Table of Contents
The root of an Asian angelica (Angelica sinensis) used specifically in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic, analgesic, antispasmodic, and laxative. 
- Chinese angelica
- Dang gui
- Tang kuei
- Tan kue
- Female ginseng 
History and Interesting Facts
Dong quai has been used in China for thousands of years to assist balance hormones, lower PMS symptoms and increase libido.
Surprisingly enough, the name of this herb even means its beneficial effect on sexual health. In Chinese, dong quai allegedly indicates “the hubby returns back to his wife.”.
Dong quai has actually likewise been used in Native American, Ayurvedic and Kampo medication as a remedy for conditions like anemia, heart problem and high blood sugar level.
These days, this angelica herb is a common natural remedy all over the world used to deal with everything from depression to menopause signs.
Although more research is needed to discover its full capacity as a medicinal herb, it has actually even been touted 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 top quality scientific research studies, dong quai is not approved by the FDA for medical usage. Further research will be required to determine whether it works or safe for long-term use.
Nevertheless, dong quai is commercially readily available as a supplement, both alone and as part of organic mixes. Laws set manufacturing requirements for supplements however do not guarantee that they are safe or reliable. Talk to your medical professional 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 standard Chinese organic solution with dong quai (Danggui Shaoyao San) relieved menstrual cramps much better than placebo and painkillers in an analysis of 4 clinical trials involving over 400 ladies. 4 g/day of this solution also stabilized irregular menstruations in one little trial on 20 females.
2 other Chinese herbal mixes with dong quai decreased menstrual discomfort in 2 trials on over 100 women, although they were ineffective during the 3 first menstrual cycles.
Dong quai’s component ligustilide avoided uterine contractions in rats, which could explain its function in alleviating 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 traditional remedy with dong quai (Fubao Danggui Jiao) helped clear this unwanted tissue in rats.
The existing evidence suggests that dong quai might assist with menstrual complaints. However, it is essential to note that a meta-analysis found the quality of the studies moderate to low due to their high threat of predisposition. Even more, more robust trials are required to verify these results.
Chinese texts recommend dong quai for ‘deficient blood energy’, with symptoms comparable to common menopausal grievances: irregular menstrual circulation, nervousness, dizziness, sleeping disorders, and lapse of memory.
However, dong quai did not improve these signs in numerous research studies. In a medical trial on 71 postmenopausal women, it had no result. It was equally inefficient in a medical trial on 22 males with menopause-like symptoms (hot flashes) triggered by a treatment with luteinizing hormonal agent (LH) for prostate cancer.
The downside is that these studies looked at dong quai alone, as it is used in Western countries. In traditional Chinese medicine, nevertheless, it is always recommended in mix with other herbs.
In a current meta-analysis of 16 studies and practically 1600 menopausal ladies, a Chinese herbal solution including dong quai (Er-Xian Tang) was more effective than placebo and hormone therapy at improving menopausal signs but just in some research studies.
Another Chinese solution (Danggui Buxue Tang, 3 g/day) only improved mild hot flashes in a medical trial on 100 postmenopausal women. In contrast, 3 other herbal supplements with dong quai reduced hot flashes and sleep disruptions in 3 clinical trials on practically 150 postmenopausal females.
In premenopausal women, the surgical elimination of the ovaries triggers menopausal symptoms by drastically minimizing estrogen and progesterone levels. A Chinese natural blend with dong quai (Geng Nian An, 2x/day) improved menopausal symptoms and brought back regular hormone (estradiol, LH, and FSH) levels in a scientific trial on 69 women who had undergone ovarian removal.
Based on combined outcomes, the poor quality of many research studies, and the fact that dong quai was used together with other herbs, there is insufficient evidence to support its benefits on menopausal symptoms. Extra, higher-quality medical research study is required.
The traditional Chinese medicine prescription with dong quai most typically used for anemia (Danggui Buxue Tag) is advised to strengthen the ‘qi’ (vital force) and ‘nourish blood’ (enhance body blood circulation).
Two herbal combines with dong quai promoted blood formation by increasing the production of the blood-forming hormonal agent erythropoietin (EPO).
