Herb latin name: Astragalus mongholicus
Medicinal use of Astragalus mongholicus:The root is cardiotonic, diuretic and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of spontaneous and night sweats, prolapse of the uterus and anus, abscesses and chronic ulcers, chronic nephritis with oedema and proteinuria. The roots contain astragalan - this has various effects on the body including aiding detoxification, increasing the function of humoral immunity (increasing the size of the spleen, increasing the production of plasma cells and antibodies and having an effect against immunosuppressants), increasing the production of macrophages and increasing bodily resistance.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Xerophytic scrub and larch forest, in the low and middle montane belts, on sand, stone, pebbles and rocky soils.
Propagation of Astragalus mongholicus:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing - but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours. Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 - 9 weeks or more at 13°C if the seed is treated or sown fresh. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cultivation of the herb:Xerophytic scrub and larch forest, in the low and middle montane belts, on sand, stone, pebbles and rocky soils.
Known hazards of Astragalus mongholicus:Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.