Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Astragalus: A review of its medicinal uses and health effects.
Advances in Medicine and Biology (2016)
Abstract
Astragalus: A review of its medicinal uses and health effects.
Toma Todorov, Ranae Zauner and Olga R. Kopp.
Astragalus is considered the largest genus of the Fabaceae family, comprising approximately 3,000 species distributed throughout the world. In Asia alone about 2,500 species of Astragalus have been described. In North America there are approximately 400 species, and additional species have been described in Africa and South America. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is considered one of the most important herbs for the treatment of nephritis, diabetes, uterine cancer, and leukemia. In addition, it is frequently used as a dietary supplement and foodstuff (soups, teas). Studies of extracts of different Astragalus species have shown a variety of activities, acting as an antioxidant, diuretic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotector, neuroprotector, analgesic, immunoregulator, expectorant, and gastrointestinal protector. Some Astragalus extracts have also been shown to be antimicrobial, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory. A diverse group of pharmacological compounds have been isolated from Astragalus roots, leaves, shoots, and seeds. The active constituents reported include polysaccharides, galactomannans, saponins, amino acids, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, alkaloids, trace elements, astragalosides, and terpenes (among others), indicating the great pharmacological potential of this genus. The purpose of this chapter is to review the medicinal uses of Astragalus, clinical trials, its effects on human health, and the potential side-effects resulting from its use as complementary and alternative medicine.
Keywords
  • Astragalus,
  • Medicinal uses,
  • nephritis,
  • diabetes,
  • cancer
Disciplines
Publication Date
2016
Editor
Leon V. Berhardt
Publisher
Nova Biomedical
ISBN
978-1-63485-305-7
Citation Information
"Astragalus: A review of its medicinal uses and health effects." New YorkAdvances in Medicine and Biology Vol. 100 (2016) p. 1 - 28
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/olga-kopp/1/