Table of Contents
The root of an Asian angelica (Angelica sinensis) utilized particularly in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic, analgesic, antispasmodic, and laxative. 
- Chinese angelica
- Dang gui
- Tang kuei
- Tan kue
- Female ginseng 
History and Intriguing Facts
Dong quai has actually been used in China for countless years to help balance hormonal agents, decrease PMS symptoms and increase sex drive.
Remarkably enough, the name of this herb even hints at its advantageous impact on sexual health. In Chinese, dong quai allegedly indicates “the hubby returns back to his other half.”.
Dong quai has actually likewise been utilized in Native American, Ayurvedic and Kampo medicine as a cure for conditions like anemia, heart problem and high blood glucose.
These days, this angelica herb is a common natural remedy around the world used to treat everything from depression to menopause signs.
Although more research study is required to unearth its full potential as a medical herb, it has even been promoted by some as a treatment for menstrual cramps, loss of hair and certain skin conditions. 
The plant’s chemical constituents include phytosterols, polysaccharides, ligustilide, butylphthalide, cnidilide, isoenidilide, p-cymene, ferulate, and flavonoids. 
Due to the scarcity of high-quality scientific research studies, dong quai is not authorized by the FDA for medical use. More research study will be required to determine whether it works or safe for long-term use.
Nonetheless, dong quai is commercially readily available as a supplement, both alone and as part of organic blends. Regulations set manufacturing standards for supplements but don’t ensure that they are safe or reliable. Speak with your doctor before utilizing dong quai for any conditions to prevent unanticipated interactions.
In addition to other factors, menstrual cramps can be brought on by high levels of inflammatory chemicals (prostaglandins and leukotrienes).
A traditional Chinese herbal treatment with dong quai (Danggui Shaoyao San) relieved menstrual cramps much better than placebo and pain relievers in an analysis of 4 clinical trials including over 400 females. 4 g/day of this treatment likewise normalized irregular menstrual cycles in one small trial on 20 women.
Two other Chinese herbal combines with dong quai decreased menstrual pain in 2 trials on over 100 ladies, although they were inadequate during the 3 very first menstrual cycles.
Dong quai’s component ligustilide avoided uterine contractions in rats, which might describe its function in easing menstrual cramps.
Endometriosis is the growth of a tissue similar to the uterine lining on other pelvic organs such as the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. It triggers menstrual cramps and infertility. A Chinese conventional remedy with dong quai (Fubao Danggui Jiao) helped clear this undesirable tissue in rats.
The existing evidence suggests that dong quai might aid with menstrual problems. Nevertheless, it is necessary to note that a meta-analysis discovered the quality of the research studies moderate to low due to their high risk of predisposition. Even more, more robust trials are needed to confirm these results.
Chinese texts prescribe dong quai for ‘deficient blood energy’, with symptoms similar to typical menopausal complaints: irregular menstrual flow, nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, and lapse of memory.
Nevertheless, dong quai did not improve these symptoms in several studies. In a medical trial on 71 postmenopausal ladies, it had no result. It was similarly ineffective in a clinical trial on 22 guys with menopause-like symptoms (hot flashes) triggered by a therapy with luteinizing hormone (LH) for prostate cancer.
The disadvantage is that these studies looked at dong quai alone, as it is utilized in Western nations. In traditional Chinese medicine, however, it is constantly prescribed in combination with other herbs.
In a current meta-analysis of 16 research studies and almost 1600 menopausal women, a Chinese natural formula including dong quai (Er-Xian Tang) was more reliable than placebo and hormonal agent treatment at enhancing menopausal signs however just in some studies.
Another Chinese treatment (Danggui Buxue Tang, 3 g/day) just improved mild hot flashes in a clinical trial on 100 postmenopausal females. In contrast, three other organic supplements with dong quai decreased hot flashes and sleep disturbances in 3 clinical trials on almost 150 postmenopausal females.
