Astragalus membranaceus root extract (Huangqi) is a medicinal herb that has been commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a wide variety of diseases and body disorders.
What are the benefits of using Astragalus membranaceus root extract for the skin?
- Anti-aging: A. membranaceus root extract has photoprotective effects, especially against ultraviolet B (UVB)‑induced skin inflammation and photoaging. In human dermal fibroblasts, it exerts photoprotective effects via regulation of the nuclear factor kappa‑light‑chain‑enhancer of activated B cells (NF‑κB) pathway.
- Tonifying defensive qi and securing the exterior: A. membranaceus root extract also protects normal skin tissue and exerts anti-aging effects. For example, the cycloastragenol (TA‑65) extracted from A. membranaceus root extract has been found to restore DNA damage and promote elongation of shortened telomeres. Accordingly, TA‑65 can protect normal skin tissue via the telomerase pathway.
- Anti-inflammatory: A. membranaceus root extract can suppress atopic and contact dermatitis. The oral administration of A. membranaceus was found to inhibit ear thickness increases and the skin lesions induced by 1‑fluoro‑2,4‑dinitrobenzene in NC/Nga mice.
- Promoting tissue regeneration and wound healing: A. membranaceus root extract has been known to promote the healing of wounds or ulcers on the body surface. The wound healing effects of A. membranaceus root extract were investigated in a cutaneous open wound model and the results showed that A. membranaceus root extract significantly accelerated the cutaneous wound healing process by stimulating basal cell growth and suppressing inflammation in the wounded area. It is well known that AS‑IV can enhance wound healing and accelerate angiogenesis. A. membranaceus root extract enhanced collagen deposition and promoted diabetic wound repair and the expression of fibronectin and collagen IIIa. It also improved the new blood vessel formation in wound tissue with increased numbers of endothelial cells and enhanced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor.
- Skin whitening: A. membranaceus root extract can inhibit melanin biosynthesis via the regulation of tyrosinase activities.
- Anti-neurodegeneration: A. membranaceus root extract can reverse memory impairment and neurodegeneration. It increases the number of M-cholinergic receptors in the cortex, hippocampus, and striate body of a senile rat model. Moreover, it can prevent the loss of synapses and axons in the cortex and hippocampus, and reverse the memory loss of amyloid β-peptide-induced cognitive deficits mice.
- Other activities: cardiovascular protective, antitumour, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and intestinal protective effects.
Who can use Astragalus Membranaceus root extract?
Astragalus Membranaceus root extract is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and skin of colour, but do make sure to conduct a test patch to see if you are allergic to this extract.