Astragalus-101 a.k.a. Why I’m Obsessed With It & Take It Daily
Astragalus is a root known & used in Chinese medicine for its immune-boosting & adaptogenic properties. It’s known as one of the most potent Chi (Qi) tonic herbs & has protective, restorative & revitalizing properties. For those of you who may be newer to the concepts of Chinese and/or Ayurvedic medicine, Chi tonic herbs are natural energy builders.
I started using it a few months ago & I NEVER looked back! I take it in capsule form on a daily basis before my fasted workouts (& one of its many benefits is that it’s a great natural pre-workout & alternative to all the powders & sugar-laden energy drinks on the market).
Without getting too scientific, it contains 3 components that make for its positive impact on our health: saponins, flavonoids & polysaccharides, all of which are active compounds commonly found in plants. Saponins are most known for their ability to naturally lower cholesterol, improve immunity & prevent certain types of cancer. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties, fight off free radicals & help prevent heart disease, cancer & immunodeficiency viruses. Lastly, polysaccharides have antimicrobial, antiviral & anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Regulates hormonal response, protects adrenal glands & helps the body better respond to mental & physical stressors & anxiety
Strengthens the immune system by modulating & self-regulating our individual immune responses depending on our individual needs. This is what gives it its adaptogenic property; each & every single one of us has a different body (even though our biology is one in the same) & some of us need a little more of a boost when it comes to fighting off immune system damaging bacteria, toxins & free radicals; the awesome thing about astragalus is that it helps YOUR body SELF-REGULATE itself based on its OWN needs, as opposed to a “general” prescription medication that would technically work the same for everyone
Helps the body fight off stress, free radicals & oxidative damage; truth is, the environment we live in is HIGHLY toxic & no matter how healthy we are, we are exposed to SO many toxic substances without even knowing it, which enter our bloodstream & cause oxidative damage & damaging & killing our healthy cells, so anything we can do to fight off these free radicals is CRUCIAL!
Reduces inflammatory response in connection to a number of illnesses & conditions
Boosts energy & acts as a great natural pre-workout or as a great dietary supplement in today’s busy fast-paced society where we are all exposed to the impacts of daily life stress & its repercussions on our long-term physical & mental health; I work out EVERYDAY & I guess you could say I’m generally considered somewhat “fit”. But, it’s no secret that some days, I have more energy than others, but ever since incorporating astragalus, my energy levels have been more sustained, muscle soreness reduced (probably due to its collagen-promoting effects, discussed later in this piece) & I power through my workouts like the energizer bunny!
Fortifies & builds the blood; according to a well-known Chinese saying, wherever Chi flows, blood follows, which is one of the reasons why it has such energizing properties
Its flavonoid & antioxidant content & antimicrobial & antibacterial properties protect the heart, prevent plaque build up around the arteries, boost immune system & cognitive health
Regulates blood pressure, reduces bad cholesterol & protects kidneys
Treats cold & flu (& works even better if taken consistently to prevent any symptoms in the first place) & also helps to alleviate the symptoms of chronic asthma
Fights aging & prevents collagen degeneration in muscles, bones, connective tissue, ligaments, membranes & skin
Since starting to take it, I notice that my energy levels are on point, my skin is clear & in a really good place, it feels plump & smooth even with this summer humidity. I experience little to no bloating & I feel more in control of my emotions & able to regulate the symptoms of my anxiety when they hit.
As always, although I am certified as a holistic nutritionist & health coach, I always advise everyone with a particular autoimmune or other medical condition or health concerns or women thinking of getting pregnant, who are pregnant or who are nursing to consult their treating physicians before incorporating any supplement into their routine, whether it be natural or not.