In premenopausal ladies, the surgical elimination of the ovaries triggers menopausal symptoms by drastically lowering estrogen and progesterone levels. A Chinese herbal mix with dong quai (Geng Nian An, 2x/day) enhanced menopausal symptoms and brought back typical hormone (estradiol, LH, and FSH) levels in a medical trial on 69 ladies who had actually gone through ovarian elimination.
Based on blended results, the poor quality of most research studies, and the fact that dong quai was utilized together with other herbs, there is insufficient proof to support its advantages on menopausal symptoms. Additional, higher-quality clinical research study is needed.
The traditional Chinese medicine prescription with dong quai most typically utilized for anemia (Danggui Buxue Tag) is advised to strengthen the ‘qi’ (vital energy) and ‘nourish blood’ (improve body blood circulation).
2 natural mixes with dong quai promoted blood development by increasing the production of the blood-forming hormonal agent erythropoietin (EPO).
Furthermore, its intricate sugars secured blood cells and decreased the production of hepcidin, a hormonal agent that works to trap iron inside cells.
As a result, this herb might increase red blood cells, leukocyte, platelets, iron, and hemoglobin.
TCM formulas with dong quai are often only used as an add-on to normal treatments for anemia. In a meta-analysis of 7 medical trials consisting of 460 individuals with anemia, this TCM formula improved the efficiency of conventional treatment.
Strenuous exercise might cause iron deficiency by increasing the production of the hormone that traps iron into cells (hepcidin). In a medical trial on 36 males, the very same TCM formula decreased iron deficit after a long term.
This formula also improved anemia in rats and mice.
However, 2 different Chinese treatments with dong quai had little or no result on preventing the anemia brought on by chemotherapy in two clinical trials on almost 150 ladies with breast cancer.
The proof to support the advantages of dong quai for anemia is insufficient. The authors of a meta-analysis thought about that most studies had low quality and didn’t pay attention to safety. Additional, better-designed studies are required to confirm their outcomes.
Some herbal mixes including dong quai have actually been found to improve iron status in some studies, while other studies found no advantage. Extra research is needed.
An extreme complication of infections is sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which the body harms its own tissues. A traditional Chinese medicine injection for sepsis with dong quai (Xuebijing) integrated with traditional treatment reduced death from sepsis in a meta-analysis of 16 medical trials with over 1k individuals. Dong quai also avoided death from sepsis in mice.
A Chinese herbal complex with dong quai (Burdock Complex, 10 ml 2x/day) minimized infections with a germs that frequently triggers ulcers (Helicobacter pylori) in a medical trial on 36 people.
In rats with pneumonia, dong quai lowered infection symptoms. However, it failed to kill the bacteria causing this disease in an antimicrobial test.
In mix with another herbal extract, dong quai prevented the development of 2 bacterial species that cause contagious diseases (E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus).
The intricate sugars in this herb prevented the division of a virus belonging to the exact same class as HIV in mice. It likewise improved their immune reaction, increasing their blood levels of T cells (CD4+ and CD8+).
Restricted research studies found a possible benefit of using traditional Chinese natural mixes in bacterial infections. Further, higher-quality medical research study needs to validate the effectiveness of dong quai versus these infections.
To add to its anti-inflammatory potential, a couple of studies recommend that dong quai might be beneficial for ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Individuals with ulcerative colitis have persistent swelling and ulcers in the gut inner lining. Dong quai injections eliminated the signs in a medical trial on 64 people.
In rats, this herb and its intricate sugars improved ulcerative colitis and injuries in the stomach and bowel.
A single scientific trial and a couple of animal studies can not be considered enough proof that dong quai aids with ulcerative colitis. More medical research is needed.
Brain Function Assistance
In a clinical trial on over 1k people with stroke, injected dong quai decreased mental retardation and improved brain function.
In animal research studies, dong quai and organic mixes with this herb avoided and improved the brain dysfunction brought on by:.
