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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 479426, 12 pages
Research Article

Comparison of the Immunoregulatory Function of Different Constituents in Radix Astragali and Radix Hedysari

1School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2School of Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Pharmacological University, Guangzhou 510006, China

Received 17 October 2009; Accepted 8 December 2009

Academic Editor: Mostafa Z. Badr

Copyright © 2010 Jing Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Radix Astragali (RA), known as “Huangqi” in China, is one of the most popular herbal medicines known worldwide to reinforce “Qi”. RA is traditionally prepared from the dried roots of Astragalus membranaceus (MJHQ) and A. membranaceus var. mongholicus (MGHQ). Radix Hedysari is named “Hongqi” (HQ), which is similar to RA. We assessed and compared the chemical constituents and bioactivity of RA and HQ. Different constituents were extracted into five major parts and were analyzed using different methods. Comparison of the immunological effects of extracts was done by using two immunological models. Results showed that flavonoids and saponins present in RA and HQ were not only structurally significantly different but also different in their immunological effect. Amino acids extract (AE) in MGHQ shows immunological effect while AE in MJHQ and HQ did not. Polysaccharides comprised the major constituents in RA and HQ. All polysaccharides extract (PE) of the three herbs showed similar levels of immunological effect in both immunological assays.