Scientific Name/Common Name: Astragalus membranaceus / Astragalus
Part(s) Used: Root
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Triterpenoid saponins (astragalosides), flavonoids, polysaccharides, phytosterols, essential oil, amino acids.
Overview: Astragalus, also known by the Chinese name, huang qi (literally translated as “yellow energy”), has been used medicinally in China for thousands of years. Astragalus root is considered an energy building or “chi” enhancing herb. It is most well known as an immune stimulant. Astragalus root is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating colds, flu, respiratory disorders, fatigue, poor digestion, lack of appetite, stomach ulcers, kidney disorders, liver strengthening, and as a heart tonic. Scientific studies have documented a strong immune-enhancing effect of the herb.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used for lack of appetite, fatigue, fever, and diarrhea. Helps to strengthen the immune system and tonify the lungs in cases of cough and colds. Traditionally used for its tonic, antioxidant, diuretic, and adaptogenic properties in cases of poor cardiovascular function.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Zwickey H, et al. The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD25 expression in humans: a pilot study. Phytother Res. 2007 Nov;21(11):1109-12.
Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Astragalus membranaceus. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2003 Feb;8(1):72-7. Review.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.