- Alzheimer’s illness
- Parkinson’s illness
- Brain injury
Presently, it’s unknown if this herb may aid with brain disorders. On the upside, there’s no evidence of any kind of negative effects of dong quai on the brain.
Boosting Energy Levels
According to TCM, fatigue is caused by internal injuries from extreme feelings, overstrain, or an inappropriate diet. The symptoms resemble those of ‘qi-deficiency’ and ‘blood tension’: absence of cravings, weakness, and a failure to utilize and transport food nutrients.
In a medical trial on 36 males doing a long term, a Chinese traditional medicine with dong quai (Danggui Buxue Tang, 7.5 g/day) reduced finish times by 14%.
In mice and rats, dong quai increased physical endurance and improved sugar, protein, and energy usage.
The evidence is presently inadequate to claim that dong quai enhances energy levels. Additional research study is required.
Animal and Cell Research Study (Lack of Proof):
The extensive use of dong quai in TCM has encouraged the research of a lot of its purported health benefits. Due to the fact that much of the outcomes have actually just been obtained in animals and cells, it’s still unpredictable whether dong quai has these benefits in human beings as well.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Extreme inflammation and oxidative tension underlie numerous illness. Dong quai’s anti-inflammatory effects have been recommended to assist with varied issues such as menstrual cramps, arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Its antioxidant residential or commercial properties may synergize with these and add to its advantages for reproductive, bone, skin, and health, as well as state of mind balance.
It generally works by avoiding the activation of the body’s inflammatory hub, the NF-kb path. Beyond this, it affects many other essential paths, which minimizes the production of the following inflammatory compounds:.
- Cytokines (such as TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL6, and IL10 )
- Messengers (NO, PGE2, histamine)
- What’s more, it likewise obstructs crucial enzymes that activate and sustain swelling in the body (COX-1, COX-2, MMP1, MMP13, inos). In this sense, it is similar to commonly-used NSAID painkillers, however its effects are wider-ranging.
Free radicals damage tissues by breaking down and damaging the foundation of cells. Dong quai prevents this damage by increasing the activity and production of antioxidant enzymes (NQO1, SOD, and CAT). Additionally, it activates the production of a substance that assists cells survive under oxidative tension (phosphatidylinositol).
The main elements with anti-inflammatory activity are ferulic acid, ligustilide, and intricate sugars.
On the other hand, its main anti-oxidants are its phenolic substances, while its intricate sugars and proteins likewise contribute to the advantages.
Animal and cell research suggests anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects for dong quai, but these have not been directly observed in people.
Increasing State of mind
In an observational study on over 1k people using traditional Chinese medicine for depression and sleep conditions, a herbal blend whose primary component is dong quai (Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San) was most typically recommended.
In rats and mice with anxiety brought on by persistent tension, dong quai and ferulic acid enhanced low mood. They decreased depressive behaviors such as sleepiness and immobility and brought back typical neurotransmitter levels (noradrenaline and dopamine).
A natural mix including dong quai is typically recommended for anxiety and sleep disorders in traditional Chinese medicine, but in modern research, this purported advantage has actually just been observed in rat and mouse research studies.
Improving Blood Circulation
According to traditional Chinese Medicine, ‘blood tension’ is the slowing or pooling of blood due to the interruption of the heart ‘qi’. This syndrome is typically comprehended as a blood condition that might develop into major conditions such as heart problem, cardiac arrest, stroke, and stopped up arteries.
Free extreme accumulation may trigger extreme platelet clumping. This is since free radicals activate the release of arachidonic acid that is converted to a particle that clumps platelets (thromboxane A2). By scavenging totally free radicals, a herbal combine with dong quai (Danggui Shaoyao San) avoided the excessive platelet clumping.
In addition, dong quai minimizes the production of fibrinogen, a protein that forms embolism. Lots of active components in dong quai have actually proven anti-blood clotting activity.
