as·​trag·​a·​lus ə-ˈstra-gə-ləs How to pronounce astragalus (audio)
plural astragali ə-ˈstra-gə-ˌlī How to pronounce astragalus (audio)
: talus entry 2 sense 1
: the dried root of an Asian milk vetch (Astragalus membranaceus) used especially as a remedy in Chinese herbal medicine
also : a preparation or extract of this root

Examples of astragalus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sourced from the remains of goats, sheep and cattle, the artifacts date to the Hellenistic period—which began with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E.—and were made specifically from the astragalus, a small bone located in the tarsal joint of hooved animals. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Aug. 2022 The Supershroom Pancakes and Waffles contain almond, cassava and coconut flours as well as four teaspoons of astragalus. Christina Binkley, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Jam Haw Herbals’ Immunity Builder, made with antiviral elderberry; stress-fighting reishi; blood-nourishing astragalus and lung-supporting thyme (a preventative potion for travel, seasonal change or a global health crisis). Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2020 According to ancient Taoist philosophy, herbal teas and tonics containing ginger, echinacea and astragalus herbs and reishi mushrooms can boost immunity. NBC News, 14 May 2020 And astragalus is great for immune support—experts often recommend it to folks who just can’t shake an illness or those who are fighting cancer and need to keep other illness at bay. Brierley Horton, al, 14 Jan. 2020 Polysaccharides found in both reishi and astragalus may support adaptive immunity (long-term immune health). Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, 4 Jan. 2019 The combination of elderflower, milk thistle, nettle and astragalus is said to lessen the symptoms of altitude sickness. Christopher Elliott, The Seattle Times, 26 May 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'astragalus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, genus including many species of milk vetch, borrowed from Greek astrágalos "neck vertebra, ball of the ankle joint, milk vetch (allegedly from the vertebrae-like appearance of the flower clusters)" — more at astragal

First Known Use

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of astragalus was circa 1541

Dictionary Entries Near astragalus

Cite this Entry

“Astragalus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


as·​trag·​a·​lus ə-ˈstrag-ə-ləs How to pronounce astragalus (audio)
plural astragali -ˌlī, -ˌlē How to pronounce astragalus (audio)
: one of the proximal bones of the tarsus of the higher vertebrates see talus sense 1
: the dried root of an Asian herb (Astragalus membranaceus synonym A. propinquus) used especially as an herbal remedy in traditional Chinese medicine
also : a preparation or extract of this root
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