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Abstract

Astragalus is a medicinal herb which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years. Specifically, the root of the plant is made into many different forms of supplements, including liquid extracts, capsules, powders and teas. Its root contain many active plant compounds, which are believed to be responsible for its potential benefits. Saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids, organic acid, glycosides, alkaloid, and trace elements.In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus considers to used in the treatment of diabetes, mellitus, nephritis, leukemia, uterine cancer, besides its tonic agent and diuretic effects. Astragalus polysaccharide, the active component extracted from Astragali Radix which is the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge. Some uses of Astragalus are in kidney and urinary problems, digestion, liver problems, female reproductive system problems, muscular, skin problems, cardiovascular and blood, immune and lymphatic system, nervous system, respiratory system, and for some specific disease. It helps protect the body against various types of stress such as physical and emotional stress. Astragalus root including anti-aging properties, and also helping to prevent bone loss.It contains Astragalosides (antioxidants), which support the integrity of the respiratory tract. In addition, the polysaccharides found in Astragalus are known for their immune supporting properties. Astragalus herb also supports deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function. Astragalus appears especially effective when immune function is stressed by environmental or endogenous challenges.In TCM, huang qi is never administered as a mono drug, but forms part of mixtures depending on the indications. Astragali Radix, the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, has been reported to exert hepatoprotective effects, anti-oxidative effects, antiviral activity, anti-oxidative effects, anti-hypertensive effects, and immunostimulant properties; it has also been reported to strengthen superficial resistance, drainage action and new tissue growth. Although, TCM in China is partly integrating with western medicine science, researchers should learn more from TCM and carry out more studies.
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Astragalus, an Ancient Medicinal Root in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a Gift from Silk Road
Author’s Details:
Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian1,2a, Wenli Sun1,2a, Qi Cheng1,2a*
1Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
2Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory, Qi Institute, Building C4, No.555 Chuangye Road, Jiaxing 314000, Zhejiang, China
*For correspondence:chengqi@caas.cn
(a All authors contribute equally to this work)
Abstract
Astragalus is a medicinal herb which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years.
Specifically, the root of the plant is made into many different forms of supplements, including liquid extracts,
capsules, powders and teas. Its root contain many active plant compounds, which are believed to be
responsible for its potential benefits. Saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids, organic acid,
glycosides, alkaloid, and trace elements.In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus considers to used in the
treatment of diabetes, mellitus, nephritis, leukemia, uterine cancer, besides its tonic agent and diuretic effects.
Astragalus polysaccharide, the active component extracted from Astragali Radix which is the root of
Astragalus membranaceus Bunge. Some uses of Astragalus are in kidney and urinary problems, digestion,
liver problems, female reproductive system problems, muscular, skin problems, cardiovascular and blood,
immune and lymphatic system, nervous system, respiratory system, and for some specific disease. It helps
protect the body against various types of stress such as physical and emotional stress. Astragalus root
including anti-aging properties, and also helping to prevent bone loss.It contains Astragalosides
(antioxidants), which support the integrity of the respiratory tract. In addition, the polysaccharides found in
Astragalus are known for their immune supporting properties. Astragalus herb also supports deep immune
function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function. Astragalus appears
especially effective when immune function is stressed by environmental or endogenous challenges.In TCM,
huang qi is never administered as a mono drug, but forms part of mixtures depending on the indications.
Astragali Radix, the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, has been reported to exert hepatoprotective
effects, anti-oxidative effects, antiviral activity, anti-oxidative effects, anti-hypertensive effects, and
immunostimulant properties; it has also been reported to strengthen superficial resistance, drainage action
and new tissue growth. Although, TCM in China is partly integrating with western medicine science,
researchers should learn more from TCM and carry out more studies.
Keywords: Astragalus; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Silk Road; Pharmaceutical Science; Foodstuffs.
Introduction
Astragalus in Traditional Chinese Medicine and other parts of the world
Chinese herbs have been used as traditional medicine immune booster for human being for thousands of years
in China (Yin et al., 2009;Ogbajiet al., 2013; Ogbajiet al., 2018;Shahrajabianet al., 2018; Shahrajabianet al.,
2012a;Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2012a; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2012b;Soleymaniet al., 2016;
Shahrajabian et al., 2019b; Shahrajabianet al., 2019c). More than 3 million tons of herb medicines were
produced in China, and their medicinal parts were consumed in TCM clinic (Soleymani and Shahrajabian,
2012c; Zhang et al., 2016: Ogbajiet al., 2018; Soleymani and Shahrajabian, 2018). In traditional Chinese
medicine, some herbals have been used for anti-aging since ancient times (Liu et al., 2017). Astragalus
membranaceus as one of the most important Qi tonifying adaptogenic herbs in traditional Chinese medicine,
has a long history of medicinal use (Yang et al., 2010;Zhonget al., 2012;Liu et al., 2017). In traditional
Chinese medicine, which laid a lot of emphasis on Qi (vital energy) and Yin-Yang balance (negative and
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positive equilibrium), Astragalus is considered as benefiting Qi and helping to pass water (Li et al., 2011). It
has been used as therapy for Wei Zheng, a term for skeletal muscle fatigue and wasting (Zhou and Mei, 2014).
