Astragalus L., is one of the largest genuses of flowering plants in the Leguminosae family. Roots of A. membranaceus
(Bge.) Hsiao, A. membranaceus
(Fisch.) Bge. and its processed products are listed in the China Pharmacopeia for “qi deficiency” syndrome treatment. However, more and more researches on other species of Astragalus have been conducted recently. We summarize the recent researches of Astragalus species in phytochemistry and pharmacology. More than 200 constituents, including saponins and flavonoids, obtained from 46 species of Astragalus genus were collected for this article. In pharmacological studies, crude extracts of Astragalus, as well as isolated constituents showed anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, antioxidative, anti-cancer, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, and antiviral activities. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of chemical and pharmacological studies on the Astragalus species over the last 10 years, which could be of value to new drug or food supplement research and development.
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