Posted on

Astragalus Root for Everyday Health

Our First Award Nomination

We are so excited to share that our first award nomination ever! Bravo’s Astragalus Tea has been nominated in the nutrition category alongside a number of amazing natural products brands.

Our tea makes it easy to incorporate the many health benefits of astragalus into your every day routine. We need our fans to vote- so please take a moment to visit this link and vote today- voting ends July 31st, 2019. (voting now closed)

Astragalus Root: an Ancient Herb

Astragalus root is only now becoming popular in the western world, but it’s been one of the most consumed herbs in Asia for thousands of years. A classical Chinese text called Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing contains the first known mention of the herb. Written around 200 AD, the text discusses the many medicinal herbs used at the time. It’s name in Chinese is huang qi, which means “yellow leader”. Dried astragalus root has a yellow tone (as well as yellow flowers) and the “leader” part of the name is because it’s one of the top herbs used in Chinese medicine.

Bravo Tea's first award nomination has come from the Eco Excellence Awards held by Natural Child World magazine. Our Astragalus Tea is a finalist in the Nutrition Category. Our tea focuses on the amazing health benefits of astragalus root, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine. We need our fans to vote- so please take a moment to visit this link and vote today- voting ends July 31st, 2019.Astragalus root is only now becoming popular in the western world, but it’s been one of the most consumed herbs in Asia for thousands of years. A classical Chinese text called Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing contains the first known mention of the herb. Written around 200 AD, the text discusses the many medicinal herbs used at the time. It’s name in Chinese is huang qi, which means “yellow leader”. Astragalus root has a yellow tone and it’s name means “leader” because it’s one of the top herbs used in Chinese medicine.
The astragalus plant has yellow flowers

 

It’s most common use is to support healthy immune function. Even so, you’ll find astragalus root in many herbal blends for different applications for it’s many benefits but also for how it works synergystically with other herbs.

Best taken daily, the herb is one of the best ways to keep the immune system in top form. A few weeks before cold and flu season, back to school time, or even before you travel are great times to use it.

Astragalus in TCM Herbal Theory

Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) is a completely different system than western medicine. Western medicine looks at an illness from a single view point. For example, if you have a sore throat, you’ll take medicine to address that isolated pain.
 
TCM looks at the entire system affecting the person, in addition to addressing the isolated area. If you have a sore throat, you’ll take herbs that will help balance the entire system that governs the throat.
You’d be looking to rebalance one of the energetic channels, called meridians, in the body. If heat is the cause of the trouble, a cooling herb would be best to treat the problem.
 
The process can become quite complicated with each unique health profile. Each herb has five main characteristics.
 
  • Taste profile (sweet, bitter astringent)
  • The herbs temperature profile (hot or cold)
  • The natural element that it’s related to
  • A season that it’s associated with (five seasons in TCM)
  • System of the body that it’s connected to
Astragalus is a slightly warm herb, which means it can help with imbalances related to coldness in the body. It’s flavor profile is sweet, making it suitable for issues of digestion. Sweet herbs are also used for “tonifying” energy levels in the body. To tonify means to restore energy levels, and help rebuild strength in the body in TCM.It helps keep the energy levels in the body strong so that the immune system can work well. Sweet herbs also have a calming effect and are thought to restore moisture or fluids within the body. The lung connects to the metal element and with the fall season.
Astragalus root in it’s dried and chopped herb form
Astragalus is a slightly warm herb, which means it can help with imbalances related to coldness in the body. It’s flavor profile is sweet, making it suitable for issues of digestion.
Sweet herbs are also used for “tonifying” energy levels in the body. To tonify means to restore energy levels, and help rebuild strength in the body in TCM.
It helps keep the energy levels in the body strong so that the immune system can work well. Sweet herbs also have a calming effect and are thought to restore moisture and fluids within the body. The lung connects to the metal element and with the fall season.

Lung and Spleen Meridians

The spleen meridian and lung meridian have strong associations with astragalus. The meridians are systems in the body where energy flows through. As it flows, it affects different organs along the way. The spleen meridian starts at the upper mid back, flows up  behind the armpit, then flows down to the inner ankle, foot and finally the big toe. 

