Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese herbal medicines. It is used as immune stimulant, tonic, antioxidant, hepatoprotectant, diuretic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and expectorant. The current paper reviews the botanical characteristics, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Astragali Radix. Information on Astragali Radix was gathered via the Internet (using Google Scholar, Baidu Scholar, Elsevier, ACS, Medline Plus, CNKI, and Web of Science) as well as from libraries and local books. More than 100 compounds, including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, and amino acids, have so far been identified, and the various biological activities of the compounds have been reported. As an important traditional Chinese medicine, further studies on Astragali Radix can lead to the development of new drugs and therapies for various diseases. The improvement of its utilization should be studied further.
Keywords: Astragalus membranaceus; biological activity; botanical characteristics.
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