The dried root of A. membranaceus, first documented in Shennong Bencao Jing (Shennong,s Classic of
MateriaMedica, 200-300 AD), is one of the most popular health promoting herbal medicines commonly used
in China for more than 2000 years. In modern Chinese medicine, it is used in Fu zheng therapy as an immune
stimulant (Ionkova et al., 1997). Also known as Huang Qi (Chinese), Milk-Vetch (English), Hwanggi
(Korean), and Ogi (Japanese) (Chou et al., 2007; Li et al., 2019).It is sold in dietary supplements in tea or
capsule form in the USA, and in the tea, beverages, soup, and trail mix (gorp) in Asia (Song et al., 2008; Zhang
et al., 2011). Chinese milk vetch (Astragalussinicus L.) isalso a traditional leguminous green manure which
plays an important role in maintaining paddy soil fertility and in the popularizing of the double-rice farming
system in southern China; it is ploughed into soil at full blooming stage and serves as an alternative to
chemical nitrogen fertilizer in the region (Zhu et al., 2012). Astragalus membranaceus was originally
described in the Shennong,s Classic of Meteriamedica, the earliest complete Pharmacopoeia of China written
from Warring States Period to Han Dynasty (Heiet al., 2005; Auyeunget al., 2016). It is valued for its ability to
strengthen the primary energy of the body which we know as the immune system, as well as the metabolic,
respiratory and eliminative functions (Liu et al., 2017). This fact is being increasingly substantiated by
pharmacological studies showing that it can increase telomerase activity, and has antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory, immuneregulatory, anticancer, antitumor, antioxidant,hypolipidemic, antihyperglycemic,
hepatoprotective, expectorant, immunomodulatory activity, and diuretic effects (Anon, 2003; Ma et al., 2011;
Zhao et al., 2011). Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.)Bunge. has been widely used an anti-osteoporosis herb
is traditional Chinese medicine for many years (Du et al., 2004; Wong et al., 2007; Xi et al., 2008; Jiao et al.,
2014; Li et al., 2016). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus membranaceus is a major component in a
prescription to treat chronic phlegmatic disorders and general gastrointestinal disturbances including stomach
ulcer, chronic diarrhea and intestinal inflammation (Kim et al., 2008; Yang et al., 2014). Other researchers
have reported the values of Astraglaus s roots in traditional Chinese medicine with the function of
strengthening exterior and promoting health for thousands of years (Ma et al., 2017; Zhao et al., 2011).
Traditional Chinese herbs are generally applied in the form of multi-herb formulas in medical treatments and
as dietary supplements (Takagi and Ishii, 1967; Li et al., 2011). Lu et al. (2013) reported that Radix Astragali
is the root of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, and as a famous traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has
been used to improve muscle wasting-related disorders for a long history. They have also introduced
Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) as an important bioactive and a therapeutic agent in the management of
muscle wasting. Astragalus trojanusStev.is an endemic plant mostly found in eastern and central Anatolia
(1300-3500 m), central Aegean region and slopes of Toros mountain (1300-2300 m) in Turkey (Nartop et al.,
2015). This genus is widely distributed throughout the temperate and arid regions of the world, and is
principally located in Asia (1500 species), North American (500 species) and South American (150 species),
and Europe (120 species), but also on mountains in Africa, However, the centre of origin and biodiversity of
Astragalus plants is Eurasia, especially the mountainous parts of South-Western and South-Central Asia
(Lysiuk and Darmohray, 2016). Iran alone, being the richest centre of Astragalus habitation, shelters more than
850 species, 527 of which are endemic in the flora of Iran (Ranjbar and Karamian, 2002; Aslanipour et al.,
2017; Ghasemian-Yadegariet al., 2017). Aslanipour et al. (2017) stated that the crude drugs prepared from
Astragalus roots are used for treating some illnesses such as leukemia, respiratory infections and diabetes in
Iranian folk medicine. In South Eastern Turkey (Anatolia district), the aqueous extract of the roots of different
Astragalus spp. are traditionally used against leukemia and for its wound-healing properties (Yesiladaet al.,
2005; Nalbantosyet al., 2012; Napolitano et al., 2013). In the district of Anatolia, located in South Eastern
Turkey, an aqueous extract of the roots of Astragalus is traditionally used against leukemia and for its wound
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healing properties (Bediret al., 2001). Astragalus corniculatusBieb. (Fabaceae) is distributed in Southeastern
Romania, South Ukraine and Moldova (Tutin et al., 1972). Astragalus Tragacantha L. (Fabaceae) is a western
Mediterranean perennial cushion-like plant species well-adapted to drought that grows even in the trace metal
and metalloid polluted soils (Salducciet al., 2019). It has been reported that Astragalus is an adaptogen and is
usually used in combination with other herbs, such as, ginseng, Echinacea, and glossy privet. Astragalus is
primarily used in American medicine to potentiate the function of the immune system and in cardiovascular
disease. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used for influenza and the common cold (McKenna et al., 2002).
