Astragalus the power house immune building plant
Astragalus is one of the most potent adaptogen herbs, it helps us to stay youthful, lower stress levels and fight disease.
What is astragalus?
Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It comes from a bean or legume. Only the roots of the astragalus plants are used and these are harvested when plants are 4-years old. There are over 2000 species of astragalus, however, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus. Currently over 200 compounds have been isolated and identified from the herb and these include polysaccharides, saponins and flavonoids.
How does astragalus help to keep cells young?
Telomeres are caps that protect the end of each strand of DNA, they are like the plastic tips at the end of a shoelace. Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides and act as a clock that signals to cells to age. Eventually the telomeres become so short that the ends of DNA are unprotected, and cells stop functioning or die.
Studies indicate that an enzyme called Telomerase may delay, stop or may even reverse telomere shortening. Several extracts from Astragalus membranceus root have been studied as possible telomerase activators1. Substances within astragalus root (called cycloastragenols and astragalosides) are believed to slow the ageing process by activating telomerase enzyme production. This is the process responsible for telomere regeneration.
Help cells live longer and function as they did when they were younger.
3 components give this plant special qualities for human health:
There are more than 63 flavonoids including isoflavones, isoflavans, pterocarpans, flavonols, flavones, and flavonones. These components are important for cell signalling, their antioxidant properties and support a healthy heart.
These have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Polysaccharides naturally have a high nutritive value and a positive effect on our immune and digestive system and help to remove toxins.
Saponins are plant-based steroids that work to reduce cholesterol levels, improve the immune system and reduce inflammation. Studies indicate that they help to suppress the release of lipase, an enzyme that breaks down dietary fats. As a result, your body will absorb less fat from food.
What are the benefits of astragalus and how is it effective in boosting immunity and health?
Studies continue to reveal the reasons that astragalus has so many health benefits and how it works to protect our cells from disease and oxidation.
Astragalus acts as an anti-inflammatory to help to protect from arthritis to heart disease. The saponins and polysaccharides help to reduce the inflammatory response in many diseases.
Helps to regulate the body’s immune responses.
Boosts heart and cardiovascular health
The flavonoids act as antioxidants and help to protect against hardening of the arteries and the build-up of plaque in the arterial walls.
Helps to fight ageing
Astragalus helps to protect from free radical damage to prevent oxidative stress. It is also reputed to help to protect the telomeres – the caps at the end of our DNA strands.
Helps to protect against diabetes
The combination of saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides combine to work to prevent insulin resistance.