Is Pollen Making You Miserable? Astragalus is calling your name.
Senior pictures these days are fun. No serious pictures in a suit and tie or business dress are required anymore. Now, senior students can take their pictures with their favorite activities, hobbies, or cool scenery. Cue the “running happily through the pasture” music. Screech. The music stops because sneezing has begun. Darn those weeds.
Yes, our son had a terrible allergic reaction after he had his picture taken on an old fashion chair in the middle of a weedy area by a totally cool retro old barn. The safest dose of Benadryl was
administered afterwards and off to bed he went. This farm kid is tough; but certain weeds can kick his behind. It seems like allergy medicines just don’t work on his body.
Out come the herbal books to see what we can do for the next time. Going through page after page of my own notes and the Therapeutic Research Natural Medicines database, Astragalus seems to be a miracle herb with the long list of health benefits. Astragalus could win a boxing fight against viral and bacterial infections along with strengthening your immune system, promoting circulation, managing diabetes, lowering stomach acid, encouraging heart health, and the list goes on and on and on.
What I’m interested in is its ability for allergy relief. Many of us, especially us city girls turned farmwives, suffer through seasonal allergies. Right now, our allergy problems in Nebraska are with pollen. Astragalus root extract has shown great ability in decreasing the severity of allergic reactions. Alternative medicine and folklore believes that Astragalus can prevent the release of histamines; which can reduce allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny noses.
Although there is limited research to back up the alternative medicine and folklore, there is a 2010 research study designed to examine efficacy and safety of Astragalus in seasonal allergic rhinitis patients. In patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis due to weed pollen allergy, their patients significantly improved along with signs of therapeutic effectiveness.
Astragalus comes in tinctures, capsules, tablets, and even in tea form. I have a NOW brand of Astragalus in my herbal closet. (I don’t sell any herbs and spices at this time and I don’t own shares of NOW. Just saying.) The appropriate dose depends upon your age and health history. In the research study, patients took 160 mg twice daily for 3-6 weeks.
As I always say, consider seeing a doctor before starting any herb for medicinal purposes. Orally, Astragalus root, in low doses, is thought to be well-tolerated. But since everyone’s body was created uniquely, each one of us could have different reaction. Autoimmune symptoms may be worsened and Astragalus may reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressive drugs. Pregnant mothers, nursing mothers, and children should also consider not trying any new medicinal herb and spice to their health regime. This all does sound scary to read; but Astragalus is overall pretty safe to use with no serious side effects. We always have to be precautions with adding a medicinal herb and spice into our bodies.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends.
Matkovic Z, Zivkovic V, Korica M, et al. Efficacy and safety of Astragalus membranaceus in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Phytother Res 2010;24:175-81.
Tian H, Lu J, He H, et al.The effect of Astragalus as an adjuvant treatment in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A (preliminary) meta-analysis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;191:206-215. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2016.05.062.