Nishiyama et al. (1995) reported that in traditional oriental medicine, it is conventional to combine different
herbs in order to achieve a variety of treatment purposes simultaneously, or to enhance a single effect without
causing severe side effects. Erect milkvetch (Astragalusadsurgens Pall.), also as a palatable forage, are also
widely used in returning farmland to grassland, it has an important role in restoring the degraded ecosystems
and could be an effective and applicable to improve soil nutrients and prevent further soil degradation and
erosion, because it grows rapidly, and was characterized by barren-tolerance, wide adaptability and strong
resistance (Wang and Wang, 2013).
Bioactive phytochemicals, medicinal uses and potential health benefits of Astragalus in traditional and
modern medicine industry
Constituents of the dried roots of Astragalus spp. Radix Astragali provide significant protection against heart,
brain, kidney, intestine, liver and lung injury in various models of oxidative stress-related disease (Hong et al.,
1992; Shahzad et al., 2016). Zhang et al. (2007) stated that Astragalus is an important traditional Chinese
medicine (TCM), and now widely used an immune modulator, especially to support immune health for
various chronic degenerative diseases. Recently, Astragalus radix was proved efficacious to be an adjunctive
therapy medicine for cancers (Wang et al., 2003). In the Bulgarian traditional medicine,
Astragalusglycyphyllos is used an antihypertensive, diuretic and anti-inflammatory remedy (Nikolov, 2006).
Major classes of compounds of Astragalus species are polysaccharides, saponins and isoflavonoids, alkaloid,
choline, betaine, folic acid, organic acid, various amino acids,mucoitin, gum, cellulose and fourteen trace
elements, including selenium, zinc, and iron, which are essential micronutrients for man and animals (Bedir et
al., 2000; Block and Mead, 2003; Yin et al., 2006; Lu et al., 2016). Astragalus genera are the richest source of
cycloartanes, the unique triterpenoidswith a characteristics 9,19-cyclopropane (Nartopet al., 2015). According
to the systematic review by a Chinese scientists on the chemical constituents of the plants (genus Astragalus L.)
more than 140 cycloartane-type triterpene glycosides, 60 flavonoids and 18 different polysaccharides have
been identified so far (Li et al., 2014). Under high soil moisture and wet conditions, Astragalus is susceptible
to root rot caused by fungi, which is the main constraint to cultivation. Land must be well drained for
Astragalus. Loose soil and raised beds can be used to control soil moisture (Shannon et al., 2014). The
chemical structures and chain conformations of polysaccharides play a vital role in their biological activities;
however, polysaccharides belong to a structurally diverse class of macromolecules (Jin et al., 2014).
Cycloastragenol (CA) is the main aglycon of many cycloartane-type glycosides which only found in
Astragalus genus, extends T cell proliferation by increasing telomerase activity which helps the delay the
onset of cellular aging (Valenzuela et al., 2009). Astragalus root also contains a series of cycloartanetriterpene
glycosides, including astragalosides I-VIII, acetylastragaloside, isoastragaloside I and III, astramembrannin II,
cycloastragenol, cyclosieversigenis, soyasaponin I, soyasapogenol B, and lupeol (Ko and Chik, 2009). Among
these, Astragalusmembranaceus has a high content of astragaloside IV, which is commonly used as a
qualitative marker. The most important compounds of Astragalusis presented in Table 1.
Table 1:Astragalusmembranaceuscompounds.
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Compound
Effect
Flavonoids
Plant metabolites with antioxidant effects; give plants
yellow color
Isoflavones
Polyphenolic compounds that are classified as
phytoestrogens; formononetin is one of the prominent
ones
Lectin
Carbohydrate-binding proteins
Polysaccharides
Carbohydrates whose molecules contain linked
monosaccharides; starch, inulin, cellulose
Saponins
Amorphous glycosides of terpenes and steroids that can
form emulsions and can foam (soap-like);
Astragaloside IV is one the most-studied saponins in
Huang Qi
On the basis of traditional Chinese medicine view of cancer, causes are endogenous causes and exogenous
causes. Endogenous causes are the seven emotional states (anger, grief, fear, worry, over joy, shock and
melancholy) can be seen as the way that stress, worry, over work, and emotional grief can suppress the
immune system and allow predispositions for cancer growth to take hold. So, while it can seem simplistic to
attribute cancer to normal emotions such as sadness, worry, fear, etc., the TCM view is that when these
emotions are excessive, prolonged or unresolved, they can cause disease. The concept of Jing in TCM can be
likened to the role of genetics in cancer, which is an important factor indeed. Exogenous causes consists of six
exogenous causes for all illness, including cancer, are climatic factors of wind, cold, dampness, dryness,
summerheat and fire. And, other miscellaneous causes are environmental causes, dietary causes, and drugs.
