Astragalus is a large genus of about 3,000 species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae and the subfamily Faboideae. It is the largest genus of plants in terms of described species. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Astragalus membranaceus has a history of use as a herbal medicine used in systems of traditional Chinese medicine and Persian medicine. In China, astragalus has been used to reinforce qi and strengthen the superficial resistance, and promote the discharge of pus and the growth of new tissue.