Research on Chinese herb Huang Qi (Radix Astragali):
Nephroprotective: Administration of Huang Qi via injection is associated with numerous benefits in patients with diabetic nephropathy, such as renal protective effect (BUN, SCr, CCr and urine protein) and systemic state improvement (serum albumin level).
Ref: Li M, Wang W, Xue J, Gu Y, Lin S. Meta-analysis of the clinical value of Astragalus membranaceus in diabetic nephropathy. Division of Nephrology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Oct 13.
Nephroprotective: Huang Qi exerts the nephroprotective effect by reducing fasting blood glucose and albuminuria levels, in reversing the glomerular hyperfiltration state, and in ameliorating the pathological changes of early diabetic nephropathy.
Ref: Zhang J, Xie X, Li C, Fu P. Systematic review of the renal protective effect of Astragalus
membranaceus (root) on diabetic nephropathy in animal models. Department of Nephrology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):189-96. Epub 2009 Sep 6.
Research on Huang Qi + Lu Xian Cao (Herba Pyrolae):
Aminoglycosides (an antibiotic class): In one study, compound injection of Lu Xian Cao (Herba Pyrolae) and Huang Qi (Radix Astragali) in guinea pigs was found to be effective in preventing the ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity associated with use of aminoglycosides. These two herbs protected the cochlea based on electrocochleography and morphology by scanning electron microscopy. They also improved blood urea nitrogen, urinary protein and observation of renal morphology. [Note: Examples of aminoglycosides include gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin.]
Ref: Xuan W, Dong M, Dong M. Effects of compound injection of Pyrola rotundifolia L and Astragalus
membranaceus Bge on experimental guinea pigs’ gentamicin ototoxicity. Department of Otolaryngology, Guangxi Traditional Chinese Medical College, Nanning, People’s Republic of China. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1995 May;104(5):374-80.
More references for research of Astragalus can be found at the end of this sample monograph from the premier resource of the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, by John Chen and Tina Chen.
(I am not sure where I first found these references, but all these studies can be found on