The TCM concepts of yin/yang balance, the need for calmness of mind, absence of strife, the practice of health
promotion through movement, all support modern ideas on the role of psychological, neurological and
immunological health in cancer prevention.Liu et al. (2011) reported that in many parts of the world,
especially in China and Germany, the combined use of herbal treatment and conventional cancer treatment is
far more widespread than in America. They have also mentioned that 66.44% of cancer patients in China
combined the use of herbal medicine with Western treatment. A prospective, controlled study conducted in
Israel (Yaal-Hahoshenet al., 2011) found significant improvement in anemia and neutropenia in breast cancer
patients who were given an herbal mixture containing Huang Qi and other Chinese herbs. Rios and Waterman
(1997) reported that cycloastragenol (CAG) is a secondary metabolite isolated from Radix Astragali, present
in all known Astragalus spp., CAG (9,19-cycloanostane-3,6,16,25-tetrol,20,24-epoxy-(3β, 6α,16β,20R,24S);
is both a triterpeneaglycone and the most common genuine aglycone in the bioactive triterpenoidsaponins
called astragalosides. Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) are one of the main efficacious principles of Radix
Astragali (Astragalus membranaceus), which is reported to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive,
and immunomodulatory activities (Wu and Chen, 2004; Wu et al., 2005). It has been noted that the crude
polysaccharide extract of A. membranaceus was mainly composed of carbohydrates with small amount of
proteins (Cho and Leung, 2007). It has been demonstrated that the main components of the ethylacetate
extract of Astragalus were isoflavonids such as calycosin-7-O-β-D-glycoside,
formononetin-7-O-β-D-glycodieand (6R, 10R)-9,10-dimethoxypterocarpan-3-O-βD-glycoside, and these
glycosides and other their aglycones were proved to exhibit strong antioxidant activity (Zhang et al., 2007). Li
et al. (2010) also mentioned that the dried root of Astragalus contains
2/4/-dihydroxy-5,6-dimethoxyisoflavone, kumatakenin, choline, betaine, polysaccharides, saponins,
glucuronic acid, sucrose, amino acids, traces of folic acid and astraisoflavanin. So many other scientists also
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revealed that Astragalusmembranaceus has a notable functional role in various pharmacopoeias as a herbal
immunomodulator and an anti-diabetic drug (Wei et al., 2011;Agyemanet al., 2013). Its roots have been used
in many state-approved Chinese Herbal formulas for the treatment of diabetes (Jai et al., 2003; Wei et al.,
2011). Some experiments have showed that Astragalus exhibits immunomodulating and immunorestorative
effects both in vitro and in vivo (Guoet al., 2005), and have shown preliminary promise against the
experimental coccidial infection when used in conjunction with vaccine (Cho and Leung, 2007). Song et al.
(2017) reported that Astragalus extract mixture HT042 is a combination of three standardized herbal extracts
from Astragalus membranaceus root, Elutherococcussenticosus stem, and Phlomisumbrosa root, and it has
been developed to promote height growth in children with short stature. Sun et al. (2012) revealed that
Astragalusmembranaceus is a popular traditional Chinese medicine, commonly used in Chinese herb
prescription to treat liver disease, and the extract prepared from the roots of Astragalusmembranaceus and
Paeonialactiflora demonstrated better hepatoprotective activity than the herbs used individually. Ko and
Chik(2009) demonstrated that root extract of Astragalus membranaceus administrated orally and locally can
protect rats against hapten-induced colitis through attenuation of TNF-αand IL-1βand up-regulating of Il-10.
Shenet al. (2008) indicated that AstragalusMembranaceus has a potential role in treating allergic asthma.
Zhang et al. (2009) Astragalusmembranaceus and its effective components are effective in reducing fasting
blood glucose and albuminuria levels, in reversing the glomerular hyperfiltration state, and in ameliorating the
pathological changes of early diabetic nephropathy in rat models. Ko and Chik (2009) demonstrates that both
oral and locally administered Astragalusmembranaceus possess protective effects against experimental colitis
through differential modulation of colonic cytokines. Yang et al. (2013) found that Astragalusmembranaceus
polysaccharide (AMP) has antitumor activity in vivo at least partly via improving immune responses of host
organism, and seems to be safe and effective for the use of anti-tumor therapy. Lvet al. (2017) suggest that
Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) which is a bioactive extract of Astragalusmembranaceus may represent a
natural therapeutic approach for treating inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis. Yan et al.
