Astragalus for Cardiac Support - Root + Bones

Astragalus for Cardiac Support

Our mission here at Root + Bones is to share ancient wisdom for modern wellness, which entails keeping our fingers on the pulse of the collective’s evolving challenges and needs. It never fails to imbue us with a deep sense of purpose when modern research confirms just how relevant the ancient tradition of Chinese medicine is to a wide variety of our current predicaments. The prevalence of heart attacks is unfortunately on the rise, with an alarming 30 percent increase in fatal heart attacks amongst younger people (ages 25-44) since the onset of the pandemic, rendering new research on a single molecule derived from Astragalus quite promising. A recent study on a nutraceutical called TA-65, which is isolated from Astragalus, revealed that it may significantly improve the outcomes of heart attack patients. 


Professor Spyridopoulos of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Gerontology at Newcastle University, who led the study, said: “It has become widely recognized that inflammation plays a key role in the formation, progression, and rupture of a coronary plaque, which induces heart attack, but, importantly, it is also a major risk factor for further complications. Reducing inflammation is, therefore, considered a key treatment target following a heart attack for patients and our study showed that TA-65 reduced inflammation by up to 62%.” Indeed, patients who received this medication experienced far less complications following their heart attacks, including common issues like pain in the chest or joints.


In TCM, Astragalus has been considered one of the most prized medicinal herbs for over two thousand years as a Qi and Blood tonic with a primary affinity for the Spleen and Lungs. The Heart and Lungs are intimately connected through the circulation of Qi and Blood, and Astragalus is enlisted to support Heart health in a number of ways. Believed to have cardioprotective properties precisely because of its rich antioxidant stores and inflammation-taming effects, previous animal and in vitro studies have suggested that Astragalus may have protective effects on the cardiovascular system, as oxidative stress and inflammation are key risk factors for heart disease. Some animal studies have also indicated that Astragalus may be supportive for those with hypertension (high blood pressure). Finally, preliminary studies mainly conducted in China suggest that Astragalus-based herbal formulations may improve the symptoms and quality of life in people with heart failure. 


Astraglus is probably most famous for its effects on the immune system – another encouraging benefit confirmed in the recent study. “While some potent anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to improve outcomes after heart attacks, they result in suppression of the immune system and increase the risk of severe infections,” explained Professor Spyridopoulos. However, TA-65 increased lymphocytes and improved the immunity of patients, which is likely a significant factor in their comparatively improved outcomes. In TCM, Astragalus is immunomodulating and deeply supportive in the facilitation of abundant Wei Qi, or protecting-Qi – our conceptual shield and first line of defense. It’s also known for replenishing Qi that gets depleted, including through illness, supporting us in regaining full strength. On that note, this beloved tonic herb has also shown great promise as an adjunct cancer therapy and is approved as such in a number of other countries. 


While further research is needed, this new study certainly makes one wonder whether Astragalus can be supportive toward prevention, since inflammation is both a leading cause of heart attacks and subsequent complications. Astragalus is classified as a superior tonic herb in TCM, meaning it is safe for almost everyone and appropriate for long-term, regular use.* Our 8:1 Dual Extract powder is an extremely potent and easily-incorporated form – just stir half a teaspoon into coffee or broth, add to soups or stews, or sprinkle some onto oatmeal or nut butter. Its mild and lightly sweet flavor also works famously in baked goods! 


*Consult with your healthcare provider prior to use if you have an autoimmune condition.