Astragalus contains a variety of different active compounds, such as flavonoids. There are many different "active" compounds in astragalus, and it is probably a combination of these compounds that is responsible for most of the medicinal properties of the plant.
Astragalus seems to have antioxidant activity and appears to stimulate the immune system in several different ways, at least in laboratory studies. There is some evidence that astragalus may stimulate stem cell production and specialization -- at least when given by IV.
Early laboratory studies indicate that the herb might work as an antibiotic and might improve sperm motility. Astragalus might cause dilation of blood vessels and increase the ability of the heart to pump blood, which could be a useful effect for a variety of different heart conditions.
Using Astragalus in Children
Children can be more sensitive to the effects (and side effects) of medications and supplements. Therefore, it is best to consult your child's healthcare provider before giving your child any medication or supplement, including astragalus.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 24 2009.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: astragalus (April 2008). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/astragalus/. Accessed March 24, 2009.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click