(2010) found that administration of Astragalusmongholicus polysaccharides could significantly increase
serum and liver antioxidant enzyme activities in mice and decrease peroxidative lipid levels. Jalsraiet al. (2010)
found that doses of Astragalusmongholicus extract which did not interfere with locomotor activity and
situational anxiety appear to be useful in the treatment of convulsive disorders. Kim et al. (2016) highlighted
the ability of Astragalusmembranaceus to increase CREM and ACT expression to facilitate sperm
development and semen quality. Tianet al. (2016) reported that Astragalus may be beneficial as an adjuvant
therapy in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Adessoet al. (2018) indicated that Astragalusmembranaceus root
extract significantly reduced the inflammatory response and the pro-oxidant status in IEC-6 cells. Zhou et al.
(2018) demonstrated that the extract from Astragalusmembranaceus with water extraction-ethanol
supernatant method inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cultured breast cancer cells. This effect AM
extract to suppress breast cancer cells growth was associated with its ability to inhibit PI3K/Akt/mTOR
activity. Marescaet al. (2017) concluded that the 50% hydroalcoholic extract of Astragali radix is a valuable
candidate for the adjuvant treatment of articular disease. Liu et al. (2017) concluded that the appropriate dose
of Astragalus depends on several factors, such as the user ,s age, health status, and several other conditions.
They have also found that natural products are not always necessarily safe, and dosages can be important.
Sheng et al. (2005) found that one of the most important biological role of saponins is modulating the cellular
oxidant antioxidant balance. Ten proven benefits of Astragalus root is shown in Table 2. Modern
pharmacological actions of Radix Astragali is shown in Table 3.
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Table 2: 10 proven benefits of Astragalus root.
1- Acts as an Anti-inflammatory
2- Boost the immune system
3- Slows or prevents the growth of tumors
4- Protects the cardiovascular system
5- Regulates and prevents diabetes and illnesses related to diabetes
6- Contains anti-oxidative and anti-aging capabilities
7- Aids in wound healing and minimizes scarring
8- Alleviates symptoms of chemotherapy
9- Treats colds and flu
10- Provides supplemental therapy for chronic asthma
Table 3: Modern pharmacological actions of Radix Astragali.
1- It can promote metabolism, fight fatigue and facilitate the renewal of serum and liver proteins
2- It has significant diuretic effect, which can eliminate the urine protein in experimental nephritis
3- It improves anemia in animals
4- It increases low blood sugar and reduces high blood sugar
5- It excites breathing
6- It enhances and regulates immune system, promotes the interferon system, and improves the body ,s
resistance to disease
7- It has low-grade inhibitory effects on the cell pathological change caused by influence virus and other
viruses. At the same time, it has a protective effect on influenza virus infected mice
8- It has broader antibacterial effect
9- It can significantly increase the number, growth and longevity of the cultured cells
10- It can enhance myocardial contractility, protect the cardiovascular system, fight arrhythmia, dilate
coronary artery and peripheral vessels, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet adhesion, and reduce
thrombosis
11- It also has anti-hyperlipidemia, anti-aging, anti-hypoxia, anti-radiation, and lipotropic effects
Conclusion
Traditional Chinese medicinal materials have been used for thousands of years and are believed to be abundant,
safe, and inexpensive. Atsragalus (Huang Qi) has been a foundational herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It
is also included in formulas to support Wei Wi (Chi) or the conceptual shield which serves as a primary
defence mechanism against pernicious threats to the system. It is widely distributed in China, Siberia, and
northern Korea. Some actions ofAstragalusmembranaceusare anti-viral, anti-bacterial, immune system
enhancing, immune stimulant, anti-infective some viruses, adaptogen, cardio-tonic, diuretic, hypotensive,
anti-oxidant, immunomodulator, hypoglycaemic, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator, anti-fatigue, anti-cancer
and hepatoprotective. Chemical constituents are polysaccharides, triterpenoidsaponins (Astragalosides),
flavonoids, choline, phytosterols, volatile oils, amino acids (Asparagine, Gamma-aminobutyric acid,
Canavanine), aglycones, coumarins, astrapterocarpan, betaine, calcium, copper, isoflavonoids, rich in
potassium and magnesium. Astragalusmembranaceus classically prescribed in TCM in combination with
other Chinese medicinal herbs as a dried root, powdered or as a decoction, with the combination depending on
the desired therapeutic effect and the specific TCM diagnosis. Polysaccharides in Astragalus intensify
phagocytosis in reticuloendothelial systems, stimulate pituitary-adrenal cortical activity, and restore depleted
red blood cell formations in bone marrow. Astragalus uses are in kidneys problems, strengthens the kidneys,
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incontinence and frequent urination, urinary tract infection, gastric ulcers, decreased appetite, chronic diarrhea,
strengthens the spleen, poor digestion, liver problems, viral hepatitis, strengthen the liver, postpartum fever,
uterine bleeding, topical adjuvant therapy for chronic viral cervicitis, vaginitis, edema, lupus, rheumatoid
arthritis, myasthenia gravis, strengthens and builds bone marrow, excessive sweating, night sweats, slow
healing wounds, increasing white blood cell count, leukopenia, ischemic heart disease, angina pectoris,
recovery from severe loss of blood, diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, congestive heart
failure, strengthens the blood, increases interferon production, impaired immunity, chronic viral infections,
general debility, increases energy, HIV/AIDS, cancer,myalic encephalomyelitis (Chronic fatigue syndrome),
improves sleep quality, upper respiratory infection, common cold, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, flu,
combats coxsackie B myocarditis, amerlirate side effects of drugs, appropriate herb for weak and elderly.
