Astragalus is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.
Astragalus is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Astragalus is taken by mouth for seasonal allergies, heart failure, diabetes and to strengthen and regulate the immune system and many other conditions.
Some people use astragalus as a general tonic, to protect the liver, and to fight bacteria and viruses. It is also used to prevent and reduce side effects associated with cancer treatment.
Astragalus is commonly used in combination with other herbs.
Astragalus is sometimes applied to the skin to increase blood flow to the area and to speed wound healing.
Astragalus is injected in to the vein for the side effects of cancer treatment, heart failure, diabetes, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus), and many other conditions.
There are several different species of astragalus. Some species contain a toxin called swainsonine and have been linked to livestock poisonings. Some of these species include Astragalus lentiginosus, Astragalus mollissimus, and others. However, these species of astragalus are usually not found in dietary supplements used by humans. Most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for Astragalus are as follows:
More evidence is needed to rate astragalus for these uses.
Astragalus seems to stimulate and increase the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Astragalus is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or given intravenously (by IV) under the supervision of a medical professional. Doses of up to 60 grams/day for 4 months have been safely taken by mouth. Doses of 80 grams/day intravenously (by IV) have been safely administered for 4 months. When taken by mouth, astragalus may cause rash, itchy skin, nasal symptoms, or stomach discomfort. However, these events are uncommon. When given by IV, astragalus may cause dizziness or irregular heartbeat.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of astragalus in humans during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, some research in animals suggests that astragalus can be toxic to the mother and fetus. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other immune system conditions: Astragalus might make the immune system more active. This could worsen the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. Avoid using astragalus if you have any of these conditions.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) is used to make the immune system less active. Astragalus increases the activity of the immune system. Taking astragalus along with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) might decrease the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar).
Astragalus may increase urination and water removal like a "water pill" (diuretic). As a result, taking astragalus might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
Astragalus increases the activity of the immune system. Taking astragalus along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
There are no known interactions with foods.
Astragale, Astragale à Feuilles de Réglisse, Astragale Queue-de-Renard, Astragale Réglissier, Astragali, Astragalo, Astragalus Membranaceus, Astragalus mongholicus, Astragli Membranceus, Beg Kei, Bei Qi, Buck Qi, Chinese Astragalus, Huang Qi, Huang Se, Huangqi, Hwanggi, Membranous Milk Vetch, Milk Vetch, Mongolian Milk, Ogi, Phaca membranacea, Radix Astragali, Radix Astragalus, Réglisse Bâtarde, Réglisse Sauvage.
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