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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 201-210

Chemistry Behind the Immunomodulatory Activity of Astragalus membranaceus


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA
2 Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Quality and Safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Food, Jing Brand Research Institute, Jing Brand Co., Ltd., Daye 435100, Hubei, China

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Shugeng Cao
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hawai'i 96720
USA
Dr. Yuancai Liu
Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Quality and Safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Food, Jing Brand Research Institute, Jing Brand Co., Ltd., Daye 435100, Hubei
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CMAC.CMAC_40_21

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Huang Qi (黄芪 Astragalus membranaceus) is a well-known and widely used herb in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tonic preparations. It has been used for many ailments over the last 2000 years. Flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides have been shown to be the main compounds responsible for the biological and pharmacological activities, especially the immunomodulatory properties, of such tonic preparations. This review summarizes the published data on Astragalus extracts and fractions and the natural compounds responsible for the immunomodulatory activity with special reference to the modulation of nuclear factor-kappa B and related pathways (e.g., Nrf2). In addition, this review highlights the importance of Astragalus membranaceus in TCM for treating patients with diseases related to immunocompromised conditions, such as cancer and diabetes.


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