Isoflavonoids, such as calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, ononin, astraisoflavan-7-O-β-D-glucoside, calycosin
and formononetin, are principle bioactive compounds found in Radix astragali-based drugs or foods. In
summary, Astragalus is an ancient herb for modern medicine which can promote good health and as drugs to
treat diseases.
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... Also, the members of the Astragalus genus can increase the activity of the immune system and neutralize the effect of immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, the use of plants belonging to this genus is contraindicated in patients with autoimmune diseases, people receiving immunosuppressive drugs and pregnant women (Shahrajabian et al., 2019). ...
... Also, the members of the Astragalus genus can increase the activity of the immune system and neutralize the effect of immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, the use of plants belonging to this genus is contraindicated in patients with autoimmune diseases, people receiving immunosuppressive drugs and pregnant women (Shahrajabian et al., 2019). ...
Article
Introduction The increasing number of cancer patients, together with the side effects of current chemical treatments have encouraged the exploration of the potential of Iranian medicinal plants as a rich source of anticancer compounds. Methods In the current review, 114 medicinal plant species grown in Iran were selected and their major constituents, animal or cell targets, as well as possible anticancer mechanisms, were ascertained through searching pertinent keywords in the Scientific Information Database (SID), IranMedex, PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge and Scopus databases. Results Of the 114 species (with more emphasis on Asteraceae, Lamiaceae and Fabaceae as major plant families in Iran) that were reviewed, some were endemic plants of Iran, with others found in other countries. Besides valuable and well-known anticancer plants such as Taxus baccata and Catharanthus roseus, other species were included. Several compounds of these plants, such as organo-sulfur compounds, terpenoids, polyphenols, alkaloids, saponins, phenylethanoids, coumarins and polysaccharides have been proposed to exhibit anticancer effects. In general, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, mitochondrial suppression, reductiob of DNA damage, vital enzyme inhibition and/or blocking angiogenesis were considered as the proposed mechanisms for the anticancer potential of the studied plants. Conclusion Investigating the bioactive anticancer components of Iranian medicinal plants, especially the endemic species, seems to be beneficial for achieving novel potential anticancer drugs that are better equipped to fight cancer.
... [4][5][6] ) Radix Astragali Mongolici (Huangqi in chinese) is known as a medicinal herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. 7 The main constituents of this herb are polysaccharides, saponins, flavonoids, amino acids including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and L-canavanine, and trace elements. There are also 14 polysaccharides in the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) ...
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Objective: To investigate immunomodulatory effects of Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) on the co-culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with HeLa cervical cancer cell line. Methods: To assess the proliferation of PBMCs, carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE)-labeled PBMCs were co-cultured with HeLa cells and treated with different concentrations of APS. Supernatants of cell culture were collected for cytokines assay via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The impact of APS on the proliferation of PBMCs, induction of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) was carried out by flow cytometry. Results: It was observed that APS could increase the proliferation of PBMCs co-cultured with HeLa cells (P < 0.05). However, APS had no significant effects on the induction of Tregs and MDSCs in the co-culture assay (P > 0.05). Furthermore, ELISA results demonstrated that APS could decrease IL-10 and TGF-β concentration (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The above-mentioned characteristics showed that APS might be able to modulate immune responses and improve anti-tumor effects through increasing the proliferation of PBMCs and decreasing inhibitory cytokines secretion as critical mediators of immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment.
Chapter
Abstract This study seeks to examine the effects of globalization on CO2 emission in Nigeria. This study was motivated by the theoretical postulation that developing countries emit more CO2 at their early stage of development and less when they become more developed. This was tested in the case of Nigeria. Data was used from 1970 to 2014 and the method used was Autoregressive Distributed Lags (ARDL). The bounds test results show that globalization has a long-run relationship with CO2 emission. The long-run estimates revealed that EKC is confirmed in the case of Nigeria because GDP per capita is positive at an early stage of CO2 emission but start decreasing after a threshold level because their level of development has improved and they are adopting clean energy. The relationship between globalization and CO2 emissions shows a negative and significant relationship. These results suggest that countries should encourage economic globalization to reduce emissions. This finding suggests that imports from countries where the firms are using clean technology for production should be encouraged.
