Astragalus mongholicus herb
A review of research studies and use in clinical medicine
June 3 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Astragalus Mongholicus composition
Several isoflavones are present, including calycosin-7-O-beta-D-glycoside and formononetin-7-O-beta-D-glycoside. For a list of herbs used in Chinese medicine, see Chinese Herbs.

Zhong Yao Cai. 2013. Simultaneous determination of formononetin, calycosin and isorhamnetin from Astragalus mongholicus in rat plasma by LC-MS/MS and application to pharmacokinetic study].

Astragalus Mongholicus properties, benefits
Astragalus mongholicus may be useful in nephrotic syndrome.

Astragalus Mongholicus Research, antioxidant
Isoflavonoids from Astragalus mongholicus protect PC12 cells from toxicity induced by L-glutamate.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005.
lsoflavonoids, formononetin, 9,10-dimethoxypterocarpan, ononin, calycosin 7-O-glc and calycosin, were isolated from the roots of Astragalus mongholicus Bunge (Leguminosae). The neuroprotective roles and direct antioxidant effects of these isoflavonoids were investigated. Formononetin, ononin and calycosin were found inhibiting glutamate-induced cell injury, with an estimated 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 0.027 microg/ml, 0.047 microg/ml and 0.031 microg/ml, respectively. Pretreatment with them increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and prevented the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in glutamate-injured PC12 cells. On the other hand, calycosin 7-O-glc and calycosin showed more scavenging activity to DPPH radicals than formononetin in the cell-free system. The inconsistency between the neuroprotective capabilities of isoflavonoids and their directly scavenging activity to DPPH radicals indicated that formononetin, ononin and calycosin probably depended on increasing endogenous antioxidant and stabilizing the cells' membrane structures to inhibit the cell damage induced by glutamate.

Astragalus mongholicus and Polygonum multiflorum's protective function against cyclophosphamide inhibitory effect on thymus.
Am J Chin Medicine. 2004.
The protective effects of two Chinese herbs, astragalus mongholicus, polygonum multiflorum and astragalus mongholicus-polygonum multiflorum in combination against thymus injury induced by cyclophosphamide were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy, image analysis, DNA gel electrophoresis as well as flow cytometry. Results showed that mice pretreated with cyclophosphamide had degenerated thymus with less normal thymocytes; when those mice were treated with the herbs, thymus morphology improved. The apoptosis analysis showed the thymus treated with the herbs had fewer apoptotic thymocytes than the thymus pretreated with cyclophosphamide only. In conclusion, astragalus mongholicus and polygonum multiflorum have protective effects on the thymus against cyclophosphamide-induced injury. Their protective effects partly attribute to reduced apoptosis. Astragalus mongholicus-polygonum multiflorum in combination has better effects than either of the two herbs.

Antifibrotic effect of the Chinese herbs, Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis, in a rat model of chronic puromycin aminonucleoside nephrosis.
Life Sci. 2004.
Nephrotic syndrome has long been treated in China with two herbs, Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis, which may have antifibrotic effects. Rats with chronic puromycin-induced nephrosis were treated with Astragalus and Angelica 3 mL/d or enalapril 10 mg/kg/d. Normal control rats received saline rather than puromycin, and an untreated control group received puromycin but no treatment. After 12 weeks, stained sections of the glomerulus and tubulointerstitium were evaluated for injury. Immunohistochemistry staining measured extracellular matrix components, transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFbeta1), osteopontin, ED-1-positive cells, and alpha-actin. TGFbeta1 mRNA was assessed by in situ hybridization. Renin, ACE activity, angiotensin, and aldosterone were measured by radioimmunoassay or colorimetry. In the untreated rats, chronic renal injury progressed to marked fibrosis at 12 weeks. Astragalus and Angelica significantly reduced deterioration of renal function and histologic damage. Expressions of type III and IV collagen, fibronectin, and laminin also decreased significantly. This anti-fibrotic effect was similar to that of enalapril. The herbs had no effect on the renin-angiotensin system but did reduce the number of ED-1-positive, and alpha-actin positive cells and expression of osteopontin compared to untreated controls. The combination of Astragalus and Angelica retarded the progression of renal fibrosis and deterioration of renal function with comparable effects of enalapril. These effects were not caused by blocking the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system, but associated with suppression of the overexpression of TGFbeta1 and osteopontin, reduction of infiltrating macrophages, and less activation of renal intrinsic cells.

Chemical analysis of Radix Astragali (Huangqi) in China: a comparison with its adulterants and seasonal variations.
J Agric Food Chem. 2002.
Radix Astragali (root of Huangqi) is a popular traditional Chinese medicine, and Astragalus membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus are two commonly used species; however, there are many Astragalus species that could act as adulterants of Radix Astragali. To find the chemical composition of Radix Astragali, the main constituents including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, and trace elements were determined in two Radices Astragali, A. membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus, and its eight adulterants, Astragalus propinquus, Astragalus lepsensis, Astragalus aksuensis, Astragalus hoantchy, Astragalus hoantchy subsp. dshimensis, Astragalus lehmannianus, sieversianus, and Astragalus austrosibiricus. The results showed that the amounts of main constituents such as isoflavonoids and astragalosides varied in different species. In distinction, A. membranaceus and A. membranaceus var. mongolicus contained a higher amount of astragaloside I and IV. In addition, the main constituents of A. membranaceus var.mongholicus changed according to seasonal variation and age of the plant. The chemical composition of different species of Astragalus would provide useful information for the quality control of Radix Astragali.

Kidney health
Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis compound alleviates nephrotic hyperlipidemia in rats.
Chin Med J. 2000.
To investigate the mechanism of lipid-lowering effect of the Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis compound on nephrotic hyperlipidemia in rats.  Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis alleviate hyperlipidemia considerably in nephrotic rats. Astragalus mongholicus and Angelica sinensis improve disorders of lipid metabolism perhaps through up-regulating the expression of hepatic LDL-R gene and through increasing the activities of serum LPL and LCAT.

Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry study of the flavonoids of the roots of Astragalus mongholicus and A. membranaceus.
J Chromatogr A. 2000.
Research Laboratory of Natural Products Chemistry, A.M. Todd Botanicals, Eugene, OR,
High-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry has been applied to analyze the flavonoids of Huangqi, the roots of Astragalus mongholicus and A. membranaceus. Eight flavonoids were identified as calycosin, calycosin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside-6"-O-malonate, ononin, dimethoxypterocarpan-3-O-bet a-D-glucoside, calycosin, formononetin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside-6"-O-malonate and formononetin by direct comparison with the isolated standards from Huangqi. This is the first report of flavonoid glycoside malonates in these two Astragalus species, and malonate 2 is a structurally completely identified new compound.

The effect of honey-frying on anti-oxidation activity of Astragalus mongholicus Bunge
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1994.
The anti-free radical effects of water extracts of crude Astragalus mongholicus (CAWE) and honey-fried Astragalus mongholicus (HAWE) have been studied. Both extracts have similar effects in scavenging 0.2 in Xan/Xo system. The effect of CAWE is stronger than that of HAWE in scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by PMA and stimulated by PMN and also in scavenging OH engendered by Fentons reaction. This suggests that frying process may decrease the ROS scavenging activities of Astragalus mongholicus.