Astragalus: The Ancient Immune Booster
Astragalus, an ancient immune booster, has been used for centuries to heal the sick. A growing amount of detailed German and American research has confirmed the herb’s powers, and identified an important potential role in cancer treatment. For example:
- Researchers from the University of Texas, Houston, have reported that cancer patients receiving Astragalus have twice the survival rate of those only receiving placebos.
- It is often used in conjunction with other herbs. In a 1994 Italian study (Morazzoni, Bombardelli) breast cancer patients were given a combination of Iigustrum and Astragalus. Patients given this mix showed a decline in mortality from 50% to 10%.
- In another study of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer all undergoing chemotherapy, the group taking the dual herb mix showed an average life span increase of 130%.
- Astragalus doesn´t merely enhance interferon levels; there is strong scientific evidence that it benefits liver function (often impaired in the cancer sufferer). In China, Astragalus is widely used in the treatment of hepatitis. It seems to reduce toxin levels significantly, boost interferon levels and inhibit viral protein expression whilst having little or no effect on normal DNA. (Zhang 1995, Fan 1996)
The FDA is currently considering it for approval as an anti-cancer agent, although you shouldn´t hold your breath, as they have never given approval to an herb in their history! Again, that which cannot be patented cannot be profitable.
Remember what I said earlier, most studies on alternatives must be ‘in conjunction with’ standard chemo, radiation and surgery in order to get study approval. In keeping, studies show that Astragalus improves the effectiveness of Radio- and Chemotherapy. (or maybe it works DESPITE the chemo?!?!)
One extremely important conclusion from several US studies is that Astragalus seems to help the immune system differentiate between healthy cells and foreign cells, thereby boosting the body’s total ‘cancer fighting system’. One effect of this is the added benefit of improving the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.
- In Chinese hospitals Astragalus is now routinely used to help people recover from the negative effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
- MD Anderson Cancer Center (Texas) researchers reported that cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy had twice the survival rates if they took Astragalus during the treatment.
- In the West some herbalists routinely provide chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients with Astragalus, and apart from boosting the immune system (which of course both orthodox treatments damage) it also seems to stop the spread of malignant cancer cells to secondary healthy tissues.
What we use to help boost immune response:
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Dr. Conners graduated with his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 1986 and has been studying alternative cancer care for over 20 years. He holds AMA Fellowships in Regenerative & Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer Therapy.
He is the author of numerous books including, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause, Cancer Can’t Kill You if You’re Already Dead, Help, My Body is Killing Me, Chronic Lyme, 3 Phases of Lyme, 23 Steps to Freedom, and many more you can download for FREE on our books page.