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The adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) is a traditional legume crop that plays a crucial role in both the sustainability of agricultural systems and the supply of food protein. Having been used for thousands of years in China as traditional Chinese medicine and food, the adzuki bean has a great potential to be a drug candidate or functional food. Adzuki is a good source of essential fatty acids, fiber, minerals, and phytochemicals such as polyphenols and phytates. Legumes are nitrogen-fixing systems that have long been used for biological nitrogen fixation in agriculture. The biologically fixed nitrogen of adzuki beans can reduce the hazards of chemical fertilizers. Because of the increasing requests for plant production, especially protein and oils, and to decrease the economic and environmental pressure on agricultural ecosystems, grain legumes such as adzuki beans are expected to play a major role in future crop systems and sustainable agriculture. Legumes, especially those that have various medicinal effects, can help to restore organic matter to the soil and reduce pests and diseases problems, and they may lead to increased soil fertility. Adzuki beans have considerable potential globally to be a functional food for health promotion and disease prevention not only in Asian countries, but also in other parts of the world. China is the home of the soybean. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a natural and organic healthcare system in which the body is viewed as a complex network of interconnected parts. The most important health benefits of soybeans are that they improve metabolic activity, promote healthy weight gain, have anticancer potential, boost heart health, relieve menopausal symptoms, boost digestion, improve bone health, prevent birth defects, improve circulation, control diabetes, and relieve sleep disorders. Soybeans can clear heat, detoxify, ease urination, lubricate the lungs and intestine, and serve as an excellent source of protein. In soybeans, atmospheric nitrogen (N2) fixation happens in the nodules, which grow in the roots and are produced by N2-fixing rhizobial bacteria. Most of these bacteria belong to the genera Bradyrhizobium, Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium, and Sinorhizobium. With the world’s increasing dependence on agriculture to feed its population, the use of reduced nitrogen derived from energy provided by fossil fuels is not likely to be sustainable. The key to future sustainable agriculture is to utilize the fundamental knowledge of the process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in association with other agricultural practices to benefits an increasing world population. The food therapy of TCM aims to maintain balanced nutrition through diet. Mung beans, also known as lu dou, are a traditional soy food consumed mainly in East Asia, especially China and Japan. It has been used both as nutritional food and herbal medicine. The two principal properties that make mung beans useful to agriculture are their high protein content and their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The factors determining the symbiotic process are the genetic constitution of the host plant and the bacteria, the environment, and technological inputs such as inocula, fertilizers, and pesticides. As a consequence of the persistent energy crises, which result in higher fertilizer costs, biological N2 fixation has become one of the most attractive strategies for the development of sustainable agricultural systems. Inoculation with Bradyrhizobium enhanced the nodulation, shoot biomass, and grain yield of mung beans. The legume residues can supply more mineral nitrogen to the succeeding crops than cereal residues can, owing to the relatively high nitrogen content of the legume residues. In traditional Chinese medicine, the mung bean clears heat, detoxifies, quenches thirst, promotes urination, reduces swelling, and reduces edema in the lower limbs. It is recommended for edema, conjunctivitis, diabetes, dysentery, summer heat, heatstroke, dehydration, and food poisoning from spoiled food. All in all, the most important health benefits of mung beans are antioxidant effects, antifungal and antimicrobial activity, antiinflammatory activity, and their antidiabetes, antihypertension, and anticancer effects. Mung beans are rich is easily digestible protein. They also contain vitamin A, iron, calcium, zinc, and folate. and are high in vitamins B1, B2, and C and niacin. Their antinutrients are phytic acid, tannins, hemagglutinins, and polyphenols. Nutrition therapy based on TCM is quite effective at treating common diseases.