In addition, its complex sugars secured blood cells and minimized the production of hepcidin, a hormone that works to trap iron inside cells.
As a result, this herb may increase red cell, leukocyte, platelets, iron, and hemoglobin.
TCM formulas with dong quai are typically just used as an add-on to common treatments for anemia. In a meta-analysis of 7 scientific trials including 460 individuals with anemia, this TCM formula improved the efficiency of conventional therapy.
Laborious exercise may trigger iron shortage by increasing the production of the hormonal agent that traps iron into cells (hepcidin). In a medical trial on 36 men, the exact same TCM formula reduced iron deficit after a long term.
This formula likewise improved anemia in rats and mice.
However, two different Chinese solutions with dong quai had little or no result on preventing the anemia triggered by chemotherapy in two scientific trials on nearly 150 females with breast cancer.
The evidence to support the benefits of dong quai for anemia is insufficient. The authors of a meta-analysis considered that most studies had poor quality and didn’t pay attention to safety. Additional, better-designed studies are needed to confirm their outcomes.
Some organic combinations consisting of dong quai have been discovered to improve iron status in some studies, while other research studies found no advantage. Extra research is needed.
A serious complication of infections is sepsis, a dangerous condition in which the body harms its own tissues. A traditional Chinese medicine injection for sepsis with dong quai (Xuebijing) integrated with traditional therapy lowered death from sepsis in a meta-analysis of 16 clinical trials with over 1k people. Dong quai also avoided death from sepsis in mice.
A Chinese natural complex with dong quai (Burdock Complex, 10 ml 2x/day) minimized infections with a germs that typically triggers ulcers (Helicobacter pylori) in a medical trial on 36 people.
In rats with pneumonia, dong quai lowered infection signs. However, it failed to kill the bacteria causing this illness in an antimicrobial test.
In mix with another natural extract, dong quai avoided the development of 2 bacterial species that trigger contagious illness (E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus).
The complicated sugars in this herb prevented the division of a virus coming from the exact same class as HIV in mice. It also boosted their immune reaction, increasing their blood levels of T cells (CD4+ and CD8+).
Restricted studies discovered a possible advantage of using standard Chinese natural mixes in bacterial infections. Further, higher-quality scientific research should verify the efficiency of dong quai versus these infections.
To contribute to its anti-inflammatory potential, a couple of research studies recommend that dong quai may be helpful for ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Individuals with ulcerative colitis have chronic inflammation and ulcers in the gut inner lining. Dong quai injections alleviated the symptoms in a clinical trial on 64 people.
In rats, this herb and its complex sugars improved ulcerative colitis and injuries in the stomach and bowel.
A single clinical trial and a couple of animal research studies can not be thought about sufficient proof that dong quai assists with ulcerative colitis. Further scientific research study is required.
Brain Function Assistance
In a scientific trial on over 1k individuals with stroke, injected dong quai lowered brain damage and enhanced brain function.
In animal studies, dong quai and organic mixes with this herb prevented and enhanced the brain dysfunction brought on by:.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s illness
- Brain injury
Currently, it’s unidentified if this herb may help with brain disorders. On the upside, there’s no evidence of any type of unfavorable impacts of dong quai on the brain.
Boosting Energy Levels
According to TCM, fatigue is caused by internal injuries from extreme feelings, overstrain, or an improper diet. The signs resemble those of ‘qi-deficiency’ and ‘blood tension’: absence of cravings, weakness, and a failure to utilize and transfer 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 proof is presently insufficient to declare that dong quai enhances energy levels. Further research study is required.
Animal and Cell Research Study (Lack of Evidence):
The widespread use of dong quai in TCM has motivated the research study of a lot of its supposed health benefits. Because a number of the results have only been gotten in animals and cells, it’s still unsure whether dong quai has these benefits in human beings too.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Excessive swelling and oxidative stress underlie numerous diseases. Dong quai’s anti-inflammatory effects have actually been recommended to aid with varied concerns such as menstrual cramps, arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Its antioxidant properties may synergize with these and contribute to its benefits for reproductive, bone, skin, and health, along with state of mind balance.
