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Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Astragalus is a 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 the common cold, upper respiratory infections, seasonal allergies, swine flu, fibromyalgia, anemia, HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. It is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Astragalus is also taken by mouth for angina, asthma, irregular menstruation (amenorrhea), menopausal symptoms, and beta-thalassemia, and to improve athletic performance and weight loss.

Some people use astragalus as a general tonic, to protect the liver, and to fight bacteria and viruses. It is also used for hepatitis B, and to prevent and reduce side effects associated with cancer treatment.

Astragalus is commonly used in combination with other herbs. For example, in combination with Ligustrum lucidum (glossy privet), astragalus is used orally for treating breast cancer, cervical cancer, and lung cancer.

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 chest pain, side effects of cancer treatment, heart failure, hearing loss, diabetes, heart attacks, heart infections, kidney failure, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus), and a specific heart defect (tetralogy of Fallot).

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.

How does it work?

Astragalus seems to stimulate and increase the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Traditionally used for

Seasonal allergies.
Irregular menstruation (amenorrhea).
Chest pain (angina).
Lack of new blood cells from bone marrow (aplastic anemia).
Reducing side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy-related fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome.
Liver scarring (cirrhosis).
Heart failure.
Vision problems in people with diabetes (retinopathy).
Hearing loss.
Kidney disease.
Menopausal symptoms.
Infection in the heart (myocarditis).
Kidney failure.
A chronic inflammatory disease called systemic lupus erythematosus.
A heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot.
Weight loss.


9 to 30 grams per day is a typical dose but vary depending on seriousness of condition.

Possible Side Effects

Astragalus is SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or given intravenously (by IV) under the supervision of a medical professional. Doses of up to 30 grams/day for 3 months or 40 grams/day for 2 months have been safely taken by mouth. Doses of 80 grams/day intravenously (by IV) have been safely administered for one month. 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.

Special Precautions & Warnings

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.

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