Also known as milk vetch, huang qi (or huangqi)

Boost Immune Response to Pathogens with Astragalus

Research suggests astragalus may help prevent or treat infections from bacteria or viruses, such as the common cold.

Astragalus has traditionally been used to strengthen and improve functioning of the immune system and organs (e.g., the spleen and liver) associated with it. 2386

In the lab, astragalus demonstrates antibacterial activity against: 72

  • Shigella dysenteriae, which can cause bloody diarrhea.
  • Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause staph infections and MRSA.
  • Streptococcus hemolyticus, a virulent form of strep that can cause scarlet and rheumatic fever.

Results of animal and human studies indicate that astragalus shows antiviral and antibacterial activity against the following diseases:

  • Common cold 38
  • Influenza 49
  • Hepatitis B 51
  • Herpes simplex keratitis 52
  • Toxoplasmosis 69
  • Tuberculosis 70
  • Urinary tract infections 71
  • Viral myocarditis 72

Herbal Help for HIV

Astragalus may also help improve standard drug treatment for AIDS patients. SH formula is an herbal treatment that combines astragalus and 4 other traditional Chinese herbs. It is often used by HIV/AIDS patients to reduce the adverse side effects of antiretroviral drugs. 116

Animal and small clinical studies suggest that SH formula may also improve the effectiveness of conventional HIV/AIDS therapy. However, the benefit of the herbal formula was limited to reducing viral loads in some patients. It did not increase CD4 cell counts. 53116

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A particularly virulent, drug resistant form of staph infection.