ASTRAGALUS is an herb that been around for a very long time in Chinese medicine for a variety of conditions including Hepatitis and Cancer. More recently, it has been recognized as an adaptogen and gained some notoriety in the rest of the world. I wanted to detail some of the benefits of this herb and then talk about METTA (M2PN20 for a discount code), a drink that combines Astragalus with other herbs to help support adrenal function.
As most of you know, I’m a former Immunologist. I first learned about Astraglus for its effects in promoting what we call Th1 immune responses. Th1 immunity helps us to fight viruses, bacteria and cancer, all things that we want a nice strong response for. However, the body has designed lots of “breaks” on the immune system to prevent it from getting too strong. One of those breaks is stress, which dampens our Th1 response and instead pushes it more towards Th2 immunity. Th2 responses aren’t inherently bad, they help us to fight parasite infections, but unfortunately the Th2 pathway is often corrupted into causing allergies.
As most of us have pretty stressful lives, a little push back towards Th1 immunity using an herbal supplement such as astragalus makes a lot of sense. Checking through the literature, you can also find astragalus supplementation linked to:
Improved blood flow and enhanced red blood cell production (including post heart attack)
Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy
Improved telomerase function, a protein involved in anti-aging
Improved wound healing
Improved blood glucose control in pregnant women
In vitro studies improving sperm motility (potential improved fertility)
Any downsides you might ask??? There’s nothing firm, but if you have an autoimmune condition, I might be a little careful and dose carefully since many AI diseases are Th1 mediated as well.
How to take astragalus?
There’s of a few options here. Of course, you can just take a normal powdered pill (want to dose between 250 and 500 mg 2X a day). In fact, I have this in my supplement closet right now.
I also want to talk about a great product that I was presented at a Crossfit event this Spring called Metta, which is a mix of adaptogens including Astragalus. I don’t have time to break down the entire list there, but its a legit combination backed on pretty solid science! I was impressed, and the taste is great. The price is similar or a little lower than other “energy” drinks out there but with a much better health profile in my humble opinion.
I’m usually pretty suspicious of products like this so I honestly grilled these guys on the science behind their product. Amazingly, they did a great job defending the entire product. If you want to give it a try, feel free to use our M2 specific 20% discount code, M2PN20 when you check out.