Astragalus, also called milk vetch root, is the root of the Astragalus membranaceus plant, which is a member of the pea family. The large yellow taproots of four- to seven-year-old plants are used for medicinal purposes. Although there are many varieties in the Astragalus family, Astragalus membranaceus is the sole medicinal type. The plant is found only in the grasslands and mountains of central and western Asia, principally in China, Taiwan, and Korea. Astragalus is a good source of selenium, an antioxidant and immune system stimulant.
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