Traditional Chinese herb, Astragalus: possible for treatment and prevention of COVID-19?
Astragalus is a traditional herb which has been used in China for a long time. It regulates blood circulation (vital energy), invigorates body fluid circulation, protects the flow of blood to fight against the attack of pathogens, and strengthens “blood deficiencies” according to Bencao Congxin. Astragalus was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 as a dietary supplement for upper respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic kidney disease. Thirty journals published in the past ten years were reviewed by using library search engines such as SCI/SCIE, PubMed, and Scopus. In this mini-review, we focus on the anti-inflammatory of Astragalus features, discuss the background of Astragalus and its function in various diseases from water-extracted Astragalus membranaceus, Astragalus saponins, and Astragalus polysaccharides. Based on the traditional Chinese medicine theory, Astragalus is a potential candidate to treat and prevent COVID-19.