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Immune Builder Broth


Winter has taken me by surprise this year. I have to admit I wasn’t really prepared. First, our children came home sick with a virus. Then, we had about five inches of snow mid- October. This can’t be. I didn’t start our children with my favorite anti-viral herbal remedies yet. Nor, did I take my summer outdoor items inside yet. Oh well, it is time to start thinking about building immunity in our bodies. Today, let’s talk about Astragalus and create an immune building broth.

Astragalus Health Benefit

Astragalus has been used for thousands of years in both Chinese medicine and Indian medicine (Ayurveda). Although it has been used for a variety of ailments, it is probably one of the world’s

super immunity herbs. Astragalus is a perennial herb; but its root has the magic when it comes to medicinal purposes.

In China, Astragalus Root tends to be a tonic used to increase energy, stamina, and endurance along with helping the body to resist an infection. Its key actions are immune stimulant, diuretic, anti-viral, and adaptopgenic. Thus, it is used for a variety of infections like the cold, flu, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. Typically, it is used to increase immunity and speed healing.

Research Backs It Up

Although there is limited research on most herbs and spices in the United States, Astragalus tends to have a little more research than most. According to several research studies, Astragalus can improve one’s immune response and even restore ones immune function when participants are immune deficient. It also seems to have broad “antibiotic type” ability. Several research pieces even focus on Astragalus effects on the immune system in cancer patients.

There is a fine line to walk with Astragalus though. In a 1999 research study, lower doses of Astragalus appear to stimulate the immune system, but doses in excess of 28 grams might start suppressing immunity in certain individuals with specific health conditions.

How To Use/Dose

Typically, Astragalus is not used in standard culinary dishes. Many people use it in drinks like a tea, soup, or broth. But, one normally doesn’t use it as a flavor enhancer. Its role tends to be more medicinal in nature then as a seasoning.

Below, I have included a broth recipe that uses Astragalus Root in it. I prefer using herbs and spices in their natural state. But, if you are like me and you don’t have access to Astragalus Root at the local grocery store and a health food store isn’t around the corner, then you may want to consider an Astragalus Root extract. You can find Astragalus Root extract online, at an herb store, or at your local health food store. For prevention of a cold, one teaspoon of Astragalus Root extract is commonly used. You can also buy Astragalus powder in capsule form also. Follow the dosing direction on the bottle.

Natural Remedy

Listed below is a recipe for an immune building drink using Astragalus Root:

Immune Builder Broth

  • 3 Cups of Water

  • 2 Beef Bouillon Cubes (or Beef Broth)

  • 1 ½ Teaspoons of Fresh Minced Garlic

  • 8 Inches of Astragalus Root

Combine the water, beef bouillon cubes, garlic, and Astragalus. Simmer mixture for two hours. Drink the broth if you start feeling like you are getting an infection or drink one cup of broth a couple times a week to prevent an infection.

Precautions/Warnings

Overall, Astragalus is considered safe when you are taking it orally and at lower doses. Doses of Astragalus up to two (2) ounces daily for up to three (3) months have been used without reported adverse effects. Surprisingly, there are places around the world where Astragalus is administered intravenously by a medical professional.

Avoid using if you are pregnant or lactation. A constitute of Astragalus may have toxic effects to your baby. Again, do not use Astragalus if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always check with a medical professional before starting any new herb or spice.

Herb/Drug Interaction

Orally, Astragalus root is thought to be very safe to take with limited side effects. Before taking any herbs or spices medicinally, I always recommend seeing a doctor first. You may need to be cautious of taking Astragalus if you are taking any medicine like Cyclophosphamide, Lithium, or immunosuppressant (azathioprine, basiliximab, cyclosporine, daclizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, sirolimus, prednisone, and other corticosteroids.) This list doesn’t include all potential drug interactions. Thus, always check with your doctor first for herb/drug interactions.

Cheers to great immunity!

Blessings, Herbal Farmwife

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. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.

Sources:

  1. Upton R, ed. Astragalus Root: Analytical, quality control, and therapeutic monograph. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. 1999:1-25.

  2. Zhang, Z. X., Wu, L. L., and Chen, M. [Effect of lixu jieyu recipe in treating 75 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome]. Zhongguo Zhong.Xi.Yi.Jie.He.Za Zhi. 2009;29(6):501-505

  3. Lu, Z. M., Qian, X. H., Chen, Z. W., Zhang, C. H., Guo, L. S., and Chen, J. [Prospective clinical study of radix astragali and its compound prescription for treatment of beta-thalassemia in children]. Zhongguo Dang.Dai Er.Ke.Za Zhi. 2012;14(5):344-349.

  4. 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.

  5. Chen, L. P., Zhou, Q. L., and Yang, J. H. [Protective effects of astragali injection on tubular in patients with primary nephrotic syndrome]. Zhong.Nan.Da.Xue.Xue.Bao.Yi.Xue.Ban. 2004;29(2):152-153.

  6. Zhang, J. G., Yang, N., He, H., Wei, G. H., Gao, D. S., Wang, X. L., Wang, X. Z., and Song, G. Y. [Effect of Astragalus injection on plasma levels of apoptosis-related factors in aged patients with chronic heart failure.]. Chin J Integr.Med 2005;11(3):187-190.

  7. Jiangbo, Z., Xuying, W., Yuping, Z., Xili, M., Yiwen, Z., and Tianbao, Z. Effect of astragaloside IV on the embryo-fetal development of Sprague-Dawley rats and New Zealand White rabbits. J Appl.Toxicol. 2009;29(5):381-385.

  8. McCulloch M, See C, Shu XJ, et al. Astragalus-based Chinese herbs and platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: meta-analysis of randomized trials. J Clin Oncol 2006;24:419-30.

  9. Hong CY, Lo YC, Tan FC, et al. Astragalus membranaceus and Polygonum multiflorum protect rat heart mitochondria against lipid peroxidation. Am J Chin Med 1994;22:63-70.

  10. Sun Y, Hersh EM, Talpaz M, et al. Immune restoration and/or augmentation of local graft versus host reaction by traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Cancer 1983;52:70-3.

  11. Chu DT, Wong WL, Mavligit GM. Immunotherapy with Chinese medicinal herbs. II. Reversal of cyclophosphamide-induced immune suppression by administration of fractionated Astragalus membranaceus in vivo. J Clin Lab Immunol 1988;25:125-9.

  12. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.

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