Introduction of Huang Qi:Milkvetch Root,Astrgalus Root,or Radix Astragali.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Milkvetch Root, Astragalus Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge., ②.Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Milkvetch Root, Astragalus Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Astragali(Milkvetch Root).

yellowish dried herb root slices of Radix Astragali Pin Yin Name: Huánɡ Qí.
 English Name: Milkvetch Root, Astragalus Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Astragali.
 Property and flavor: warm or slightly warm in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Radix Astragali is the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge., or Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao., used (1).to replenish Qi for the treatment of general weakness, anorexia and loose stools, prolapse of the uterus or anus, spontaneous sweating, and chronic nephritis with edema and proteinuria, and (2).to dispel pus and accelerate the healing of chronic ulcers. The herb is commonly known as Radix Astragali, Milkvetch Root, Huánɡ Qí.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Astragalus Root, or the Radix Astragali (Huang Qi) as the dry root of the plant species (1).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao., or (2).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge. The first one is normally identified as one varietas of the Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge. They are plant species of the Astragalus Linn. Genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) of the Rosales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge.

 flowering plants of Astragalus membranaceus Fisch.Bge. with pendulous flowers and green leaves grow in sunny days Botanical description: Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Astragalus L genus, is also known as Mo Jia Huang Qi. A perennial herb, it grows up to 50–100 cm tall. The taproot (main root) is hypertrophic, ligneous (woody), often branched, and ash gray (off-white). Stems are upright, many-branched at the upper part, have thin ridges, and are covered with white pubescence. Pinnately compound leaves have 13–27 lobules (leaflets), 5–10 cm long; petioles are 0.5–1 cm long; stipules (peraphyllum) are free (separate), oval (egg-shaped), lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 4~10 mm long, the undersurface is covered with white pubescence or glabrate (glabrescent); lobules are elliptic or oblong-ovate, 0.7~3.0 cm long, 3~12 mm wide, the apex is obtuse or emarginate (slightly concave), has a small pointed tip or inconspicuous, the base is rounded; the upper surface is green, glabrate (glabrescent), the undersurface is covered with appressed white pilose.

 Racemes are slightly dense, has 10~20 flowers; peduncles are nearly equal length to leaves or longer than leaves, and significantly elongated in fruiting period; flower bracts are linear-lanceolate, 2~5 mm long, the back surface is covered with white pilose; Pedicels are 3~4 mm long, pedicels and inflorescence are slightly covered with dense brown or black pilose; 2 bracteoles (bractlets); calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), 5~7 mm long, outside is covered with white or black pilose, sometimes hypanthium (calyx tube) is glabrate, only calyx teeth are piliferous, calyx teeth are short, triangular to subulate, length is about 1/4~1/5 length of hypanthium; corolla is yellow or faint yellow (pale yellow), vexilla (vexil) is obovate, 12~20 mm long, apex is emarginate (slightly concave), base has a short petal stalk, the alae (winged stem) is slightly shorter than the vexilla, the alae blade is oblong, the base has short auricles, alae stalk is about 1.5 times length of the alae blade, the tropis (keel pelals) and alae blade are nearly equal length, tropis blade is semiovoid, and the tropic stalk is slightly longer than tropis blade; the ovary is petiolate, covered with fine pilose.

 Legumes (pods) are thinly membranous, slightly swollen, semi-elliptical, 20–30 mm long, 8–12 mm wide, apex has a thorn tip, both surfaces are covered with white or black thin pubescence, fruit neck grows beyond the calyx; 3~8 seeds. Its flowering period is from June to August, and the fruiting period is from July to September.

 Ecological Environment: The plant, Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge grows in valleys, forest grassland, forest edges, bushes, and thickets; it is also found in meadows on hillsides, meadows, and sandy land. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the north-central and northwest to the southwest areas of China, and it is also cultivated in other areas.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers dryness and sunshine. It is appropriate to choose a field with deep soil layers and rich humus, neutral and subalkaline sandy loam, and strong water permeability. The soil should not be overly arid in the full-bloom stage, to avoid the flower falling and fruit dropping.

 yellowish dried wild root slices of Astragalus Rootyellowish cultivated root slices of Astragalus Root Characters of herbs: The root is cylindrical, rarely branched, but some roots have branches, and the upper end is thick and slightly twisted, the lower part turns thin, 20–60 cm long, or up to 30–90 cm long, and 0.7–3.5 cm in diameter, or 1–3.5 cm in diameter. The surface is fallow (pale yellowish-brown) to bistre (seal brown), with distinct irregular longitudinal wrinkles or grooves, and elongated lenticels. The cork bark is easy to peel off, and then the yellow-white bark is visible, and some reticular fiber bundles are visible. The texture of the herb is hard and tough, not easy to break, the fracture surface is strong fibrous, and it has a slight mealiness. The cortex of the cross-section shares about 1/3 of the diameter, is cream white (milky white) to yellowish white, the xylem (woody part) is faint yellow (pale yellow), densely radial, the rays on the bast (phloem) are slightly curved, and it has fissurings. The xylem of the old root fracture surface is occasionally decayed, dark brown (black brown), or the center part is cavitary. The herb has a peculiar odor, and it tastes slightly sweet with a slight beany flavor after chewing. The herb of a better grade has thick and long stripes, fewer wrinkles, and a firm and soft texture, the fracture surface is yellowish-white, has sufficient mealiness, and has a sweet taste.

