Astragalus is a herb that is well recognized for it’s immune boosting benefits and David Christopher, one of the experts on Immune Defense Summit, shares that it’s his favorite herb for protecting the immune system.
We know the immune system plays a role in anxiety and depression. I’m sure you’ve heard the term psychoneuroimmunology: the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. So I went searching to see if this herb has any evidence for reducing anxiety and I wasn’t disappointed
It was encouraging to discover very recent research that supports that it has benefits for reducing anxiety and that it offers neuroprotection.
In an animal Alzheimer’s disease study published in 2016, Neuroprotection and anxiety like behavior reduction of Allium hirtifolium and Astragalus hamosus in the Aβ-injected rat it was shown that oral administration of both Allium hirtifolium and Astragalus hamosus decreased anxiety-like behavior.
The results of this study also revealed
potential neuroprotective properties of Allium hirtifolium and Astragalus hamosus as herbal remedies that could play a role in fostering healthy aging and be considered as useful candidates in decreasing Alzheimer’s disease related symptoms.
David doesn’t cover the above this in his interview so I’m sharing this here to provide you with some context on the importance of supporting the immune system beyond colds and flu.
This is what David does say about astragalus in his interview with Immune Defense Summit host Jonathan Landsman:
I think it is the number one herb for protecting the immune system. And the nice thing about astragalus is it’s a tonic. And tonics are substances that will go either way – if you’ve got over-functioning or if you’ve got under-functioning – it will go whatever the body needs. They also call them adaptogens.
Because astragalus is an adaptogen, it is one of many herbs that can be used to support the HPA axis, thereby helping to reduce high cortisol, and hence anxiety via another mechanism. This paper, Effect of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis alterations on glucose and lipid metabolism in diabetic rats, reports that astragalus may improve HPA axis functioning and aid in the treatment of diabetes by lowering blood sugar and high levels of corticosterone (the rat version of cortisol).
David goes on to share that astragalus does a lot of things for the immune system:
It actually increases the interferon which is the chemical message that the immune system uses to communicate between the cells.
One of the things that astragalus does is it stimulates the production of and activity of the macrophage, the part of the immune system that gobbles up impurities, so it’s nonspecific. And it tends to last for a long, long period of time. They’ve done the studies showing that when you take astragalus, it immediately affects your immune system (within six hours). And it’ll last 72 hours. So it’s fast-working and it’ll last a long time.
I can’t think of anything in the medical profession that has as many benefits as astragalus has. Nothing. Astragalus is my favorite herb for the immune system.
David shares more about astragalus and other immune boosting herbs like echinacea (which also happens to help with reducing anxiety) on the Immune Defense Summit which runs July 24-31.
I do hope you can join us to hear from many experts on various topics related to immunity, many of which have a direct connection to anxiety, mood and overall health.
Have you used astragalus with good results? For stress and anxiety? To help lower high cortisol? For immune-boosting? For cognition?