We have within us a fully equipped and well-armed army to defend ourselves against external invasions of viruses and bacteria: it is the immune system.
Before we resort to drugs, we can do something to help this army to be fit and ready to defend ourselves. As always, nature comes to our rescue with a large number of effective remedies.
Astragalus and Echinacea have always been used as support plants for the immune system.
It is a plant that belongs to leguminous plants (the same family of peas and beans), originating in northern China. It has long fibrous roots and leaves that can contain toxic substances. Of the species “Astragalus membranaceus”, the Chinese have for centuries been using roots, in the form of sticks and with a sweet taste, to make infusions or broths. Capsules containing dry extract or mother tincture bottles are commercially available.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used as a tonic, in case of weakness and to increase resistance to disease.
Clinical studies have shown that the use of Astragalo leads to an increase in the number of antibodies (IgA and IgG) and even appears to block the multiplication of certain viruses (retrovirus) in laboratory experiments by acting on their RNA.
The polysaccharides (molecules related to sugars) contained in large quantities in the root of Astragalo could be responsible for this action. Specific mechanisms for action are still being studied.
Astragalus also contains molecules with antioxidant and antibacterial actions to enhance the positive effect on the immune system.
Thus, what tradition has known for centuries is confirmed: the Astragalus stimulates white blood cells (“soldiers” of our army) to strengthen the body’s defences from external agents.
Talalus should not be used if it is used:
You are taking anticoagulant medications (warfarin, heparin, clopidogrel) and some NSAID anti-inflammatory medications, as the ability of Astragalo to increase the risk of bleeding when used at the same time has been demonstrated;
Usually take?-blocking, sedative, hypnotic, colchicine, ephedrine, Rauwolfia alkaloids and calcium salts;
You are diabetic: antidiabetic or insulin medications may interfere with Astragalus preparations;
You are doing a treatment with plants that may alter blood sugar levels (e. g. bitter melon and Gymnema) or may interfere with blood clotting (e. g. Panax Ginseng, Gingko Biloba and Garlic).
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