It mainly works by preventing the activation of the body’s inflammatory hub, the NF-kb path. Beyond this, it affects numerous other important paths, which reduces 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 set off and sustain swelling in the body (COX-1, COX-2, MMP1, MMP13, inos). In this sense, it resembles commonly-used NSAID pain relievers, however its results are wider-ranging.
Free radicals damage tissues by breaking down and harming the building blocks of cells. Dong quai avoids this damage by increasing the activity and production of antioxidant enzymes (NQO1, SOD, and FELINE). In addition, it triggers the production of a substance that helps cells endure under oxidative tension (phosphatidylinositol).
The primary components with anti-inflammatory activity are ferulic acid, ligustilide, and complex sugars.
On the other hand, its main anti-oxidants are its phenolic substances, while its complex sugars and proteins also add to the benefits.
Animal and cell research suggests anti-inflammatory and antioxidant results for dong quai, however these have not been straight observed in human beings.
Enhancing State of mind
In an observational study on over 1k individuals using traditional Chinese medicine for depression and sleep disorders, an organic blend whose main part is dong quai (Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San) was most frequently prescribed.
In rats and mice with depression brought on by persistent stress, dong quai and ferulic acid improved low mood. They minimized depressive behaviors such as sleepiness and immobility and brought back regular neurotransmitter levels (noradrenaline and dopamine).
A natural blend including dong quai is commonly recommended for depression and sleep disorders in traditional Chinese medicine, but in modern research, this purported advantage has only been observed in rat and mouse studies.
Improving Blood Flow
According to traditional Chinese Medicine, ‘blood tension’ is the slowing or pooling of blood due to the disturbance of the heart ‘qi’. This syndrome is frequently understood as a blood disorder that may develop into major conditions such as cardiovascular disease, heart failure, stroke, and clogged arteries.
Free extreme buildup may activate excessive platelet clumping. This is since complimentary radicals activate the release of arachidonic acid that is converted to a molecule that clumps platelets (thromboxane A2). By scavenging complimentary radicals, a natural blend with dong quai (Danggui Shaoyao San) prevented the excessive platelet clumping.
Furthermore, dong quai decreases the production of fibrinogen, a protein that forms embolism. Numerous active elements in dong quai have actually shown anti-blood clotting activity.
Dong quai and several of its components reduced blood clotting in rats and mice and prevented platelets from clumping together. Nevertheless, this herb was less effective than a standard blood thinner (clopidogrel).
This herb enhanced blood circulation by reducing blood thickness, which assists blood flow more freely. It worked both alone and as part of two Chinese medications (Danggui Sini Tang and Danggui Honghua).
Blood Circulation and Heart Protection
Raynaud’s is a syndrome in which the blood vessels become incredibly narrow in action to cold temperatures. This triggers bad blood flow, numbness, and color modifications in the fingers. A Chinese formula with dong quai is typically utilized for this syndrome based upon the belief that it ‘warms the interior’. In mice, this formula minimized blood vessel tightening in response to cold.
What’s more, this herb and its complicated sugars protected rat and mouse heart tissues from the damage brought on by:.
- Poor blood flow
- An anticancer drug (doxorubicin)
- The primary hormone that narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure (angiotensin II)
Dong quai is thought to enhance circulation in traditional Chinese medicine, however just animal research studies have been conducted to examine this claim.
Bone and Cartilage Health
In menopausal rats, dong quai lowered bone loss that results in osteoporosis. It had helpful results both alone and as part of 2 Chinese natural prescriptions.
A standard Chinese remedy with dong quai (Danggui Sini Tang) and this herb’s active components lowered cartilage damage and promoted its repair work in mice and rats with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, a different conventional treatment with dong quai stopped working to enhance gouty arthritis in rats.
Gum disease may ruin the tooth-supporting cartilages and bones. Two natural solutions with dong quai promoted the regeneration of bone and cartilage tissues while preventing their damage in rats and mice with gum disease.
In rats, dong quai decreased the bone loss characteristic of osteoporosis. Other animal studies recommend a role for dong quai in bone and cartilage health, however these advantages have not been observed in people.
In animal studies, dong quai prevented and enhanced kidney damage triggered by:.
