Common Name: Astragalus root
Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge. Astragalus mongholicus Bge.
Pharm. Name: Radix Astragali
Used Part: Root
Taste and Property: Sweet, slightly warm
Embryonic Property: Spleen and lung
- To replenish the Qi (vital energy) and stop perspiration
- To consolidate the defensive energy
- To dispel pus and accelerate the healing of wounds
- To regulate the water metabolism and reduce edema
- Spontaneous and night sweat, prolapse of the anus and uterus
- Abscess and chronic ulcers
- Chronic nephritis with edema and proteinuria
For a person with excess (Shi) symptoms and deficiency of Yin (vital energy) symptoms
Sugars, choline, folic acid, amino acids, ß-sitosterol, betaine, astragalan, astragalin. Recommended Dosage: 9-15 grams
- Excitatory action on the central nervous system.
- Increase the phagocytosis of reticuloendothelial system
- Cardiotonic – increase the contraction of the heart. This effect is significantly seen in patients with cardiac failure caused by poisoning or fatigue.
- Lower blood pressure – by dilating the blood vessels and increase the circulationof blood to the skin.
- Diuretic – increase the secretion of sodium.
- Decrease protein in urine – decrease the concentration of protein in urine in chronic nephritic patients, and inhibit the episode of serum nephritis.
- Prevent the loss of concentration of glycogen in liver.
- Anti-bacterial – inhibit the growth of staphylococci, hemolytic streptococci, pheumococci, corynebacterium diphtheriae, and Bacillus dysenteriae.
- Prolong estrus in mice.
- Decrease blood sugar in rabbits.
- Inhibit the secretion of gastric juice and increase PH value.
- Anti-cancer – increases the content of cAMP and inhibits the growth of tumor cells. It increases the sensitivity to interferon, which is similar to adenylate cyclase in action. It increases the production of macrophages, plasma cells and antibodies. It is effective against the immunosuppressants. It is effective for both cellular and humoral immunity.
(reference : The handbook of Chinese Herbs)
Actions and Indications
Invigorating qi, elevating the spleen-yang, consolidating superficial resistance to stop sweating, promoting pus discharge and tissue generation and promoting diuresis to alleviate edema, etc.
It is used for: 1) Debility due to qi deficiency, fatigue, prolapsed of the viscera and prolapsed of rectum due to chronic diarrhea; (2) Edema of limbs, dysuria, palpitation and shortness of breath, etc.
Direction and Dosage: Be decocted first, take 9-30 grams daily.
Caution: It is contraindicated for those with excess syndromes and with hyperactivity of yang due to yin deficiency.
CONTEMPORARY STUDY SUMMARY
The root contains cane sugar, glucuronic acid, mucilage, several amino acids, bitters, choline, betaine, folic acid, 2′, 4′-dihydroxy-5, 6-dimethoxyisoflavane, kumatakenin, ß-sitosterol and many trace elements as Se, Si, Zn, Co, Cu, Mo, etc.
Main Pharmacological Actions
1) Strengthen the body; 2) Anti-aging and prolong life. The root can prolong the growing life of body’s kidney cells and lung cells; 3) Regulate immune balance and improve cells immune function; 4)Inhibit platelet aggregation; (5) Induce diuresis.
(reference : The Collection of Ageing Delaying Traditional Chinese Medicines with Color Illustration)
Spontaneous external bleeding; night sweating; blood bi; water swelling; persistent yong and ju Daily dosage: 5 – 10g. Contraindicated in repletion patterns and yang exuberance due to yin .
Source: The Illustrated Chinese Materia Medica, page 30
Used for carcinoma stomach, tumor of bladder, carcinoma of cervix, tumor of bone, malignae lymphoma and cerebroma.
Source: An Illustrated Guide to Antineoplastic Chinese Herbal Medicine, page 645