Latin Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb used to reduce inflammation, respiratory infections, and help with issues of the kidneys. It’s Chinese name: huang qi, means yellow leader.
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the species, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. Research found is catalogued by therapeutic action. This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use.
- Astragalus has been used in ancient Chinese medicine. It is listed in the medicinal book: Shi, Shan, Yi An from the 1500s for using with fatigue. Modern uses for the root are as an immune support, for viral infections, and as a preventative, increasing the body’s antibody production. It has also shown in research to have an antidiabetic effect. From: Weil, A., et al. (2010). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. National Geographic. Washington D.C.
- Avoid with acute infections and autoimmune diseases. From: Weil, A., et al. (2010). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. National Geographic. Washington D.C.
- Medicinal herbal teas including Eugenia aromaticum (clove) and Astragalus membranaceus (astragalus) reduced smoking withdrawal symptoms in 100 male participants. From: From: Lee, H. J., & Lee, J. H. (2005). Effects of medicinal herb tea on the smoking cessation and reducing smoking withdrawal symptoms. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 33(01), 127-138.
- Research on the use of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus are reviewed. From: Block, K. I., & Mead, M. N. (2003). Immune system effects of echinacea, ginseng, and astragalus: a review. Integrative cancer therapies, 2(3), 247-267.
- In a six weeks, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trial of 48 adult patients, taking astragalus reduced symptoms of seasonal allergies. More research is needed. From: Matkovic, Z., Zivkovic, V., Korica, M., Plavec, D., Pecanic, S., & Tudoric, N. (2010). Efficacy and safety of Astragalus membranaceus in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Phytotherapy research, 24(2), 175-181.
- Astragalus reduced allergic rhinitis in a mouse model study. From: Bing, Z., Jin-Tao, D., Feng, L., Ba, L., Ya-Feng, L., & Shi-Xi, L. (2019). Effect of Astragalus membranaceus in Ovalbumin-Induced Allergic Rhinitis Mouse Model. American journal of rhinology & allergy, 1945892419839259.
KIDNEY PROTECTIVE / DIABETES
- In a review of 25 studies including 1804 patients with diabetic nephropathy, injections of astragalus had a renal protective effective. From: Li, M., Wang, W., Xue, J., Gu, Y., & Lin, S. (2011). Meta-analysis of the clinical value of Astragalus membranaceus in diabetic nephropathy. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 133(2), 412-419.
- The use of Chinese herbs including astragalus, angelica, and rhubarb in kidney disease was discussed. From: Li, X., & Wang, H. (2005). Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. Advances in chronic kidney disease, 12(3), 276-281.
- In 68 patients who had a hemorrhagic stroke, taking astragalus over 12 weeks improved recovery. From: Chen, C. C., Lee, H. C., Chang, J. H., Chen, S. S., Li, T. C., Tsai, C. H., … & Hsieh, C. L. (2012). Chinese herb astragalus membranaceus enhances recovery of hemorrhagic stroke: double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.
- Listed are herbs commonly used for cough suppression. These herbs include: Acacia catechu, Acorus calamus, Adhatoda vasica, Allium sativum, Angelica archangelica, Astragalus membranaceus, Carum copticum, Lavandula angustifolia, Lobelia inflata, Salvia officinalis, Sambucus nigra, Tussilago farfara, Valeriana officinalis, Verbascum thapsus, and Zingiber officinale. From: Sultana, S., Khan, A., & Alhazmi, M. M. S. H. A. (2016). Cough Suppressant Herbal Drugs: A Review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Invention, 5(5), 15-28.
- In an 8-week double blind study of 50 patients with lower back pain, an herbal blend was effective in reducing pain. The herbal blend was ingested daily and contained equal parts of Colchicum autumnale (root), Terminalia Chebula (fruit), Aloe vera (dried leaves), Astragalus gossypinus (gum), Cuminum cyminum (fruit), Zingiber officinale (root), Piper nigrum (fruit), Commiphora wightii (gum), and Pistacia lentiscus (gum). From: Malek, V. G., Parvari, S., Rouhani, Y., Jafari, F., Rahimi, R., & Abbassian, A. (2019). Efficacy of a traditional herbal formula based on Colchicum autumnale L.(Rhazes tablet) in low back pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial. International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine, 10(1), 27-33.
SKIN / WOUND
- In this review of human studies on herbs for wound healing, the following plants were discussed: Aloe vera, Salvia miltiorrhizia, Alchemilla vulgaris, Angelica sinensis, Origanum vulgare, Lavandula stoechas, Radix astragalis, Rehmanniae radix, Ageratina pichinchensis, Calendula officianalis, and Mimosa tenuiflora. From: Lordani, T. V. A., de Lara, C. E., Ferreira, F. B. P., de Souza Terron Monich, M., Mesquita da Silva, C., Lordani, F., … & Lonardoni, M. V. C. (2018). Therapeutic effects of medicinal plants on cutaneous wound healing in humans: A systematic review. Mediators of inflammation, 2018.
By: Kathy Sadowski