Astragalus is a large group of plants with medicinal properties. Astragalus, also known as milk vetches, can be found growing in China, Korea and Japan.
The root of the astragalus plant has been used in Chinese medicine for generations. It is used as a treatment for diabetes and nephritis. In the United States, the root extract is used as an immunostimulant to help cancer patients. Astragalus is also used in treatment of HIV, although as of 2015 no strong evidence has been found to confirm this treatment is successful. The root is said to have a taste similar to black licorice if eaten raw.