Re: [GIWorld-Hepatitis] re. astragalus
- Now that I'm in poor times, I only take 450mg a day, 225am and 225pm...I used to take 450mg in the morning and at night but that was before our wonderful current administration and lays offs and no jobs to apply for. (Jobless recovery...who does he think he's kidding.) Oops, sorry, I try not to get on my soapbox but sometimes words come out my mouth or finger tips like vomit.
I don't know how many years I've been taking astragalus...long before I knew I had hep c. I don't get colds and have never had the flu (knock on wood). If there is a bug going through the office, I'll add echinacea or Pao de Arco for a while just to give my immune system a little extra boost.
I don't know of anything that you can't take astragulus root with other than a high fever...and you never take it when running a high fever.
Yeah, those herb decoctions are pretty awful. I've never taken them because I don't trust the quality or purity of the herbs. Give me a solid name brand in a capsule even if I have to take 10 of them a day.
----- Original Message -----
From: Pamela Venus
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 9:22 PM
Subject: [GIWorld-Hepatitis] re. astragalus
Thanks for all the info. on astragalus! What dosage do you take and for
what length of time? I read (Dr. Weil) that it can be taken on an ongoing
basis (unlike echinaccea) to prevent colds/flues and also to treat a cold or
flu. He said suggested taking a standardized formula. (I know in
traditional Chinese medicine, the raw herb is recommended and then you boil
it down to make a tea. I tried that years ago with some blend of herbs that
were recommended by a local Chinese herbal doctor but couldn't deal with the
taste). Since I have started taking it-I got over a persistant upper
respiratory virus and haven't been sick since. I have CFS and am prone to
upper respiratory virus etc. I have felt so much stronger and better since
I've been taking it. I hope I can stay on it at least through the winter.
My husband has Hep C and generally is not prone to colds and flu but had a
bad upper respiratory virus before the holidays. He is considering taking
the astragalus because it has helped me so much, but I'm not sure whether he
should or not after the conflicting info. re. stimulating the immune system
with Hep C.
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 21:13:55 -0600
From: "Tatezi" <tatezi@...>
Subject: Astragalus Root
Yep, it's me and I'm back, sorta...and undetectable mid treatment. I just
couldn't sit back while this discussion of astragalus was going on with no
one really knowing much about it.
Note: I'm having some problems with my mail client and my font size keeps
changing. I don't know how it will come through because incoming mail font
size is messed up too. So bear with any changes in the font.
Ya'll are talking chinese here and if you want to research a chinese herb,
it would help to know it's chinese name: tian men dong or more commonly,
huang qi (commander of blood).
Chinese herbs are difficult to truly research because of the nature of
oriental medicine. The balance of yin and yang and the Eight Principals are
crucial to oriental medicine. Chinese never treat with just one herb...they
use a combination of herbs along with specific nutrition because an excess
or stagnation of Qi (blood) requires different herbs dependent on your type
(hot/dry, hot/moist, windy/dry, etc.). It is a very involved way of treating
the whole essence.
For instance, if you were to look astragalus root up in a chinese herb book,
you would find something like 'indicated for yin deficiency of the lung and
kidneys when there are signs of false heat because of the yin deficiency.'
Yeah, right...I follow oriental medicine and don't understand what that is
With the popularity of chinese herbs in american culture, the western
herbalists have tried to isolate the exact properties of astragalus and they
have done a pretty good job.
Astragalus does strenghen the immune system, supports the lungs and
strenghens the digestive system, including the liver. By strenghening the
blood (Qi, pronounced Chi), it strenghens the body's vital energy.
Here is some information on astragalus root. I've been taking it for many
years and have no problems with it. With the other two main immune boosters
(echinacea and Pau de Arco) you can't take them all the time or they lose
their effectiveness. It's not a new herb...it's a very ancient herb...
Astragalus, or Huang Qi, as it is sometimes called, is a common component of
traditional Chinese herbal formulas. It is used by the Chinese to strengthen
the spleen, blood and liver. The Chinese have used Astragalus for many
thousands of years as a superior tonic that is often combined with ginseng
[note: ginseng is not good for those with Hep C and liver disease] for
replenishing a persons vital energy. The root of this plant is said to
strengthen the body's surface resistance and is supposed to invigorate and
promote tissue regeneration. It's also been seen as an immune system
stimulant as well as a protector of adrenal cortical function. Astragalus
Root is considered to have a normalizing effect on the body's functions.
