If you’re looking for the best astragalus supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Astragalus Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Astragalus Supplements
|#1||Nature’s Way Astragalus Root||More Info|
|#2||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Astragalus||More Info|
|#3||Gaia Herbs Astragalus Supreme||More Info|
|#4||BlueBonnet Astragalus Root Extract||More Info|
|#5||Pure Mountain Botanicals Astragalus||More Info|
|#6||Paradise Herbs Astragalus||More Info|
|#7||Real Herbs Astragalus Root Extract||More Info|
|#8||Nature’s Plus Astragalus||More Info|
|#9||Douglas Laboratories Astragalus Max-V||More Info|
|#10||Dr. Christophers Astragalus Root||More Info|
Traditionally, astragalus roots were consumed in tea, or whole, to promote energy and youthfulness. The species of astragalus found in supplements is native to China and Mongolia, but today the plant is cultivated in a variety of places for its medicinal value.
The plant’s bushy appearance and unique flowers also make it a prized ornamental, but the roots are where you find the health benefits offered by this antioxidant-rich herb.
What Is Astragalus?
Astragalus is a part of the pea family that is found growing in various regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The species Astragalus membranaceus, also called huang qi, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since 200 B.C. The plant also has historic used among First Nations Tribes in North America, where the roots were used to relive the discomfort of chronic pain. When found growing in the wild, the plant is identified by its distinctive flowers. The flowers are pale yellow and grow in hanging, bell-shaped clusters.
The flowers appear in midsummer and remain on the plant until late autumn. This perennial also has hairy stems and dark green leaves with smooth edges. The leaves appear in sets of 12 to 18 and grow in opposite pairs. When untended, astragalus has a wide, bushy appearance and can grow up to 6 feet high. When found in gardens, astragalus is a perennial plant that is typically grown for medicinal or ornamental use.
Huang qi is allowed to mature for four years before it is prepared for medicinal use. After the fourth year, the roots are dried, or sometimes dried then powdered, to make supplements and other products. Traditionally, the root is left whole and used to promote vitality and to fight the signs of aging. Much like ginseng, Astragalus is an adaptogen that can help fight stress, including physical stress, to fight illness and disease.
Benefits of Astragalus
As an adaptogen, astragalus promotes overall health and well-being by balancing the effects of stress on the body. The herb the immune system and detoxifies the body. The antioxidants in astragalus are responsible for improving immune response by preventing the production of free radicals. Eliminating free radicals helps prevent age-related diseases, such as heart disease.
The dried root is sometimes used as a complementary medicine after completing cancer treatments. As a complimentary medicine, astragalus helps restore immune function after receiving treatments that weaken the immune system, such as chemotherapy. The herb also helps the body produce interferon, a naturally occurring antibody that interferes in the production of tumors.
Astragalus is also a detoxifying herb that cleanses and restores the body. Its detoxifying action promotes good urinary tract health and encourages proper liver and kidney function. The adaptogen is also useful when you are exposed to a variety of environmental pollutants, such as smog, because it helps kill free radicals introduced by the environment while reducing the physical stress pollutants have on the body.
Astragalus is perhaps most well-known for its heart strengthening benefits. The herb is thought to lower cholesterol, and the antioxidants in the root promote overall heart health. The herb also helps fight viral infections, lowers blood sugar and reduces the affects of seasonal allergies.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Astragalus usually doesn’t cause side effects when taken by healthy adults who aren’t taking prescription medications. The remedy occasionally cause bowels blockages. Drinking an entire glass of water with the supplement and adding extra water to your diet helps reduce this risk of bowel problems.
Astragalus can interfere with some medications. If you are taking an immunosuppressant, talk to your doctor before you take any supplements. Don’t take astragalus if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia to avoid potentially dangerous drops in your blood sugar level, and avoid the supplement if you are currently breastfeeding or pregnant.
Astragalus can also reduce the body’s ability to process and expel lithium, a medicine commonly prescribed in the treatment of some mental disorders. Avoid the supplement if you are taking lithium to prevent a potentially dangerous buildup of the medicine in your body.
Some astragalus species contain a small amount of swainsonine, a compound that is neurotoxic. Commercial supplements, or commercially prepared whole roots, are a safe, effective alternative to growing your own astragalus. An allergic reaction is possible when taking the supplement. Seek emergency medical care if you have any troublesome symptoms after taking astragalus. If you are using a topical ointment that contains astragalus, discontinue use if you develop rash or other signs of irritation.
If you are growing the medicinal plant for your personal use, make sure to choose a species that is safe to consume, such as Astragalus membranaceus. Long-term side effects are unknown, but the supplement may become less effective when taken for long periods of time. Rotating astragalus with other adaptogens, such as ginseng, is usually recommended to promote long-term effectiveness. It is also important to take the recommended dosage of astragalus. High doses of the herb, or more than 28 grams daily, can suppress the immune system.
How to Take Astragalus
When taking astragalus capsules, follow the directions found on the label to take the recommended dosage provided by the supplement manufacturer. Generally, the adult dosage of dried, powdered astragalus ranges from two to six grams of the powdered root taken in three daily doses of 250 to 500 milligrams each. Drink a full glass of water each time you take the capsules.
Whole, dried slices of astragalus are also available, and can be combined with food or soaked in hot water and taken as a tea. To use dried astragalus slices in tea, add 3 to 6 grams of the roots to 12 ounces of water and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Drink the tea up to three times daily. Whole dried roots are usually sliced and used to make tea following the same method. Serve the tea hot or over ice.
When using a tincture, consider the ratio of herbs to alcohol to determine the correct dose. For a tincture that has a 1:5 ratio, or one part herbs to five parts alcohol, use 10 to 30 drops per day. Stronger dosages are typically advised for treatment, while milder dosages are recommended for illness prevention.
Follow the dosage instructions carefully when using liquid preparations of astragalus, as some products are highly concentrated. Creams and salves are applied to the skin to treat minor cuts and scrapes. Apply the ointment as directed, or apply a thin layer of the product to the affected area once per day.
What to Look For In a Good Astragalus Supplement
High-quality astragalus supplements contain a higher amount of the active ingredient with few fillers. When using astragalus for specific ailments, you may want to look for a formula that contains additional ingredients to boost the action of the herb. For instance, astragalus supplements that contain vitamin C may be more effective when using the supplement to boost immune system function.
Opt for organic astragalus whenever possible, and use supplements that are made from the whole root to maximize the medicinal value of the supplement. Standardized supplements are recommended to ensure capsules and liquids contain a reliable amount of the active ingredient. When choosing dried roots, purchase the roots from a reliable company to ensure they are authentic astragalus, and to ensure the roots are the highest quality available.
Liquid astragalus supplements are a good choice when you want a convenient option made with whole roots. Look for a formula that contains whole root pieces in a base of alcohol to extend the supplement’s shelf life, or read the label before choosing your supplement if you want an alcohol-free alternative. Ointments and salves typically contain astragalus in a base oil. Look for a cream made with natural ingredients, such as shea, coconut or beeswax, to treat minor injuries.