High fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body pain, chills, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting… this is how flu spoils your winter!
Certainly you have plans for outdoor activities like snowball fights, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, building a snowman or igloo, ice fishing, or you may just want to keep yourself out from the cold weather and enjoy the indoors with your family this winter. However, it just gets so depressing when the flu virus hits you or any of your family members. It just spoils the fun. The good news is there’s a super herb that can boost your immune function, which keeps flu infection at bay — the Chinese super herb Astragalus.
What Makes Flu a Major Winter Problem?
Flu or influenza is a viral infection affecting your nose, throat and lungs – respiratory system. Don’t mistake influenza with stomach flu, as they are completely different illnesses. Stomach flu causes vomiting and diarrhea, whereas, influenza or flu has the following signs and symptoms:
• Dry cough
• High fever (more than 100 F or 38 C)
• Muscle pain (arms, back and legs)
• Nasal congestion
Flu is rampant during winter because cold temperature helps the flu virus form its hard envelope-like protective coating. This coating allows the virus to spread quickly through the air. Thus, it is not the cold weather that can make you sick, but the massive amount of flu virus that is reproducing in the cold environment.
How does flu spread so easily? When a person infected with flu talks, coughs or sneezes and you inhale the droplet, then you can be infected as well. Alternatively, when you hold any inanimate objects where the flu viruses have accumulated, such as computer keyboards, telephones or doorknobs, then your hands transfer them to your nose, mouth or eyes.
Everybody is susceptible to flu, especially children, the elderly, and individuals who have chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, etc.). What makes them a high risk of being infected with flu? They often have a weakened immune system. Even if you are a healthy adult, many things can cause your immune system to become compromised, and then you are a perfect target for flu.
Moreover, the flu virus can cause detrimental complications to those individuals who belong to the high-risk group. Flu complications include:
• Sinus and ear infections
Among the complications of flu, pneumonia can be deadly, particularly for people who have a chronic illness and for the elderly.
If you want to beat the flu, you had better do it before it even hits you. How can you do this? Focus on boosting your immune system. As mentioned earlier, Astragalus can do the job for you!
Why the Chinese Super Herb Astragalus is Considered the Best Protective Herb Against Flu?
What is Astragalus?
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a perennial plant that belongs to the pea family. It is native to Eastern China, Mongolia and Korea. Also known as huang qi and “yellow leader,” Astragalus is one of the most important tonic herbs in the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal benefits. In addition, this Chinese herb has become popular in Western countries due to its ability to boost the immune system function as an immune tonic adaptogen.
The Astragalus herb can grow as tall as 40.64cm – 91.44 cm (16-36 inches). Its stems are hairy and attached to it are 12-18 pairs of leaflets. The root of this Chinese herb tastes sweet that is why Astragalus is also commonly known as “sweet root.”
Active Immune Booster Components
Astragalus is a necessary Chinese herb when winter is fast approaching because of its immune-boosting property. This herb contains several compounds that aid the immune system function, which include astragalosides, flavonoids, polysaccharides, saponins, and triterpenes.
Immune-Boosting Activity of Astragalus
The above mentioned compounds and their stimulating and supportive effect on the immune system have made Astragalus an essential protective herb against the flu. Besides, flu infections are often self-limiting, meaning you recover according to how your immune system responds. The healthier your immune system, the faster you will recover.
The immune system is the defense system of your body. It eliminates disease-causing microorganisms and other foreign substances that can cause havoc to your health. It acts even before pathogens like flu virus can harm you. In other words, your immune system helps you prevent various illnesses and is the key to a fast recovery whenever you get sick.
Study findings revealed that Astragalus increases the number and activity of immune cells. What makes Astragalus different from other immune boosting herbs is that it can be taken daily. This famous Chinese herb boosts the response of interferon against viruses, bacteria and parasites as well.
Interferon is a component of the immune system, which interferes with the proliferation or reproduction of viruses. Although it does not directly annihilate the microbe, it acts by stimulating infected cells and nearby cells to inhibit the replication of virus. Aside from that, interferon also enhances the cellular-destruction capability of natural killer cells.
Moreover, other studies revealed that Astragalus heightens the phagocytic activities of monocytes and macrophages, other components of the immune system. Phagocytosis (cell-eating activity) is a process by which monocytes and macrophages would engulf microbes and other foreign substances in the body to neutralize or destroy them.
How Astragalus can immensely boost your immune system is surprising. In fact, it is even used as adjunct therapy for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. With chemotherapy, both cancer and healthy cells are destroyed by the medicine. This leaves a cancer patient immunocompromised and at high risk of contracting various infections, including flu. With the help of Astragalus, the immune system function is boosted, and the defense of chemotherapy patients against infection is enhanced. Some studies also use Astragalus in helping other patients with a weak immune system, such as patients with HIV/AIDS.
Whether you are trying to avoid flu during winter, or you need to recover from such respiratory infection, Astragalus can help you with its amazing ability to supercharge your immune system.
Aside from boosting the immune system, Astragalus also provides protection against stress. Research studies also cited the ability of this super herb to increase the red blood cell count in people with anemia. It also helps in lowering the blood sugar level in diabetes. Astragalus has antioxidant property as well. In addition, it aids in reducing allergic symptoms, particularly allergic rhinitis and hay fever. Some study findings also revealed some benefits of Astragalus to the cardiovascular system
How to Use Astragalus Effectively?
Astragalus is much more efficient when combined with other tonic herbs like Duanwood Reishi, Cordyceps Extract, He Shou Wu and Kapicachu. One of the best herb blends that contain Astragalus is the CHI Super Tonic Chinese Herbs Powder. This herb blend is available in powder formula and can be taken on a daily basis.
Children over 12 years of age and adults can mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of the powder blend with a glass water and take it daily.
Astragalus is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe). There have been no serious side effects recorded. However, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or you have an autoimmune disease, make sure to consult your health practitioner first. If you are taking warfarin and other similar medications or drugs that suppress the immune system, seek medical advice before taking this super herb.
Have you used CHI Super Tonic Chinese Herbs powder, which contains Astragalus? What do you think about it? Share your thoughts, experiences and suggestions with us.