Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a severe, chronic inflammation of the bladder that’s both disruptive and painful. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord, has an increased number of white blood cells. Available at: …(Click grey area to select URL) Updated May 24, 2016. In the United States, astragalus has been presented as an immune stimulant useful for treating colds and flus. They may experience recurring discomfort, tenderness, pressure, or intense pain in the bladder and surrounding pelvic area. The belief that astragalus can strengthen immunity has a partial basis in traditional Chinese medicine. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr.
However, according to tradition, astragalus formulas should not be taken during the early stage of infections. One theory proposes that IC is caused by an infectious agent that simply hasn’t been detected yet. Although Chinese herbal tradition suggests that astragalus should generally be used in combination with other herbs, modern Chinese investigators have found various intriguing effects when astragalus is taken by itself. PLoS Med. A typical daily dosage of astragalus involves boiling 9 to 30 g of dried root to make tea. Oral antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (Atarax) and certirizine (Zyrtec) may provide relief, and the drowsiness they produce often wears off over time. Astragalus appears to be relatively nontoxic.
BMJ. However, some Chinese herb manuals suggest that astragalus at 15 g or lower per day can raise blood pressure, while doses above 30 g may lower blood pressure. A 3-month, double-blind trial of 53 individuals with interstitial cystitis found only weak indications that arginine might improve symptoms of interstitial cystitis.3 Several participants dropped out of the study; when this was properly taken into account using a statistical method called “ITT analysis,” no benefit at all could be proven. Other traditional contraindications include “deficient yin patterns with heat signs” and “exterior excess heat patterns.” Because understanding what these mean would require an extensive education in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, we recommend using astragalus only under the supervision of a qualified Chinese herbalist. Updated 2014. Zhang YD, Wang YL, Shen JP, et al. A study involving 81 women with interstitial cystitis and pelvic area pain were randomized to receive myofascial physical therapy or regular massage therapy for 10 treatments.17 Those who received the myofascial approach experienced greater overall improvement, but bladder pain specifically did not differ between the groups.
Acta Pharm Sin. 1984;19:333-337. 12. Wheeler MA, Smith SD, Saito N, et al. Aqueous extract of Astragali Radix induces human natriuresis through enhancement of renal response to atrial natriuretic peptide. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Dec 23.