- Poor blood supply
- An autoimmune disease (membranous nephropathy)
- An anticancer drug (cisplatin)
- These research studies used a number of active elements of dong quai and 2 Chinese medications with this herb (Danggui Buxue Tang and Danggui Shaoyao San).
Dong quai’s complex sugars secured mice and rats from liver damage triggered by:.
- Toxins (carbon tetrachloride)
- A harmful bean lectin
- A TCM herb that can harm the liver (air yam)
- Although TCM usage supports this benefit, dong quai’s effects on the liver requirement to be identified in medical trials.
When the body attempts to fix an organ damaged by chronic illness, drugs, or surgery, it produces tissue scars. If proteins that form soft tissues develop in excess, they might cause the organ to breakdown.
In animal research studies, Danggui Buxue Tang and other Chinese conventional medications with dong quai avoided and enhanced tissue scarring in the:.
Skin Health and Wound Healing
Dong quai may speed up wound healing and decrease skin inflammation. It increased collagen production and helped develop new members vessels, both of which are needed for appropriate injury healing. Many research studies in mice, rats, fish, and cells attest to its capability to heal damaged skin, either alone or in mix with astragalus (as part of the herbal mix Danggui Buxue Tang).
Furthermore, dong quai enhanced skin allergies and psoriasis in mice as part of two Chinese remedies (Danggui Buxue Tang and Danggui Liu Hang Tang).
Animal research suggests that dong quai might accelerate wound healing and minimize skin inflammation, however these results have actually not been repeated in humans.
A diet high in sugars and fats may result in weight problems and insulin resistance, eventually triggering health conditions such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Dong quai and a Chinese solution including 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 glucose levels and complications such as stopped up arteries and pancreas, liver, kidney, and eye damage. It helped both alone and as part of the Chinese medicines Danggui Buxue Tang and Naoxintong.
Cancer Research study
Listed below, we will discuss some preliminary research study on dong quai’s anticancer activity. It’s still in the cell phase and additional scientific research studies have yet to determine if its substances work in cancer therapies.
Do not under any scenarios try to change traditional cancer treatments with dong quai or any other supplements. If you wish to use it as a supportive measure, talk to your physician to prevent any unanticipated interactions.
Dong quai and its elements helped eliminate cancer in cell-based studies.They might obstruct cancer growth, maturation, and spreading to healthy tissues. This herb had a beneficial effect in the following cancer types:.
- Soft tissue and bone (sarcoma)
Furthermore, two phthalides from this herb may increase the action to cancer drugs. These compounds 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 may have female sex hormonal agent activity, which might feed breast cancer.
In general, little is understood about the results of dong quai on cancer. The present findings are limited to cellular research studies, based on which no conclusions about its impacts in human beings can be drawn. 
Take 1 to 2 grams/ teaspoons of the powdered whole plant two or 3 times a day, or as suggested by a natural specialist.
You can discover dong quai in a range of types, consisting of tablets and powders. In China and Japan, it is provided as an injection in a health center or university hospital. You should not utilize injections in your home.
Dong quai must be kept in a cool, dry place.
You need to not offer dong quai to a kid.
Scientists do not know what a safe dosage is, so there is no advised dosage.
Dried herb (raw root): may be boiled or soaked in white wine before taking in.
Powdered herb (offered in pills): In one research study for menopausal signs, people took 500 to 600 mg tablets or pills approximately 6 times daily.
Tincture (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 day-to-day is one possible dosing schedule, nevertheless, specific doses will vary and it is uncommon for Dong quai to be recommended alone. It is usually part of a formula containing synergistic herbs. 
The medicinal part of the angelica plant is the root. Dong quai root can be prepared as an infusion or decoction, tincture, tablet, or capsule. It is likewise available dried, either whole, diced, or sliced. The herb is nontoxic, however current findings recommend care in using it over an extended amount of time. The dried root might be chewed in quarter inch sectors 2 to 3 times daily, as much as three to 4 grams per day.
