The herb astragalus has been found in peer reviewed studies to double survival rates of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Every researcher should be studying this herb for its cancer-fighting properties, but the problem is that those in the medical field wouldn’t be able to write a pharmaceutical prescription for an ancient herb that has been boosting immunity for over 2,000 years. Though that doesn’t mean you can’t still take it, and if you have undergone radiation to try to overcome cancer, you’ll want to.
Radiation ‘therapy,’ as it has been called, is arguably highly toxic and does little to actually treat cancer since it also kills healthy cells But for those desperate to overcome a possibly fatal disease, it can be an appealing option, especially since the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society promote radiation and chemotherapy heavily.
For those who will or have undergone radiation treatment, the Chinese herb astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) may prove to be a life saver. A large dose of astragalus daily works as a powerful adaptogen in the body.
It contains both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, high levels of antioxidants, and an incredible ability to boost a weakened immune system. In moderate doses, it can boost heart health, liver functioning, and reduce diabetes, too.
(Check out the previous link for more information, and don’t forget to do more research before utilizing the herb.)
Also known as milk vetch, huang qi, huang ch’, ogi, hwanggi, or bei qi, astragalus was found to be very helpful to immunity in a clinical setting:
“Researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center found that astragalus extract boosted the cell-destroying ability, or cytotoxicity, of the conventional immune system drug interleukin-2 (IL-2) by helping cells of the immune system.”
Astragalus may also stimulate the body to produce interferons, a group of substances used by the body to defend against viral infections.
Though the Chinese studies which conclude that astragalus has been used to treat cancer for thousands of years successfully are often targeted by Western medicine as being inconclusive, scientists still don’t understand exactly how the adaptogen works. The herbs’ results are powerful, regardless.
Some believe astragalus can even prevent cancer, or when used with other herbs, treat cancer. But the scientific literature simply supports its use as a chemotherapy and radiation supplement overwhelmingly.
You don’t have to wait until you are undergoing radiation therapy or have cancer to receive the benefits of astragalus either. It is safe enough to take in moderate doses on a daily basis to boost overall immunity.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.