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The functional food industry has been developing rapidly in recent years. Great progress has been made in this industry, especially in the number the claims related and the quality of the functional foods. The most important pharmacological properties of jujube are antidiabetic effects, hypnotic-sedative and anxiolytic effects, neuroprotective activity, sweetness inhibition, anticancer activity, antimicrobial activity, antiulcer activity, antiinflammatory and antispastic effects, antiallergic activity, permeability enhancement activity, cognitive activities, antifertility property, hypotensive and antinephritic effects, cardiovascular activity, immunostimulant effects, antioxidant effects, and wound-healing activity. The lotus has various notable pharmacological activities such as antiischemic, antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antiobesity, lipolytic, hypocholestermic, antipyretic, hepatoprotective, hypogylcemic, antidiarrheal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, and diuretic activities. Coix is a source of ornamental beads, a stable sustenance, and a productive fodder grass that is increasingly viewed as a potential energy source. Chinese medicine classifies the lily plant as bitter in taste, mild in nature, and beneficial to our hearts and lungs. The flowers are dried and used in cooking stews or soups. The healing properties of lily include moisturizing the lungs, relieving cough from lung dryness, clearing heart fire, and tranquilizing the mind. Dried lily bulbs are commonly used in herbal formulas for promoting lung health; treating yin deficiency of the heart. which manifests as irritability, insomnia, dreaminess, palpitations, and absent-mindedness; promoting vital fluids; and improving the complexion. The most important benefits of the Tremella mushroom are antiaging effects, antiinflammatory effects, decreasing cholesterol, combating obesity, and protecting the nerves, and it may fight cancer. The most powerful nutritional constituents of Tremella are amino acids, vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, glucomannan 1,3-alpha-glucan, epitope 9beta-D-glucuronosyl, glucuronic acid, glucuronoxylomannan, N-acetylglucosamine, flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids, and organic acids. Functional foods are making inroads into Chinese diets with their promises to improve health and nutrition. Chinese consumers should choose nutritional and healthy food to maintain their general health and reduce the risk of health problems.
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Medicinal plants are widely used in nonindustrialized societies and developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America because they are cheaper and more accessible than modern drugs. Medicinal and food plants that are traditionally used as dietary adjuvants to improve health have been evaluated, interalia, for their blood glucose lowering potential, both in vitro and in vivo. The main aim was to preevaluate the extracts or the respective carbohydrate fractions for any potential α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity in vitro. An additional aim was to confirm the inhibitory potential of the new raw materials in vivo. Furthermore, other crude extracts significantly inhibiting in vitro the possibility of lowering postprandial glucose were assessed. It is expected that further scientific research can confirm the rationality of selected species of food and medicinal plants as potential dietary additives.
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Medicinal plants always are part of folk medicine and are nowadays receiving worldwide attention for prophylaxis, management, and treatment of several diseases, as an alternative to chemical drugs. The current work provided a comprehensive overview and analysis of the Astragalus and health relationship in literature. The analysis of their therapeutic potential is thus instrumental to understand their bioactivity. Among these, the flowering medicinal plant Astragalus membranaceus has raised interest due to several beneficial health effects. This perspective review discussed the botanical, geographical, historical, and the therapeutic properties of A. membranaceus , with a special focus on its health improving effects and medicinal applications both in vitro and in vivo. Graphic abstract
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The role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) is not limited to diabetes and diabetes-related complications. There are multiple modulators, including the receptor for advanced glycation end products, high mobility group box 1, glyoxalase 1, nuclear factor-kappa B, tumor necrosis factor-α, chronic unpredictable stress, reactive oxygen species, and inflammatory cytokines, which interact with AGE signaling and control diabetes, modulating these interacting modulators. The progression of diabetes, as well as related complications, can be controlled and treated. Natural products rich in bioactive constituents can interact with AGEs and their related mediators through various signaling cascades, thereby controlling and preventing the progression of diabetes. This review provides a deeper assessment of the signaling pathway, interactions between phytochemicals and AGEs, and its mediators, to develop a multifold therapeutic approach to prevent and treat diabetes and its related complications.
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The functional food industry has been developing rapidly in recent years. The most important pharmacological properties of jujube are anti-diabetic effects, hypnotic-sedative and anxiolytic effect, neuroprotective activity, sweetness inhibitor, anti-cancer activity, antimicrobial activity, anti-ulcer activity, an-ti-inflammatory and anti-spastic effect, anti-allergic activity, per-meability enhancement activity, cognitive activities, anti-fertility property, hypotensive and anti-nephritic effect, cardiovascular activity , immunostimulant effects, anti-oxidant effects, and wound healing activity. N. nucifera has various notable pharmacological activities such as anti-ischemic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, antivi-ral, antiobesity, lipolytic, hypocholestermic, antipyretic, hepato-protective, hypoglycaemic, antidiarrhoeal, antifungal, antibacte-rial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic activities. Coix is a source of ornamental beads, a stable sustenance, and a productive fodder grass increasingly viewed as a potential energy source. The healing properties of lily include moisturizing the lungs, relieving cough from lung-dryness, clears heart-fire and tranquilizes the mind. Dried lily bulbs are commonly used in herbal formulas for promoting lung health, treating yin-deficiency of the heart which manifests as irritability, insomnia, dreaminess, palpitation and absent-mindedness, and promotes vital fluid and improves skin complexion. The most important tremella mushroom benefits are anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, lower cholesterol, combat obesity, protect nerves and may fight cancer. Functional foods are making inroads into Chinese diets with their promises to improve health and nutrition. Chinese consumers should choose nutritional and healthy food to maintain general health and reduce the risk of health problems.
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