|Astragalus is of the most popular herbs used in the Orient; the Chinese
name for astragalus is Huang Ch'i. This is a tonic producing warm energy and
specifically tonifying for the lungs, spleen, and triple warmer via meridians.
In studies performed at the Nation Cancer Institute and 5 other leading American Cancer
Institutes over the past 10 years, it has been positively shown that astragalus
strengthens a patients' immune systems. Researchers believed on the basis of cell studies
that astragalus augments those white blood cells that fight disease and removes some of
those which make the body more vulnerable to it. There is clinical evidence that cancer
patients given astragalus during chemotherapy and radiation, both of which reduce the
body's natural immunity while attacking the cancer, recover significantly faster and live
longer. It is evident that astragalus does not directly attack cancers themselves, but
instead strengthens the body's immune system. In these same studies, both in the
laboratory and with 572 patients, it also has been found that Astragalus promotes adrenal
cortical function, which also is critically diminished in cancer patients.
Scientists have isolated a number of active ingredients contained in astragalus, including
bioflavanoids, choline, and a polysaccharide called astragalan B. Animal studies have
shown that astragalan B is effective at stimulating the immune system and protecting the
body against a number of toxins.
Astragalus is well known for strengthening the immune system. Historical uses include
oriental tonic and promoter of health, supports natural defenses and supports peripheral
Astragalan B seems to work by binding to cholesterol on the outer membranes of viruses,
destabilizing their defenses and allowing the body's immune system to attack the weakened
invader. Astragalus shows support for peripheral vascular diseases and peripheral