Dong Quai or angelica is widely recognized as the best female herb. The herb is commonly used as a blood purifier and general blood tonic that can improve overall health if taken regularly.
Dong Quai is a member of Angelica species that include Angelica sinesis (Chinese variety), Angelica polymorpha, Angelica acutiloba (Japanese variety) and others.
Root of Dong Quai herb has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine. Also known as Tang Kuei, the herb is in Chinese medicine equally valued as panax ginseng. However, Chinese herbalists attribute Yin quality to Dong Quai while panax ginseng is believed to have Yang quality. Dong Quia is also known as “female ginseng” and is used in treatment of different female’s reproductive disorders and for balancing female hormonal system.
Dong Quai is a perennial herb indigenous to China, Korea and Japan where it grows at high altitudes, in the cold, damp mountains. It is an aromatic herb that has purplish stems and produces numerous umbels of white flowers. In summer months it bears winged fruits.
In herbal medicine, the root of Dong Qui is used due to its many health benefits. Mature roots of the herb, which are yellowish-brown and thick-branched, are harvested in the fall. The roots is then made into powder or tablets to be used as a tonic.
Dong Quai Nutrients
Dong Quai contains vitamins A, B12 and E, different minerals and tannins. There are also at least six naturally occurring coumarin derivates that have antispasmodic and vasodilatory properties. Dong Quai essential oil is rich in Ligustilide, butylphthalide, Ferulic acid and different polysaccharides. These constituents help to improve circulation, reduce blood clotting and relax peripheral blood vessels.
Dong Quai Benefits and Uses
Clinical trials have shown different benefits of Dong Quai. The herb can help to alleviate pain, stimulates dilation of blood vessels, and has stimulating and relaxing effect on the uterine muscles.
Studies on animals have demonstrated positive results in treatment of abnormal heart rhythm and urinating problems. According to the clinical findings, Dong Quai can help to prevent accumulation of platelets in blood vessels, support sleep and relaxation and protect against infections. The herb also promotes healthy functioning of the liver and relieves constipation since it has laxative effect.
Dong Quai is used to increase fertility in both males and females. It can help in treating high blood pressure, diabetes, insomnia, arrhythmia and heartburn. The herb is widely used for the treatment of PMS symptoms, migraine, arthritis, stress and anxiety. Since it is rich in iron, Dong Quai is believed to help to avoid iron deficiency insomnia. It can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness and be used in treatment of endometriosis.
Dong Quai Side Effects
Dong Quai should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women. The herb can increase sensitivity to sunlight in fair-skinned people and cause inflammation of the skin. Thus, people who regularly use Dong Quai should limit their exposure to sun.