By Mark Rosenberg, M.D. There’s been a whole lot of talk about the swine flu these last two weeks. The immediate threat to most areas of the country is extremely small. Nevertheless, all these news reports have got people thinking about what they can do to protect themselves. I’ve already had several patients ask me what they can do to keep from getting sick.
A powerful immune system plays an essential part. I recommend three things to all of my patients to assist the immune system stay strong and healthy. Take Vitamin C, get enough sleep, and wash your hands frequently. I’ve recently added a fourth tip to this list. If you really need to give your immune system the support it requires, then I urge astragalus. In Chinese medicine, astragalus has been used for centuries in many, many unique ways. Ancient Chinese healers used astragalus to decrease the affects of stress on the body.
Whether or not a patient suffered from physical, psychological, psychological, or environmental stress, healers used astragalus to help the individual cope better and to prevent detrimental effects that stress might have on health. Astragalus was used to make the body better able to fight off diseases. People took the herb to protect against colds and illnesses in addition to more serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Healers also prescribed astragalus to help increase the energy of their patients.
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Even healthy patients may benefit from the improvement in endurance and vitality that astragalus delivered. The history of astragalus is extremely interesting, but it is the recent study with this herbal supplement that has me excited about recommending it to my patients. In the realm of contemporary medicine, the powerful health benefits of astragalus are just coming to light. It turns out that there are good reasons why Chinese healers used astragalus for so many functions.
The herb is strong and flexible when it comes to supporting your general health. One of things I like best about it is that it functions as both a preventative and as a remedy for many illnesses. Astragalus has a lot of valuable properties. It comprises complex sugar molecules known as polysaccharides that help fortify the immune system. It has antibacterial properties which help fight off infections and numerous diseases. Additionally, it functions as an antioxidant and helps to protect your cells from damage.
It has anti-mutagenic properties which make it a strong ally in preventing cancer. And it helps reduce chronic, low-level inflammation that contributes to so many age-related ailments. I read a recent study in which scientists found that astragalus really works to help keep your cells younger. It stimulates the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that helps protect the DNA in your cells which may slow aging in a cellular level. Younger cells imply less disease-especially cancer-and a slower overall aging procedure.
In animal studies, researchers also have confirmed the effects of astragalus on endurance and vitality. In mice caused by chronic fatigue syndrome, astragalus helped to restore equilibrium to the production of inflammatory cytokines and it increased the mice’s endurance. For strengthening the immune system, astragalus functions in many of ways. It helps eliminate pathogens, it arouses T-cell activity, and it triggers numerous antiviral systems inside your body. Through these means, astragalus supplements may protect you from everyday ailments such as the cold and influenza.
Other research shows it may be an effective treatment for these illnesses, too, assisting you to recover quicker. The immune-boosting properties of astragalus are so strong that it actually interferes with immune suppressing drugs. These medications are most commonly given to transplant patients to decrease rejection. If you are on an immune suppressant for any reason, you should not take astragalus.
Otherwise, this effective supplement may benefit you greatly. The suggested dose for astragalus is one to 25 grams per day. You may locate astragalus in the food stores. It’s commonly available as a standardized extract or in powdered capsules. For the best results, I favor the infusion. Your body will be better able to absorb it. Whether you’re concerned about the swine influenza or trying to find a fantastic way to boost your overall health and slow down the aging processes in our bodies, astragalus is a fantastic option. I’m certain you’ll be delighted with the results.