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Astragalus is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.
Astragalus is used for many conditions, but so far, there isnt enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
Astragalus is used for the common cold, upper respiratory infections, allergies, fibromyalgia, anemia, HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen and regulate the immune system. It is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Some people use astragalus as a general tonic, to protect the liver, and to fight bacteria and viruses.
Astragalus is commonly used in combination with other herbs. For example, in combination with Ligustrum lucidum (glossy privet), astragalus is used orally for treating breast cancer, cervical cancer, and lung cancer.
Astragalus is sometimes applied to the skin to increase blood flow to the area and to speed wound healing.
There are several different species of astragalus. Some species contain a toxin called swainsonine and have been linked to livestock poisonings. Some of these species include Astragalus lentiginosus, Astragalus mollissimus, and others. However, these species of astragalus are usually not found in dietary supplements used by humans. Most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus.
Astragalus seems to stimulate and increase the immune system.