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Medicines 2018, 5(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5020046

Evaluation of the Pharmaceutical Properties and Value of Astragali Radix

1
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Edible and Medicinal Bioresources, SRI, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518057, China
2
Division of Life Science, Center for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong 100044, China
3
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zunyi Medical University, Zhuhai Campus, Zhuhai 519041, China
4
School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3 AF, UK
5
National Institute of Complementary Medicine, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW 2560, Australia
6
Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivities and Medical Use of Herbs and Plants)
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Abstract

Astragali Radix (AR), a Chinese materia medica (CMM) known as Huangqi, is an important medicine prescribed in herbal composite formulae (Fufang) by Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners for thousands of years. According to the literature, AR is suggested for patients suffering from “Qi”- and “Blood”-deficiencies, and its clinical effects are reported to be related to anti-cancer cell proliferation, anti-oxidation, relief of complications in cardiovascular diseases, etc. The underlying cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of these various diseases are presented here to support the mechanisms of action of AR. There are two botanical sources recorded in China Pharmacopoeia (CP, 2015): Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge. Var. mongohlicus, (Bge.) Hsiao, and Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge. (Fam. Leguminosae), whose extracts of dried roots are processed via homogenization-assisted negative pressure cavitation extraction. Geographic factors and extraction methods have impacts on the pharmaceutical and chemical profiles of AR. Therefore, the levels of the major bioactive constituents of AR, including polysaccharides, saponins, and flavonoids, may not be consistent in different batches of extract, and the pharmaceutical efficacy of these bioactive ingredients may vary depending on the source. Therefore, the present review mainly focuses on the consistency of the available sources of AR and extracts and on the investigation of the biological functions and mechanisms of action of AR and of its major bioactive constituents. Furthermore, it will also include a discussion of the most popular AR composite formulae to further elucidate their chemical and biological profiles and understand the pharmaceutical value of AR. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine; Astragali Radix; pharmaceutical values traditional Chinese medicine; Astragali Radix; pharmaceutical values
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Gong, A.G.W.; Duan, R.; Wang, H.Y.; Kong, X.P.; Dong, T.T.X.; Tsim, K.W.K.; Chan, K. Evaluation of the Pharmaceutical Properties and Value of Astragali Radix. Medicines 2018, 5, 46.

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