Dong quai and numerous of its components lowered blood clotting in rats and mice and prevented platelets from clumping together. However, this herb was less effective than a conventional blood thinner (clopidogrel).
This herb improved blood flow by minimizing blood thickness, which assists blood circulation more easily. It worked both alone and as part of two Chinese medicines (Danggui Sini Tang and Danggui Honghua).
Blood Flow and Heart Defense
Raynaud’s is a syndrome in which the blood vessels end up being very narrow in reaction to cold temperature levels. This causes bad blood circulation, pins and needles, and color changes in the fingers. A Chinese formula with dong quai is generally utilized for this syndrome based on the belief that it ‘warms the interior’. In mice, this formula lowered capillary tightening in response to cold.
What’s more, this herb and its complex sugars protected rat and mouse heart tissues from the damage triggered by:.
- Poor blood flow
- An anticancer drug (doxorubicin)
- The primary hormonal agent that narrows blood vessels and increases high blood pressure (angiotensin II)
Dong quai is believed to enhance flow in traditional Chinese medicine, however only animal studies have been performed to investigate this claim.
Bone and Cartilage Health
In menopausal rats, dong quai decreased bone loss that results in osteoporosis. It had beneficial results both alone and as part of two Chinese herbal prescriptions.
A conventional Chinese treatment with dong quai (Danggui Sini Tang) and this herb’s active parts reduced cartilage damage and promoted its repair in mice and rats with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, a different conventional solution with dong quai failed to enhance gouty arthritis in rats.
Gum disease might ruin the tooth-supporting cartilages and bones. Two natural solutions with dong quai promoted the regrowth of bone and cartilage tissues while preventing their damage in rats and mice with gum illness.
In rats, dong quai minimized the bone loss attribute of osteoporosis. Other animal studies recommend a role for dong quai in bone and cartilage health, but these benefits have actually not been observed in people.
In animal research studies, dong quai avoided and improved kidney damage triggered by:.
- Poor blood supply
- An autoimmune disease (membranous nephropathy)
- An anticancer drug (cisplatin)
- These studies utilized several active parts of dong quai and 2 Chinese medicines with this herb (Danggui Buxue Tang and Danggui Shaoyao San).
Dong quai’s complex sugars protected mice and rats from liver damage brought on by:.
- Toxins (carbon tetrachloride)
- A hazardous bean lectin
- A TCM herb that can damage the liver (air yam)
- Although TCM usage supports this benefit, dong quai’s effects on the liver need to be determined in scientific trials.
When the body attempts to fix an organ damaged by persistent diseases, drugs, or surgical treatment, it produces tissue scars. If proteins that form soft tissues build up in excess, they might cause the organ to breakdown.
In animal studies, Danggui Buxue Tang and other Chinese traditional medications with dong quai prevented and improved tissue scarring in the:.
Skin Health and Wound Recovery
Dong quai may accelerate injury recovery and lower skin inflammation. It increased collagen production and helped develop new blood vessels, both of which are needed for appropriate injury recovery. Various studies in mice, rats, fish, and cells vouch for its capability to recover broken skin, either alone or in mix with astragalus (as part of the organic mix Danggui Buxue Tang).
Additionally, dong quai enhanced skin allergic reactions and psoriasis in mice as part of 2 Chinese solutions (Danggui Buxue Tang and Danggui Liu Hang Tang).
Animal research study recommends that dong quai may accelerate injury recovery and lower skin inflammation, but these results have not been repeated in human beings.
A diet plan high in sugars and fats may cause obesity and insulin resistance, ultimately triggering health conditions such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Dong quai and a Chinese remedy containing it (Danggui Buxue Tang) minimized weight, insulin resistance, and blood glucose and fat levels in rats and mice on high-sugar and high-fat diet plans.
In diabetic mice and rats, dong quai lowered blood sugar level levels and complications such as clogged up arteries and pancreas, liver, kidney, and eye damage. It assisted both alone and as part of the Chinese medications Danggui Buxue Tang and Naoxintong.
