Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus) is the key botanical used in Chinese herbalism for supporting a healthy immune system. The herb was widely researched by MD Andersen Cancer Center, a leading cancer research institute in the world. Researchers there published several papers demonstrating the amazing potential of astragalus in benefitting those with cancer.
Relative to the importance of astragalus in the Chinese materia medica, there are few clinical studies regarding the immune supporting activity of astragalus. However there is a plethora of mechanistic data supporting a long history of belief in its immune supportive activity, including its ability to stimulate the production of stem cells from bone marrow, increase white blood cell count and antibody activity, and enhance macrophage activity and secretion of tumor necrosis factor, to name a few.
There are additional benefits of astragalus not typically known, specifically regarding its cardiotonic and hepatoprotective effects. Additionally, astragalus is widely used for promoting immune health in children. In China it is stated that astragalus is used for “hundreds of diseases in children.”