Astragalus, Astragalus microcephalus Wild (lat.)
For medicinal purposes the tar, as well as the over ground part of the plant are used. The tar is gathered when astragalus blossoms mainly from the main root or branches. The tar usually comes through the cut part of the root, especially in hot weather. The tar flow usually stops in cold weather. Only the white tar has medicinal purpose and use. The tar does not solve well in the water. It usually swells and can contain 50-100 volume water. Besides the tar, the roots taken in spring or fall are used as alcohol extract or powder. The over ground part (20 sm part with leaves and flowers) are gathered in blossom time, cut by knife or sickle 5-7 sm above the ground. It should be immediately dried in thin layers in a cool, windy place. In favorable weather conditions it is considered ready for storage in 5-7 days.
Some considerable pharmacological research has been done our scientists concerning the medicinal usefulness of the plant. They have discovered that all types of the plant contain tar and alkaloids.
Astragalus is known in folk medicine for a long time. It is used as diuretic, sudorific and haemostatic means among different nations. Certain types of astragalus are used in China against stomach-intestine diseases, diabetes, and pyodermia. The plant preparation called ‘norectal’ is used as laxative in Germany. Astragalus is known as hypotensive in Japan. The plant is used for digestion tract diseases in France.
Mkhitar Heratsi has used the mixture of astragalus tar with plantain and other plants against cough and fever diseases.
Amirdovlat mentions some uses of the plant. He mentions that astragalus is also eaten by sheep and camels. He mentions the sedative qualities of astragalus, as well as its positive affect on asthma, tongue inflammations, etc. It also cures cough softens breast and intestine diseases.
The research and clinical work done by E. V. Popova in Medical Institute of Dnepropetrovsk revealed other feature of astragalus. She discovered that 10% extract of the plant tar has positive affect on pungent and chronical heart problems concerning the blood vessels supplying the blood. It helps get rid os pains around the heart, excessive heart beat, etc. In scientific medicinal practice the plant is known as good cure for chronical and pungent heart problems, hypertonic diseases, kidney and liver functional problems, tachycardia, abnormal blood pressure, etc. The plant extract is more efficient for degree blood circulation problems of 1st and 2nd degrees, as well as for pungent nephritises. The tar is used internally against cough, and externally as powder for wounds.
To make an extract from the plant, 20 grams preparation is soaked in 200 ml water for 1 hour, filtered and drunken 1 table-spoon, 3-6 times a day. To make a decoction, 10 grams preparation is boiled in 100 ml water for 30 minutes, cooled and filtered. This should be taken 1 table-spoon, 3-5 times a day.
Astragalus is also melliferous. It is used as solid fuel and fodder. Poisonous types of astragalus are also available.
Besides being used in medicine, the plant tar is also used in textile, paper, paint, leather, shoe and other industries.
It should be mentioned that the plant is recorded in the "Red Book", that’s why it should be prevented from being destroyed by fires, animals, and excessive cuttings.
These are folk remedies and are no guarantee is made as to either their effectiveness, or their safety.