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Traditionally, astragalus used alone in recommended doses is considered safe. Determining the exact side effects of astragalus is difficult, because this herb is usually found in multi-ingredient products with other herbs. Side effects reported in people using combination products that include astragalus are heart palpitations, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and aspiration pneumonia. Based on animal studies, astragalus may have diuretic (urine-producing) activity or may lower blood pressure (although traditionally it is believed that astragalus may raise blood pressure). Ingestion of certain toxic astragalus plants may cause neurological syndromes, some of which are irreversible.
Based on laboratory studies, astragalus may increase the risk of bleeding. Because astragalus may stimulate the immune system, individuals with autoimmune diseases or organ transplants should consult a health care professional before starting therapy. Astragalus is not recommended for people with acute inflammation or acute illness with fever.
Astragalus may increase growth hormone levels.
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