausal night Sweats or night Sweats caused by other conditions, allergies, iron-deficiency Anemia, and breathing problems.
Dosage for children: Astragalus may be given to children for immune system enhancement, or as a topical solution for wounds, but in smaller amounts than an adult would take. The dosage for children should be given according to weight, and should be administered once per day. It is advisable to consult a professional who specializes in herbal medicines before giving Astragalus to children, to figure out proper dosage or make sure that it would be safe for the particular child. Although Astragalus has not been proven to cause any allergic reactions in either children or adults, if your child has multiple allergies or is taking allergy medication, it is best to consult with your pediatrician before administering Astragalus mongholicus either internally or as a topical solution.
Adult dosage:
Tea - Three to six grams of dried Astragalus root steeped in twelve ounces of water to make a tea. Adults should drink a cup of Astragalus tea three times daily, or as directed by their health care provider.
Extract - Fluid extract of Astragalus: two to four mL three times daily.
Powdered extract – Powdered Astragalus extract should be a standard strength of .5% 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy isoflavone, and dosage is 100 to 150 milligrams per day.
Tincture – Three to five mL three times daily.
Ointment – A solution of ten percent Astragalus applied directly to any type of skin wound, such as a burn or laceration, once per day or as directed by a physician. 
No side effects have ever been shown in people using Astragalus mongholicus. It is has been safely used by individuals who have shown negative side effects with other herbs or supplements. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing a child should always check with their health care provider before taking Astragalus or any other herbal supplement or medication.
Interaction possibilities:
If you are taking medications such as acyclovir or interferon, which are anti-viral medications, you need to talk with your doctor before taking Astragalus mongholicus. Transplant recipients who are taking the anti-rejection medication cyclophosphamide should not take Astragalus mongholicus, as the Astragalus may interfere with the effects of the medication.
If you are taking any kind of medication for a temporary or ongoing condition, you should check with your doctor before taking Astragalus. Although Astragalus is one of the safest herbs to take, there may be certain situations where it might not be advisable to take it with pharmaceutical medicines, or possibly with other types of herbs. If your regular medical doctor is not familiar with Astragalus mongholicus and its properties, you should request that your doctor check with an herbal medicine specialist if he or she has any concerns about its use. If you are being treated directly by a doctor or professional who specializes in holistic and natural medicines, he or she will probably be well-trained in the uses of Astragalus mongholicus, and should also know about its possible interactions with pharmaceutical medicines.
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