Astragalus Root: The Wonders of This Ancient Herb in Chinese Traditional Medicine

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Nail fungal infection is a common condition of the nail that often begins as a yellow or white spot underneath the fingernail or toenail tip. As the fungal infection gets deeper, the fungus may cause some changes in the nail such as discoloration, distortion, thickening, and crumbling at the nail’s edges. This may also affect several nails.

Nail fungus is also called by its medical name onychomycosis. When fungus infects the spaces between the toes and the skin of the feet, this is known as the athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

Symptoms

When you have a nail fungal infection, your nails are more likely to show the following changes: a thickened nail, a dark color on the nails due to debris collecting underneath the nail, having crumbly, brittle, and ragged nails, sometimes the nail may cause pain and discomfort, and a foul smell from the nail.

Nail fungus may infect fingernails, but it is more common in toenails.

Causes

Fungal nail infections may be caused by different types of microorganisms or fungal organisms. The most common of these is known as dermatophyte. Yeasts and molds may also cause fungal infections.

A nail fungal infection may affect anyone regardless of age. However, this becomes more common among older adults. Other factors may also include reduced blood circulation to the feet and having a weakened immune system. It is also possible to be infected through contact with another person.

Treatments

Several treatment options are available when it comes to nail fungal infections. If you need more aggressive treatment, your doctor may prescribe an oral nail fungus treatment option. These include Fluconazole, Terbinafine, Itraconazole, and Griseofulvin.

When the infection is milder, this may require the use of a topical nail fungus treatment. Some examples of this type of medications are Amorolfine, Tavaborole, Ciclopirox, and Efinaconazole. Sometimes a combination therapy of these two types of medications is prescribed by the doctor.

1All about the Astragalus Root (Huang Qi)

The astragalus plant belongs to the legume family. It is also known as huang qi and milk vetch. Astragalus has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine where it is known to get rid of stress and other ailments. This is known as a miracle herb and its potent root extract has already been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It is also often used as a natural diet supplement. It is most popular for boosting the body’s immune system and energy levels. It is packed with several health benefits, and it is known to help with several ailments like upper respiratory problems, blood pressure, asthma, common cold, diabetes, and arthritis.

It has created a massive following in the West because of its being an adaptogen. Adaptogens are capable of changing their functions based on the body’s specific needs. This is the characteristic that enables the astragalus to help us deal with various ailments.

As an Antifungal or Antimicrobial

Astragalus membranaceus extracts were investigated for their effects on various pathogens. The result of the study showed that the aqueous astragalus root extracts showed inhibitory actions against the following pathogens: A. hydrophila, S. sonnei bacteria, A. faecalis, S. newport, and B. cereus.

Astragalus contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is why this is often used on the skin for wound healing. Moreover, studies have also shown that astragalus possesses antiviral properties and that it helps stimulate the body’s immune system. This suggests that astragalus may also prevent colds.

Other Health Benefits

Astragalus has several other health benefits aside from the ones mentioned above.

Heart Health

Several studies have shown astragalus as a heart-friendly herb since it is loaded with antioxidants. This may also help bring down your cholesterol levels.

Gets Rid of Sleep Problems

Regular consumption of astragalus root may help treat interrupted sleep patterns, insomnia, and sleeplessness. Astragalus improves one’s general health, hormonal balance, and metabolism, making it easier for you to have a good night’s sleep.

Helps Prevent and Regulate Diabetes and Its Related Illnesses

Astragalus has been thoroughly studied for its anti-diabetic effects. Studies have revealed its ability for relieving insulin resistance and treating diabetes naturally. This herb possesses polysaccharides, saponins, and flavonoids, which are all effective in the treatment and regulation of type 1 and 2 diabetes. These are capable of increasing insulin sensitivity. It may also protect the body’s pancreatic beta cells apart from functioning as anti-inflammatories in areas that are often associated with diabetes symptoms.

Kidney problems are also common among diabetics. Astragalus has been observed to treat kidney problems for many years. It can also protect the body’s renal system.

Improves Male Reproductive Health

Astragalus is known to improve male fertility by stimulating sperm motility in men. This enhances mature sperm production and improves the sperm count as well. This effect of astragalus is attributed to the presence of flavonoids as well as other active compounds in it.

Prevents Respiratory Infections

According to evidence, astragalus and its formulations can help prevent upper respiratory tract infections, particularly in patients who are immunocompromised. Numerous studies have revealed that astragalus has an inhibitory effect on bacteria and viruses that often lead to upper respiratory tract infections, which include Pneumococcus, Coxsackievirus, Staphylococcus aures, and Influenza virus. This is so because compounds that are found in astragalus may increase the activity of immune cells and also boost the body’s antibody production.

Removes Seasonal Allergies

Based on research, astragalus root is known to remove seasonal allergies as it reduces the severity level of reactions. This herb is capable of changing your quality of life. This works through regulating one’s immune system and alleviating one’s level of sensitivity to allergens. If you frequently suffer from seasonal allergies, taking astragalus root orally may help you a lot. Consuming this for 3 to 6 weeks may help get rid of running nose, sneezing, and itching.

Precautions in Using Astragalus

Pregnant and breastfeeding women must not use astragalus. People with autoimmune diseases must consult a healthcare professional before using astragalus for supplementation due to its stimulating effects on the immune system. Astragalus may interact with particular medications. When you are currently taking medications, please consult your doctor before you take astragalus.

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