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

Protect Kidneys with Astragalus

Clinical evidence suggests that astragalus can help prevent and treat kidney conditions.

The dried root of astragalus is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent and treat kidney disease. Research indicates astragalus has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help protect kidney cells.(111)

Astragalus may also be useful in treating a condition called uropathy, which affects the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. In an animal study, astragalus (by itself and in combination with an ACE inhibitor drug) prevented fibrosis and obstruction in the tubes.(112)

Astragalus Treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease

Modern research suggests that astragalus could help people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). A comprehensive review of 22 clinical studies involving over 1300 patients (including those on dialysis) was published in 2014. In it, researchers describe the significant benefits of astragalus treatment in CKD, including:(113)

  • Reduced protein in the urine.
  • Lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Increased serum albumin and hemoglobin levels.

The clinical studies reviewed were poorly reported and the methodologies used were not the gold standard. Still, indicators are positive with promising outcomes for patients managing chronic kidney disease.(113)

National Review of Astragalus Use for CKD

In 2018 a retrospective population study conducted in Taiwan was published. Out of almost 15,000 people with chronic kidney disease researchers were able to cull out 1100 subjects that were matched for age and gender. The subjects were grouped by:(35)

  • Patients who used only conventional treatment drugs to treat their kidney disease.
  • Patients who combined conventional kidney disease drugs with Chinese herbal medicine.

Analysis showed that patients who took Chinese herbal medicine with conventional treatment drugs had significantly better long-term survival rates. Astragalus was a main ingredient in 2 of the most frequently used herbal formulas.(35)

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