Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology

Can Hedysari Radix replace Astragali Radix in Danggui Buxue Tang, a Chinese herbal decoction for woman aliment?

PMID 23746954


Astragali Radix (AR) has been used for over 2000 years in China for the enrichment of "Qi". Hedysari Radix (HR), a herb having similar chemical composition with AR, has been commonly used as a substitute of AR in herbal decoction. In order to evaluate the possible replacement of HR for AR in Chinese herbal decoction, systematic comparison of AR and HR was done by chemical and biological assessments. The water extract of AR contained higher levels of calycosin, calycosin-glucoside, ononin, astragaloside III and astragaloside IV, while higher amount of formononetin was found in the HR extract. The estrogenic, erythropoetic and osteogenic effects were compared between the water extracts of AR and HR, and in all cases AR extract showed higher biological activities. Danggui Buxue Tang (DBT) is a very common herbal decoction for woman aliment, and which contains AR and Angelica Sinensis Radix. Here, we generated two forms of DBT having either AR or HR as the major herbs. Chemically, AR-contained DBT showed higher amounts of various active chemicals, except formononetin that was higher in HR-contained DBT. In parallel, the estrogenic, osteogenic and erythropoetic effects of DBT containing AR showed better activities than that of DBT having HR. Thus, AR and HR showed distinct differences in terms of chemical and biological properties. In order to achieve the best therapeutical effect, as well as to guarantee the safety, AR is recommended here to be used for making DBT.

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Astragaloside IV, >98.0%
Formononetin, ≥99.0% (TLC)