Hedysarum polybotrys is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a clump of erect stems 7 – 12cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often used, especially in Taiwan, as a substitute for the widely used herb Huang Qi (Astragalus mongholicus).
Hedysarum polybotrys has a wide distribution, is present in protected areas and an apparently stable population. The plant is classified as ‘Least Concern’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013).
Herbs, perennial, 7-12 cm tall. Stems caespitose, erect. Stipules lanceolate, 5-7 mm, connate less than to middle. Leaves 5-9 cm, 11-19-foliolate; leaflet blades ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or ovate-oblong, 1.5-3 × 0.4-1.5 cm, abaxially with appressed trichomes, adaxially glabrous. Racemes dense, with many flowers; bracts subulate-lanceolate, marcescent, 1/4-2/3 as long as pedicels; peduncle ± as long as to longer than leaves. Pedicel 3-4 mm. Calyx obliquely campanulate, 4-5 mm, pubescent; teeth triangular-subulate, unequal, most abaxial tooth ca. 2 mm and ca. 2 × as long as others. Corolla yellow; standard long obovate, 1.1-1.2 cm; wings as long as to slightly longer than standard; keel 2-3 mm longer than standard. Ovary pubescent. Legume divided into 2-4 articles; articles subglobose to broadly ovoid, (3-)4-5(-6) mm in diam., compressed, pubescent, margin narrow and entire. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep.
- A long history of medicinal use in China, where it is employed mainly to increase the energy of the body.
- Treatment of infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes.
- Support the immune system and peripheral nervous system.
- Anhidrotic, antioxidant.
- Used in the treatment of asthma, boils, cachexia, diarrhoea, oedema, nervousness, numbness, night sweats and poor circulation.
- Antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertensive properties of the plants.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Capable of regenerating immune cell populations under stress.
- The biological activities of this plant suggest the potential usefulness of this traditional Qi-tonifying herb in the treatment of clinical conditions when immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effect is desired.
- Significant protective effect against heart and brain hypoxia, and also exhibits tonification, growth promotion, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity.