Oil of the astragalus plant (Astragalosa), a perennial herb that grows in Asia, has been shown to be a potent immune booster for the human body, a study suggests.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University at Buffalo examined the immune response of astragalae, a flowering herb that is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and found it boosted the production of natural killer cells (NKCs) in the immune system, according to a paper published online on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The results suggest astragals may be a potential candidate for the treatment of autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatic fever, the authors said.
Astraggalas oil was originally extracted from the leaves of the plant and used to make an extract called Astragalax.
Researchers found that astragalesa oil has been found to increase the production and expression of the NKCs NK-2, which was a precursor to T-cell-mediated immunity (T-MSI).
The oil also appears to enhance the activity of macrophages, which can attack the cells that produce the NK-cells.
“The oil is able to reduce the T-cells production of cytokines,” lead researcher Andrew J. Schoeller, a professor of medicine at UC Davis, told Fox News.
“This results in a stronger T-response.
That is, T-MSIs are less effective in the body, and this oil helps keep the T cells alive.”
Astrangalus oil, which is derived from the seeds of the same plant as Astragalea, is widely used as an astral projection, an experience that helps patients visualize their dreams and visualize themselves in a more lucid state.
Astragalus is often used in traditional medicine for the relief of a variety of ailments, including chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and anxiety, according the National Astragalgarian Association.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers USR01HD099471 and USR024HD106575).
The study also was supported by the Astragali Research Foundation and the AstraZeneca Foundation.