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Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.


Trade Name(s)

  • Astragali Membranaceus
  • Membranous Milk Vetch

Ther. Class.
allergy, cold and cough remedies

Common Uses

  • Common cold.
  • Allergic rhinitis.


Astragalus has antioxidant effects. It inhibits free radical production, increases superoxide dismutase, and decreases lipid peroxidation. Astragalus potentiates effects of interferon, increases antibody levels of IgA and IgG in nasal secretions, and increases interleukin-2 (IL-2) levels.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Improved immune response.


Absorption: Unknown.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.

Half-life: Unknown.




Contraindicated in:

  • No known contraindications.

Use Cautiously in:

  • Pregnancy and lactation;
  • May exacerbate autoimmune diseases.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

GI: nausea

Misc: immunosuppression (with doses >28 grams/day)

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.


Natural Drug Interaction




PO: (Adults)Allergic rhinitis:160 mg of astragalus root extract twice daily. Common cold prevention:4–7 g per day.


Capsules: 470 mg


  • Assess signs and symptoms of cold and rhinitis (congestion, runny nose, aches).

Potential Diagnoses

  • Risk for infection (Indications)


  • PO: May be taken as capsules. Also available as a tincture or fluid extract.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Discuss purpose of astragalus with patient.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and to consult with health care professional before taking other medications.
  • Advise female patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Improvement in symptoms of cold or allergic rhinitis.

astragalus is a sample topic from the Davis's Drug Guide.

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Quiring, Courtney, et al. "Astragalus." Davis's Drug Guide, 16th ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2019. www.drugguide.com/ddo/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/110129/all/astragalus.
Quiring C, Sanoski CA, Vallerand AH. Astragalus. Davis's Drug Guide. 16th ed. F.A. Davis Company; 2019. https://www.drugguide.com/ddo/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/110129/all/astragalus. Accessed August 18, 2019.
Quiring, C., Sanoski, C. A., & Vallerand, A. H. (2019). Astragalus. In Davis's Drug Guide. Available from https://www.drugguide.com/ddo/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/110129/all/astragalus
Quiring C, Sanoski CA, Vallerand AH. Astragalus [Internet]. In: Davis's Drug Guide. F.A. Davis Company; 2019. [cited 2019 August 18]. Available from: https://www.drugguide.com/ddo/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/110129/all/astragalus.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - astragalus ID - 110129 A1 - Quiring,Courtney, AU - Sanoski,Cynthia A, AU - Vallerand,April Hazard, BT - Davis's Drug Guide UR - https://www.drugguide.com/ddo/view/Davis-Drug-Guide/110129/all/astragalus PB - F.A. Davis Company ET - 16 DB - Davis's Drug Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -