Dong Quai Angelica

Dong Quai

Dong Quai, (Angelica sinensis), also known as Chinese Angelica, is a herb native to China, Korea, and Japan. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is sometimes referred to as “female ginseng” due to its traditional use in women’s health.

Dong Quai Health Benefits

Dong Quai is primarily known for its uses in treating women’s problems including; lack of sexual desire, the symptoms of menopause, cramps and PMS. For this reason it is also commonly known as “female ginseng“. It helps to increase the effects of hormones in both men and women, and is widely used as an aphrodisiac. The root of the plant is the part used medicinally.

Dong Quai Root for Menopause Relief

Dong Quai root is particularly useful in helping to end hot flashes and menstrual cramps. It has earned a reputation as the “ultimate herb” for women and is widely used among Chinese women as a fortifying daily tonic, much as Chinese men rely on ginseng. Women in other parts of the world have also discovered this 5,000 year old tradition that naturally provides balancing and normalizing support for women’s unique rhythms, cycles and body systems.

Other Health Benefits of Dong Quai Root

Dong Quai root is one of the most widely consumed herbs in China and has been used by the Chinese for more than two thousand years. It is used in China as frequently as Ginseng and Licorice.

Dong Quai is traditionally characterized as providing a warm atmospheric energy that promotes blood circulation. It is used as; a strengthener of the heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidney meridians, to treat sciatica and shingles, and as a tonic for the blood and liver. Reports indicate that dong quai may also lower blood pressure in some individuals.

Dong Quai Root Research

Dong Quai contains compounds that, in laboratory tests, have demonstrated activities that may translate into reduction of pain, dilation of blood vessels and stimulation as well as relaxation of uterine muscles.

Animal studies suggest that dong quai may treat abnormal heart rhythm, prevent accumulation of platelets in blood vessels (contributing to plaque formation or atherosclerosis), protect the liver, promote urination, act as a mild laxative, promote sleep, fight infection and soothe ulcers.

The data consists primarily of laboratory and animal studies with a few preliminary studies in people. More studies are needed to determine the herb’s safety and effectiveness in humans.

Other studies suggest that Dong Quai offers some value when used in conjunction with other Chinese herbs, particularly Black Cohosh, to treat PMS. When used in combination with Asian Ginseng and Astragalus, Dong Quai decreased symptoms of chest pain and improved exercise tolerance in a small group of people with heart disease.

A series of reports published in China indicate that the use of Dong Quai following a stroke demonstrated a decreased amount of brain damage.

Dong Quai has also been indicated for; constipation, migraines, pain and liver disorders, though in depth studies are still lacking.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Dong Quai Angelica Herb Notes / Side Effects

Dong Quai should not be used by those who have chronic diarrhoea or abdominal bloating.

At particularly high doses it may increase an individual’s sensitivity to sunlight and subsequently cause skin inflammation and rashes. People taking dong quai should minimize their exposure to sunlight or use sunscreen while taking the herb. It should not be taken with other medications or herbs (such as St. John’s wort) that cause the same reactions.

Dong Quai should not be used during pregnancy because it may affect the muscular functioning of the uterus. It should also be avoided by nursing mothers, because there is little information about its effect on the infant through breast milk.

Although there is little research on the use of Dong Quai with hormone medications such as estrogens, progesterones, oral contraceptives, tamoxifen or raloxifene, health practitioners advise against using them together due to the possibility of adverse effects.

Dong Quai can increase the potency and therefore potential risks of blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, so it should not be taken with these medicines.

Although reported extremely rarely and not published in the scientific literature, combining Dong Quai with other herbs that thin the blood could possibly increase the risk of bleeding in some people. When combined with Dong Quai, herbs with this potential should be used only with tremendous caution and supervision. These include; Feverfew, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo biloba, Asian Ginseng, Licorice, chinese skullcap and Turmeric.

Latin Names

Angelica sinensis, Angelica polymorpha

Common Names

Dong Quai, Chinese Angelica, female ginseng, Women’s Ginseng, Danggui, Danngui, Dong Qua, Tang Kuei, Tang Kwei, Doong Quai, Qingui, Yungui, Kara Toki, Min-gui, Tan Kue Bai zhi

Properties of Dong Quai

Mild laxative, warming and restorative, antiseptic, diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, antispasmodic

Dong Quai is Indicated for:

PMS, menopause, cramps, increasing libido, constipation, pain, migraines and headaches, abnormal heart rhythm, prevention of the accumulation of platelets in blood vessels (contributing to plaque formation or atherosclerosis), protecting the liver, promoting urination, promoting sleep, fighting infection and soothing ulcers, promoting blood circulation and lowering blood pressure.

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