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Astragalus membranaceus relieves inflammation and protects against gastrointestinal cancer: Review


Researchers from the Hong Kong Baptist University reviewed the anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of Astragalus membranaceus, a medicinal herb used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Their findings were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • A. membranaceus is used in TCM to make herbal formulations for the treatment of various diseases and disorders. It has been actively investigated in recent years for its chemical constituents and potential against inflammatory diseases and cancers.
  • Astragalus-based treatments can significantly ameliorate the toxicity induced by orthodox drugs, such as immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics.
  • Contemporary use of A. membranaceus mainly focuses on its immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects.
  • The researchers summarized the properties of A. membranaceus and its major constituents in the biological system based on experimental and clinical studies. The major components of A. membranaceus are polysaccharides, flavonoids, and saponins.
  • They highlighted the antitumorigenic mechanisms of a novel Astragalus saponins extract (AST) in treating various gastrointestinal cancers.
  • The researchers also discussed how astragalus and AST influence the immune system, modulate various cancer signaling pathways, and interact with specific transcription molecules to provide protection against gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers.

The researchers posited that their findings could help experts develop novel target-specific and effective therapeutic agents with no major systemic side effects for a better treatment regimen against inflammatory diseases and cancers of the gut.

Did you know that astragalus has beneficial effects on the nervous system as well? Visit ChineseMedicine.news to find out more.

Journal Reference:

Auyeung KK, Han QB, Ko JK. ASTRAGALUS MEMBRANACEUS: A REVIEW OF ITS PROTECTION AGAINST INFLAMMATION AND GASTROINTESTINAL CANCERS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2016;44(01):1–22. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x16500014



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