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Dong Quai Root

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Dong Quai Root


Dong Quai Root is also called Angelica Sinensis, Angelica China, Dang Gui, Ferulic Acid, Tang Kuei, and Toki, among some other names. It is popularly known as ‘women’s ginseng’ due to its remarkable contribution on female reproductive concerns.

Dong Quai’s literal translation is “compelled to return” which is appropriately named because of its capabilities to bring back the normal health of a woman. It is the queen of all female herbs in Chinese Traditional Medicine. The Chinese herbalists also believe that the Dong Quai Root is highly compatible with vegetables rather than with just fruits. It can harmoniously be combined for medicinal purposes with Juniper Berries, Ginger, Marshmallow Root, Licorice Root, and Fennel Seed.

History and Origin

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dong Quai Root is considered to be the female ginseng. This plant is commonly found in Japan, mainland China, and in Korea and is harvested on its third year. It is one of the most popular herbs in the past for the treatment of female conditions.

Dong Quai Root, is a perennial fragrant herb that is a member of the Umbelliferae family. It can grow to be up to two meters tall. It produces tiny white flowers in the early summer and typically grows in damp mountain ravines, riverbanks, meadows, and near the sea. Dong Quai Root is one of the ingredients for Four Things Soup, a traditional woman’s tonic food in China.

Ancient Uses

The ancient Chinese used Dong Quai Root as a tonic for female glands, and to increase blood circulation and dissolve clots, as well as to help strengthen the mother before and after childbirth, and to treat menopausal symptoms such as cramping, hot flashes, and backaches, prolapsed uterus, menstrual disorders, and to lubricate the intestines. It has been used also for men to strengthen all internal organs and muscles. Dong Quai Root was traditionally used to enhance fertility, strengthen bones, and sustain healthy nails, hair and skin.

Modern Uses

Dong Quai Root is today prepared either in its raw root form, or as a tablet, as a liquid extract. Today Dong Quai Root is now taken to increase the immune system and to reduce the levels of destructive free radicals that are commonly found in a person’s blood stream. It is also used in the treatment of boils, anemia, Headaches, venous problems, and problems of peripheral blood flow. Dong Quai Root helps in the stabilization of the level of sugar that enhances calmer moods. It also helps nourish dry and thin vaginal tissues.

Side Effects

Dong Quai Root may cause the skin to become strongly sensitive to the sun that might result in skin cancer. Therefore, it is best to wear sun block when going outside; especially for light-skinned individuals. Prolonged use of Dong Quai Root in large amounts is probably not safe because it contains certain chemicals that can cause cancer. People scheduled to undergo surgery are also advised not to take it.

It is not wise for pregnant women to take Dong Quai Root or any of its combinations because it may cause defective births and can affect the muscles of the uterus. Also, it might not be safe to take Dong Quai Root while in the period of breastfeeding. People with hormone-sensitive situations and those with protein S deficiency are advised not to take Dong Quai Root since it can act like estrogen and increase the formation of blood clots.

Read also: The Causes of a Fever

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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