An imbalanced spleen meridian might cause leg or knee pain, jaw pain, puffy face, joint issues, vomiting, excess phlegm, and loose stools. The spleen has connections to the earth element and Late Summer- the fifth season in TCM.

The spleen meridian as well as the lung meridian have strong associations with astragalus. The meridians can be considered systems in the body, where energy flows through and affects different organs along the way. The spleen meridian starts at the upper mid back, flows up  behind the armpit, then flows all the way down to the inner ankle, foot and finally the big toe. Some of the troubles that can arise from an imbalanced spleen meridian include leg or knee pain, jaw pain, puffy face, joint issues, vomiting, excess phlegm, and loose stools. The spleen has connections to the earth element and is associated with Late Summer- the fifth season in TCM.
A chart of the Spleen Meridian for TCM practitioners

 

The lung meridian works with the heart meridian to control breathing. Starting at the solar plexus area, it flows upward over the stomach, then down the diaphragm, then flows down to the large intestine. When we follow the path of energy in the body, it’s easier to see why TCM considers whole systems. As the energy travels, it touches and effects different organs.

Lung meridian imbalance can cause wrist problems, shoulder pain, asthma, bronchitis, and lost voice.

The lung meridian works with the heart meridian to control breathing. It starts in the core or the solar plexus area, flows upward over the stomach then down the diaphragm, then flows down to the large intestine. Following the path of the energy in meridians makes it much easier to understand why many different areas in the body are considered when it comes to illness in TCM. Disorders associated with lung meridian imbalance include wrist problems, shoulder pain, asthma, bronchitis, and lost voice.This is just a general explanation of these two systems and how astragalus works with them.
A chart of the Lung Meridian for TCM practitioners

 

This is a general explanation of these two systems and how astragalus works with them. Real TCM theory- especially when used by practitioners, is much more complex and issues vary from person to person. Please remember that these statements are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Modern Research and Astragalus

Many modern drugs began with the study of herbal remedies and how they affected the body. Western medicine and TCM methodologies are completely different. Still, Western science is taking a serious look at why TCM is still relevant in the modern world. 

Since astragalus is one of the most well known herbs, it’s no wonder that it’s been the subject of many new studies. Modern studies are expanding understanding of the herb from a Western perspective.

Astragalus Root and Healthy Immune Function

Studies show that astragalus may support white blood cell production. This could be the reason why many use the herb to support immunity. Astragalus is rich with “immuno-stimulants”, nutritional components that may stimulate immune response. Some of these include:

Asparagine

Calycosin

Cycloastragenol

Astragalosides

Betaine

Kumatakenin

Glucuronic acid

β-sitosterol

Soyasaponin

Formononetin astraisoflavan

The immuno-stimulants may affect the cardiovascular system and the neuroendocrine systems. Some studies looked at astragalus to measure it’s potency against germs, bacteria and viruses.

Astragalus Root for Cardiovascular Health

There are some human studies focused on astragalus. One studied its ability to support patients with congestive heart failure. Patients who received astragalus saw increased heart function. This effect may have been due to astragalus supporting healthy inflammation response. Researchers noted that astragalus might be helpful for stimulating the immune system. They concluded that it could be helpful for fighting the common cold and other infections.

Astragalus Root for Energy & Stamina

One study looked at the effect of herbal supplements on athletes. It found astragalus may lower cholesterol levels and improve self-reported levels of energy.
 
The immune supporting properties of the herb may also boost energy levels. A study on the anti-aging implications of astragalus observed this. It also showed that the immune boosting qualities supported metabolic function.
 
An animal study showed rats given astragalus had higher endurance and less fatigue. These results were also related to the immune support from astragalus. A balancing effect on abnormal cytokines (cells that promote inflammation) was also observed.
 

Everyday Astragalus Use

 Our understanding of astragalus root grows every year as new studies emerge. Astragalus root is a healthy super-food that you can incorporate into your everyday. Our Astragalus Tea is a delicious and affordable health support tea. You’ll love adding Astragalus Tea into your daily routine.