Listed below, we will talk about some initial research on dong quai’s anticancer activity. It’s still in the cell stage and further clinical studies have yet to identify if its compounds work in cancer therapies.
Do not under any circumstances attempt to change conventional cancer treatments with dong quai or any other supplements. If you want to use it as a supportive step, talk with your medical professional to prevent any unforeseen interactions.
Dong quai and its elements assisted eliminate cancer in cell-based studies.They might obstruct cancer development, maturation, and spreading to healthy tissues. This herb had a beneficial result in the following cancer types:.
- Soft tissue and bone (sarcoma)
In addition, 2 phthalides from this herb may increase the action to cancer drugs. These substances obstructed an antioxidant enzyme (glutathione S-transferase), the extreme production of that makes cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy.
Not all components in this herb have anti-cancer activity. While its complicated sugars and phthalides killed breast cancer cells, ferulic acid stimulated their growth. This acid might have female sex hormonal agent activity, which may feed breast cancer.
Overall, little is known about the impacts of dong quai on cancer. The present findings are restricted to cellular studies, based upon which no conclusions about its effects in humans can be drawn. 
Take 1 to 2 grams/ teaspoons of the powdered whole plant two or 3 times a day, or as advised by a natural specialist.
You can find dong quai in a range of forms, including tablets and powders. In China and Japan, it is offered as an injection in a health center or health center. You ought to not utilize injections in the house.
Dong quai should be stored in a cool, dry place.
You ought to not give dong quai to a kid.
Researchers do not know what a safe dosage is, so there is no recommended dosage.
Dried herb (raw root): may be boiled or taken in white wine prior to consuming.
Powdered herb (readily available in capsules): In one research study for menopausal signs, people took 500 to 600 mg tablets or pills up to 6 times daily.
Cast (1:5 w/v, 70% alcohol): 40 to 80 drops (comparable to 2 to 4 ml, there are 5 ml in a tsp.), 3 times daily is one possible dosing schedule, however, individual dosages will differ and it is unusual for Dong quai to be recommended alone. It is usually part of a formula consisting of synergistic herbs. 
The medicinal part of the angelica plant is the root. Dong quai root can be prepared as an infusion or preparation, tincture, tablet, or pill. It is also available dried, either whole, diced, or sliced. The herb is nontoxic, but recent findings recommend caution in using it over a prolonged time period. The dried root may be chewed in quarter inch segments two to three times daily, approximately 3 to four grams each day.
Infusion or decoction: Research study shows that extracts of dong quai that maintain the volatile constituents act to raise high blood pressure and relax uterine muscles. An infusion of the root, steeped in hot water, retains the volatile constituents and is useful to deal with dysmenorrhea and to quiet uterine spasm. For amenorrhea, where stimulation of the uterine muscles is sought, a preparation is the shown. Simmer the root in water to vaporize the volatile constituents. The majority of Chinese herbalists utilize dong quai in mix with other herbs depending on the issues being attended to and these are prepared together.
Alcohol cast: Integrate fresh or dry, chopped root with sufficient alcohol to cover in a glass container. Alcohol ought to be of good quality. A 50/50 alcohol/water ratio is optimal. If the alcohol is not 100 evidence, include distilled water to get a 50/50 ratio. Brandy, vodka, and gin are frequently used. Seal the mixture in an air-tight container and set aside in a dark location for about 2 weeks. Shake daily. Pressure through cheesecloth or muslin and shop in dark containers for up to two years. Dosage: 10-40 drops of the fresh root tincture one to three times daily. 
Does dong quai actually work?
It does appear to have a significant result on hormone production. More than 70 compounds have been isolated from dong quai that may have an effect on our health. Among the most studied is trans-ferulic acid which works as an anti-inflammatory and body immune system stimulant. Taking dong quai may for that reason have an influence on inflammation, reduce blood clotting and change hormonal production. While there do appear to be some considerable effects when taking dong quai, there is no strong evidence that it assists with signs of menopause, nevertheless. This may be the result of an absence of massive medical trials or it might be that the supplement merely does not have an effective result. 