(2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao.

 flowering plant of Astragalus membranaceus Fisch.Bge.var. mongholicus Bge.Hsiao. with white pendulous flowers and green leaves,and a honey bee Botanical description: Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Astragalus L genus, it is also known as Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao., it is normally identified as one varietas of Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge., and has small differences from it. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 50–100 cm tall, or 50–150 cm tall. The taproot(main root) is straight and long, cylindrical (cylindraceous), slightly ligneous, 20–50 cm long, the root head is 1.5–3 cm in diameter, and the surface is light brownish yellow to dark brown. Stems are upright, many-branched at the upper part, with fine ribs, and covered with white pilose. Imparipinnate leaves, alternate; the base of petioles has lanceolate stipules (peraphyllum), about 6 cm long; with 13–27 lobules (leaflets) or 25–37 lobules, leaflet blades are broadly elliptical, elliptic or oblong-ovate, 4–9 mm long or 7–30 mm long, 3–12 mm wide, the apex is slightly blunt or emarginate (slightly concave), has a short tip, the tip is pointed or inconspicuous, the base is cuneate or circular, entire, both surfaces have white pilose.

 Racemes are axillary, slightly dense, have 10~20 flowers or up to 25 flowers, arranged loosely; peduncles and leaves are nearly equal length or peduncles are longer; small pedicels are short, have black hirsute; bracts are linear-lanceolate, 2~5 mm long, back surface is covered with white pilose; the calyx is terete (tube-shape), 5~7 mm long, 5 calyx teeth, calyx teeth have long pilose; corolla is yellow or yellowish, papilionaceous, 12~20 mm long, the base has a short stalk, vexilla (vexil) is triangular-obovate, has no claws, apex is emarginate (slightly concave), alae (winged stem) and tropis (keel pelals) both have long claws; 10 stamens, disomic; ovary is petiolate, glabrous, style is glabrous.

 Legumes (pods) are membranous, swollen, ovate-oblong, 20–30 mm long, and 8–12 mm wide, the apex is promuscidate (beaked), and they have conspicuous reticulate patterns. 5–6 seeds, reniform, black. Its flowering period is from June to July, and the fruiting period is from August to September.

 Ecological Environment: The plant grows on wild sunny hillsides or mountain slopes, ditch sides, or open forests, in the sunny grass. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly distributed in the northwest and southwest areas of China.

 many dried khaki root slices of Astragalus membranaceus Fisch.Bge.var.mongholicus Bge.Hsiao. are piled together Difference between the (1).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge., and (2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao.: (1).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge.,and (2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao. have similar botanical characteristics, and the vegetative anatomical structure is basically the same, but there are significant differences in seed and seedling morphology, pollen morphology, and chromosome karyotype.

 ①.Differences in plant morphology: The seedlings of (1).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge. is taller and thicker than the (2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao., dense villous surface, under the electron microscope, can see epidermal hair surface dense papillae;

 ②.Pod and seed differences: The pod surface of (1).Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bunge. is attached with black pubescence. The surface of the seed coat is reticulated. The pod of (2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao. is glabrous and the ornamentation of the seed coat is crumpled. When the seeds of the two kinds of Astragalus are observed under the naked eye and a light microscope, the morphological differences between the seeds are not obvious. However, under the electron microscope, the morphology of the germinating holes, the microstructure of the umbilical cord, and the seed coat of the two kinds of Astragalus are significantly different. The seed of (2).Astragalus membranaceus Bunge.var. mongholicus (Bunge.) P.K.Hsiao. show a higher rate of hard solid rate, irregular germination, and germination peak lag.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.the influence of astragalus membranaceus on the immune system; ②.the effect on the body metabolism; ③.the impact on the hematopoietic function; ④.effects on the cardiovascular system; ⑤.antiviral effect; ⑥.anti-cancer effect; ⑦.reduces kidney lesions; ⑧.protects brain hypoxia injury; ⑨.anti-mutation effect; ⑩.enhances learning and memory function, and other effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Tonifying Qi and elevating Yang, strengthening exterior and reducing sweat, inducing diuresis to alleviate edema, promote the secretion of saliva or body fluid and nourishing blood, free stagnation and obstruction, pusdraining and toxin-expelling, healing sore and  promoting granulation (promote tissue regeneration). It is indicated for deficiency of Qi and feeble (Qi deficiency, weak or lacking in strength), overexertion syndrome due to endogenous hurt, splenasthenic diarrhea (diarrhea due to spleen deficiency), poor appetite and loose stool, sinking of Qi of the middle energizer, chronic diarrhea and archoptosis(prolapse of rectum due to chronic diarrhea), archoptosis, hysteroptosis, hematemesis (spitting blood), hemafecia (hematochezia, passing blood in one's stool), metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, exterior deficiency and spontaneous sweating, Qi deficiency edema, edema, spontaneous perspiration, night sweating (perspire during sleep), cough due to deficiency of the lung, endogenous heat and wasting thirst (internal heat, consumptive thirst), blood deficiency and sallow complexion (blood deficiency, looks yellowing), hemiplegia (paralysis of half of one's body), numbness and pain, carbuncle-abscess difficult to break or ruptured carbuncle resistant to healing, blood-arthralgia, all syndromes of Qi and blood deficiency, etc.

 Administration of Radix Astragali (Huánɡ Qí): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Astragali (Huánɡ Qí)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~30 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams, big dosage could be up to 30~60 grams;or prepare to pill, powder, ointment.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Radix Astragali should not be combined with Carapax et Plastrum Testudinis (turtleback), Dictamni cortex, Radix Saposhnikoviae, Faeces Togopteri, Black False Hellebore.




 QR codeURL QR code:
 Website Address QR-code 

  • 1.Introduction of Huang Qi:Milkvetch Root,Astrgalus Root,or Radix Astragali.

 Last edit and latest revision date:
   cool hit counter