Background: With the rising age of the global population, the incidence rate of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases is increasing, which causes serious public health burden. The efforts for new therapeutic approaches are still being sought since the treatment effects of existing therapies are not quite satisfactory.
Chinese traditional medicine proved to be very efficient in the treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Well described and established in Chinese medicine, Huang Qi, has been commonly administered in the prophylaxis and cure of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases for thousands of years.
Purpose: This review summarized the action mode and mechanisms of Huang Qi phytochemicals on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, hoping to provide valuable information for the future application, development and improvement of Huang Qi as well as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases treatment.
Methods: A plenty of literature on biological active ingredients of Huang Qi used for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases treatment were retrieved from online electronic PubMed and Web of Science databases.
Results: This review highlighted the effects of five main active components in Astragali Radix including astragaloside Ⅳ, cycloastragenol, astragalus polysaccharide, calycosin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, and calycosin on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. The mechanisms mainly involved anti-oxidative damage, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic through signaling pathways such as PI3K/Akt, Nrf2/HO-1, and TLR4/NF-κB pathway. In addition, the majority active constituents in AR have no obvious toxic side effects.
Conclusion: The main active components of Huang Qi, especially AS-IV, have been extensively summarized. It has been proved that Huang Qi has obvious therapeutic effects on various cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, including myocardial and cerebral ischemia, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiac hypertrophy, chronic heart failure. CAG possesses anti-ischemia activity without toxicity, indicating a worthy of further development.