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Astragalus membranaceus is a dynamic botanical that is globally appreciated and embodies the reality that all cultures can learn from one another’s traditional use of herbal medicine that has sustained cultures for millennia.
The substantial scientific studies on the diverse properties of Astragalus has increased its use in western countries, yet it is all too often overlooked even by health savvy consumers and professionals in North America.
Astragalus has enjoyed a revered status in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It has commonly been used to support the immune system, yet it is essential to remember that it contains a very unique natural chemistry that makes it an “adaptogen herb”. Astragalus also nurtures the body with its flavonoids, polysaccharides, triterpene glycosides, amino acids and trace minerals. This adaptogenic property translates as the ability to move the body towards equilibrium, thus nurturing the body’s desire for balance, rather than merely stimulating or suppressing.
As an adaptogen, Astragalus can help support the body during times of stress, which is when we become most susceptible to immune challenges and can succumb too seasonal viral and bacterial exposures. Over the years this is the time of year that I encourage my patients and their families to start taking Astragalus. It’s great for the kids going back to school and the older adult population that needs a boost of natural protection to help them have a healthier fall. This long term tonic/adaptogen herb is just what the doctor ordered.
During the fall and winter seasons, and during acute immune challenges, I often combine Astragalus with other herbals such as Echinacea, Goldenseal, Oregon Grape and Licorice to create individual immune protocols for my patients.
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., has 24-years of experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon. He is dedicated to using his vast knowledge about alternative medicine to help his patients and generously give to those in need. He has written over a dozen books and 100's of national articles, and was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Read more about Dr. Meletis here. Or, visit our "Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D." page for additional articles.
*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website, and provided by Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications. There is additional information linked within this site to HealthNotes®, a third party educational source, containing the latest research on health and supplements. Oregon's Wild Harvest will not be held accountable for this information and consider it an education reference only.