Astragalus was originally used in traditional Chinese medicine with other herbs like ginseng, dong quai and licorice. There are more than 2,000 species of this plant, which can be used as a supplement for many different conditions.

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› Health Benefits

Astragalus can be used for treatment of diarrhea, fatigue, anorexia, upper respiratory infections, heart disease, hepatitis, fibromyalgia and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. It is considered safe for most adults, and can have side effects of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. People with certain health conditions may experience high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Most studies on the effectiveness of astragalus have shown results of poor quality, so it is still unknown whether it is effective.

›  How much do I need?

The appropriate dose depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

›  Dietary supplements

Astragalus roots can be used in soups, teas, extracts or capsules for use as a supplement. Some species of astragalus can be toxic, containing the neurotoxin swainsonine or toxic levels of selenium, but these species are usually not found in supplements.

Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements

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