Blood Thinning: Dong Quai includes coumarin, one of the key active ingredients responsible for blood thinning. Consuming it in addition to any other blood thinner like warfarin will increase your risk of bleeding. Additionally, it would cause comparable effects if consumed with gingko, ginger or garlic, as they too are effective blood slimmers.
Allergy: It needs to be avoided by individuals allergic to cilantro (coriander), celery, or dill, which are of the same household as dong quai.
Impacts Uterine Muscles: Females must avoid dong quai during pregnancy, lactation, in addition to menstruation. Its effects on the uterine muscles can trigger adverse effects.
Blood clot: Individuals with protein S shortage should not eat dong quai as it may result in embolism.
Medication: It disrupts different medications like birth control pills, ibuprofen, naproxen, hormonal agent replacement treatment, and others. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid it when one is on medication.
Cancer: Those suffering from cancer, specifically women experiencing breast cancer and guys suffering from prostate cancer must prevent dong quai.
While studies have actually verified the numerous benefits of dong quai, anecdotal evidence shows that it does have adverse effects such as:.
- Trouble in breathing
- Vision loss
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bloating and stomach ache
- Excessive sweating
- Drop in blood pressure
- Sleeping disorders
- Excessive drop in blood sugar level levels
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop its use and consult your physician right away. 
Warfarin (Coumadin) Interaction Ranking: Major Do not take this combination.
Warfarin (Coumadin) is utilized to slow blood clot. Dong quai can also slow blood clot. Taking dong quai together with warfarin (Coumadin) can increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Make sure to have your blood examined regularly. The dosage of your warfarin (Coumadin) may require to be altered.
Estrogensinteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health supplier.
Dong quai might imitate the hormonal agent estrogen. When taken together, dong quai might increase the danger for negative effects.
Medications that slow blood clot (Anticoagulant/ Antiplatelet drugs) Interaction Ranking: Moderate Beware with this combination.Talk with your health company.
Dong quai may slow blood clot. Taking dong quai along with medications that also slow clotting may increase the possibilities of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting consist of aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others. 
Unique Safety Measures and Cautions
- When taken by mouth: Dong quai is perhaps safe when considered up to 6 months. It’s been securely used in mix with other active ingredients in doses up to 150 mg daily. It might make the skin additional conscious sunshine. Typical side effects consist of burping, gas, and high blood pressure.
- Taking dong quai in higher doses for more than 6 months is potentially risky. Dong quai includes chemicals that might trigger cancer.
- When applied to the skin: There isn’t sufficient trustworthy details to understand if dong quai is safe or what the negative effects might be. Pregnancy: Taking dong quai by mouth during pregnancy is perhaps hazardous for the infant. Dong quai appears to affect the uterus. Some research recommends that taking dong quai with other herbs throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects. Do not utilize dong quai if you are pregnant.
- Breast-feeding: There isn’t adequate reliable details to know if dong quai is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Bleeding conditions. Dong quai may slow blood clotting and increase the opportunity of bruising and bleeding in individuals with bleeding disorders.
- Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Dong quai may imitate estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by estrogen, do not use dong quai.
- Surgery: Dong quai may slow blood clotting. It may increase the threat of bleeding during and after surgical treatment. Stop taking dong quai a minimum of 2 weeks prior to a set up surgery. 
Dong quai is a supplement that has actually proposed benefits for blood health and may have an impact on slowing cancer growth. While it’s been utilized in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, there aren’t many clinical studies to show that dong quai can substantially enhance your blood health. Talk with your medical professional before taking dong quai, particularly if you’re taking other medications. Discontinue dong quai and visit a physician if you experience any type of easy bleeding, such as bleeding gums or blood in your urine or stool. Prevent using dong quai if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.