Chinese medicine is very different from the scientific approach we are used
to. It is based on the promotion of health and does not limit its treatment
to only one part of the body. Health is represented as a balance of yin and
yang - two forces that represent the bipolar manifestation of all things in
nature. In the Oriental medicine a doctor is often paid only when the
patient is well, not sick. This practice would probably not be greeted with
enthusiasm by western medical professionals.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine Astragalus is considered a deep immune tonic
that increases the "bone marrow reserve", increasing the body's ability to
produce more immune effector cells (such as T-cells), protecting us from
"pathogens". Also used as a daily tonic when one is not feeling well; it has
the ability to build the energy reserves in the body and exhibits several
Astragalus is used medicinally in China as an immune strengthener and
general tonic. In fact, it is one of the best herbs in the world for
enhancing the protective effects of the immune system. Astragalus incresaes
the levels of certain immune cells that fight viruses and other microbial
intruders. Astragalus also stimulates the secretion of a powerful anti-viral
chemical known as interferon, which prevents viruses from replicating. In
addition, it has been shown that astragalus has a supportive effect on bone
marrow, the core of the bones where white blood cells mature. Astragalus
boosts the levels of anti-bodies in the body.
It has been used to optimize immune function and as a tonic to build
stamina. Ancient Chinese texts record the use of astragalus for tonifying
the spleen, blood and qi (chi). Astragalus builds energy and helps warm up
the body. It is one of the most important double direction immune modulating
herbs in the world. Astragalus is said to strengthen the primary energy of
the body and strengthen all metabolic, respiratory and eliminative
functions. Tonifies the three burning spaces, increases Qi, overcomes
weakness, Tonifies the Lungs and Spleen, raises Yang, reduces perspiration,
facilitates excretion of water and eliminates edema (swelling).
As an adaptogen, it helps the body regain balance and is the most popular
herb in Chinese medicine for its tonifying, diuretic, cardiotonic,
vasodilating and other useful qualities, to help maintain normal functions
of the liver, lung, kidney, stomach and heart, to boost energy, defer aging,
detoxify, etc., to bolster white blood cells growth, support the immune
systems, and to promote the effect of other herbs, and help reduce side
effect of chemotherapy and radiation.
In the United States, Astragalus is used to stimulate the immune system when
treating colds and flu. It improves adrenal gland function and digestion.
Astragalus produces spontaneous sweating by increasing the metabolism, and
enhances energy levels and helps protect your body from the effects of
stress. Although many people take Astragalus at the onset of cold or flu
symptoms, the Chinese believe taking Huang Qi at that time will cause the
infection to go deeper. They instead use it while healthy as a defense
shield against future illnesses.
One study showed that astragalus increases the production of interferon-an
important component of the immune system's defensive network. When combined
with interferon, astragalus root helped promote and maintain respiratory
health in study group participants. Astragalus also enhances the body's
production of immunoglobulin and stimulates macrophages. It can help
activate T cells and natural killer cells. Research shows that astragalus
has immunostimulatory properties. It increases the number of stem cells in
bone marrow and lymph tissue and encourages their development into active
immune cells. It appears that this herb helps trigger immune cells from a
"resting"state into heightened activity.
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 cancer patient's immune system.
Researchers believed on the basis of cell studies that Astragalus augments
those white blood cells that fight disease and removes some of those that
make the body more venerable 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. Astragalus
also ameliorates bone marrow pres! sion and gastrointestinal toxicity caused
by chemotherapy and radiation.
Animal studies have shown that Astragalus is effective at controlling
bacterial infections, stimulating the immune system, and protecting the body
against a number of toxins. It seems to work by binding to cholesterol on
the outer membranes of viruses, destabilizing their defenses and allowing
for the body's immune system to attack the weakened invader. Astragalus also
increases interferon production and enhances NK and T cell function,
increasing resistance to viral conditions such as hepatitis, AIDS and
cancer. Astragalus shows support for peripheral vascular diseases and
***Not to be used when experiencing acute fever. ***
Love & blessings,
Love is all there is
Peace is all there is
Joy is all there is
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
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