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The traditional Asian medicinal herb - roots of Astragalus membranaceus, has many benefits for human health. It is highly influential in stimulating the release of the growth hormone. One study showed, that four compounds isolated from extracts of Astragalus membranaceus induced growth hormone release in rat pituitary cell culture considerably compared to the control group. (1) 

Furthermore, astragalus extract mixture increases longitudinal bone growth rate, improves trabecular bone mass, and enhances the microarchitecture of trabecular and cortical bone during growth. (2) In growing rats, tibial length gain was significantly increased by astragalus extract mixture compared to that reported with the control diet. In the proximal tibial metaphysis, astragalus extract mixture-treated rats had significantly higher trabecular vBMD, bone volume fraction, and trabecular number and lower trabecular separation, trabecular pattern factor, and structure model index values than control rats did. 

Astragalus is also believed to prolong life and has been used historically as an immunomodulating agent for the treatment of common cold, diarrhea, fatigue, and anorexia for more than 2000 years. Astragalus may increase your body’s production of white blood cells, which are the cells of your immune system responsible for preventing illness. (3) Astragalus root has also been shown to help kill bacteria and viruses in mice with infections. According to another study, astragaloside IV could prevent the development of chronic asthma, thus reducing asthma attacks. (4) One study shows astragalus may help improve tiredness in people with chronic fatigue syndrome when combined with other herbal supplements. (5) There is also evidence that astragalus is helpful in treating cancer. Astragalus polysaccharide can inhibit the proliferation of basal-like breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-468, and down-regulate the expression of Akt phosphorylation stimulates the activity of cells, causing cancer. (6) 

It’s also used against heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Astragalus may help improve heart function in those with certain heart conditions. In a clinical study, patients with heart failure were given 2.25 grams of astragalus twice daily for two weeks, along with conventional treatment and they experienced greater improvements in heart function compared to those receiving standard treatment alone. (7) In animal and test-tube studies, astragalus has been shown to improve sugar metabolism and reduce blood sugar levels. The results of a study with diabetic and nondiabetic mice indicate that Astragalus polysaccharide can regulate part of the insulin signaling in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle and that Astragalus polysaccharide could be a potential insulin sensitizer for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. (8) Another study showed that taking 40–60 grams of astragalus per day has the potential to improve blood sugar levels after fasting and after meals in people with type 2 diabetes when taken daily for up to four months. (9) 


1. Kim C, Ha H, Kim JS, Kim YT, Kwon SC, Park SW. Induction of growth hormone by the roots of Astragalus membranaceus in pituitary cell culture. Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Jan; 26 (1): 34-9. 

2. Jungbin Song, Sung Hyun Lee, Donghun Lee, Hocheol Kim. Astragalus Extract Mixture HT042 Improves Bone Growth, Mass, and Microarchitecture in Prepubertal Female Rats: A Microcomputed Tomographic Study Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 5219418. 

3. Block KI, Mead MN. Immune system effects of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus: a review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Sep; 2 (3): 247-67. 

4. Peng TQ, Yang YZ, Kandolf R. [Effect and mechanism of Astragalus membranaceus on coxsackie B3 virus RNA in mice]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 1994 Nov; 14 (11): 664-6. 

5. Zhang ZX, Wu LL, Chen M. [Effect of lixu jieyu recipe in treating 75 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2009 Jun; 29 (6): 501-5. 

6. Ye MN, Chen HF, Zhou RJ, Liao MJ. [Effects of Astragalus polysaccharide on proliferation and Akt phosphorylation of the basal-like breast cancer cell line]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Dec; 9 (12): 1339-46. 

7. Yang QY, Lu S, Sun HR. [Effects of astragalus on cardiac function and serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha level in patients with chronic heart failure]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2010 Jul; 30 (7): 699-701. 

8. Liu M, Wu K, Mao X, Wu Y, Ouyang J. Astragalus polysaccharide improves insulin sensitivity in KKAy mice: regulation of PKB/GLUT4 signaling in skeletal muscle. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8; 127 (1): 32-7. 

9. Tian H, Lu J, He H, Zhang L, Dong Y, Yao H, Feng W, Wang S.The effect of Astragalus as an adjuvant treatment in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A (preliminary) meta-analysis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Sep 15; 191: 206-215.

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