Astragalus is an herb native to China.1 There are over 2,000 species of the astragalus herb, but only two are commonly used in alternative medicine: Astragalus membranaceus and Astragalus mongholicus.1 The part of the plant used is the four- to seven-year-old dried roots that are collected in the spring,2 and you can take it in supplemental extract pills.3
Historically, people have combined astragalus with other herbs to help strengthen the body’s immune system and combat disease.4 Among astragalus benefits, the astragalus herb contains antioxidants as well as has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.4 Because of this, people commonly use astragalus for cancer, combine other herbs with astragalus for colds, and even take astragalus for allergies.4 Some people also use astragalus for HPV.
Astragalus benefits are plentiful. Its immune-boosting powers make it popular to use astragalus for colds or take astragalus for allergies. That coupled with its powerful antioxidants also makes it a strong natural remedy for the following conditions:
Other astragalus benefits include that it acts as an anti-inflammatory, which means that it may be effective in treating arthritis, heart disease, and diabetic kidney disease.5 It also protects the cardiovascular system and reduces blood pressure as well as helps prevent and regulate diabetes.5 You can even take it to help boost wound healing and prevent scarring.5
Although there are many astragalus benefits, it’s important to be aware of astragalus side effects. In general, the astragalus herb is safe when taken in recommended doses. However, taking too much can result in astragalus side effects like increased bleeding risk.6 It is also a mild diuretic, meaning that it will increase urination.6 It can also impact how long it takes the body to eliminate lithium.6 Be sure to talk to your doctor before using astragalus for HPV, cancer, tumors, or other conditions, especially if you have a bleeding disorder.