Infusion or decoction: Research indicates that extracts of dong quai that maintain the volatile constituents act to raise blood pressure and unwind uterine muscles. An infusion of the root, soaked in hot water, maintains the unpredictable constituents and works to treat dysmenorrhea and to quiet uterine spasm. For amenorrhea, where stimulation of the uterine muscles is looked for, a decoction is the shown. Simmer the root in water to vaporize the unstable constituents. A lot of Chinese herbalists utilize dong quai in mix with other herbs depending upon the issues being addressed and these are prepared together.
Alcohol tincture: Combine fresh or dry, chopped root with adequate alcohol to cover in a glass container. Alcohol needs to be of good quality. A 50/50 alcohol/water ratio is ideal. If the alcohol is not 100 proof, include pure water to acquire a 50/50 ratio. Brandy, vodka, and gin are typically utilized. Seal the mixture in an air-tight container and set aside in a dark place for about 2 weeks. Shake daily. Strain through cheesecloth or muslin and store in dark containers for approximately 2 years. Dose: 10-40 drops of the fresh root cast one to three times daily. 
Does dong quai truly work?
It does appear to have a significant effect on hormonal agent production. More than 70 substances have actually been isolated from dong quai that might have an influence on our health. Among the most studied is trans-ferulic acid which works as an anti-inflammatory and immune system stimulant. Taking dong quai may therefore have an effect on inflammation, decrease blood clotting and change hormone production. While there do appear to be some considerable effects when taking dong quai, there is no strong proof that it helps with signs of menopause, however. This may be the result of a lack of massive medical trials or it may be that the supplement just doesn’t have an effective effect. 
Blood Thinning: Dong Quai includes coumarin, one of the essential ingredients responsible for blood thinning. Consuming it together with any other blood thinner like warfarin will increase your threat of bleeding. Additionally, it would trigger comparable results if taken in with gingko, ginger or garlic, as they too work blood slimmers.
Allergy: It ought to be prevented by individuals adverse cilantro (coriander), celery, or dill, which are of the same family as dong quai.
Impacts Uterine Muscles: Ladies ought to avoid dong quai during pregnancy, lactation, as well as menstruation. Its effects on the uterine muscles can trigger negative results.
Blood clot: Individuals with protein S deficiency should not eat dong quai as it may lead to blood clots.
Medication: It interferes with different medications like birth control pills, ibuprofen, naproxen, hormonal agent replacement treatment, and others. For that reason, it is advisable to prevent it when one is on medication.
Cancer: Those struggling with cancer, particularly females suffering from breast cancer and guys suffering from prostate cancer need to prevent dong quai.
While studies have actually verified the different benefits of dong quai, anecdotal proof reveals that it does have negative effects such as:.
- Problem in breathing
- Vision loss
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bloating and stomach ache
- Extreme sweating
- Drop in high blood pressure
- Extreme drop in blood glucose levels
If you experience any of these signs, stop its use and consult your doctor right away. 
Warfarin (Coumadin) Interaction Score: Major Do not take this mix.
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Dong quai can likewise slow blood clotting. Taking dong quai in addition to warfarin (Coumadin) can increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dosage of your warfarin (Coumadin) might require to be changed.
Estrogensinteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Dong quai may imitate the hormone estrogen. When taken together, dong quai may increase the threat for negative effects.
Medications that slow blood clot (Anticoagulant/ Antiplatelet drugs) Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health company.
Dong quai may slow blood clot. Taking dong quai together with medications that likewise slow clotting might increase the possibilities of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clot include 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 Precautions and Warnings
- When taken by mouth: Dong quai is possibly safe when taken for as much as 6 months. It’s been securely used in combination with other ingredients in doses up to 150 mg daily. It may make the skin additional conscious sunlight. Common side effects consist of burping, gas, and hypertension.
- Taking dong quai in greater dosages for more than 6 months is possibly hazardous. Dong quai contains chemicals that might cause cancer.
- When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if dong quai is safe or what the negative effects might be. Pregnancy: Taking dong quai by mouth during pregnancy is potentially risky for the baby. Dong quai seems to impact the uterus. Some research study recommends that taking dong quai with other herbs during the first 3 months of pregnancy can increase the danger of birth defects. Do not utilize dong quai if you are pregnant.
- Breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable details to understand if dong quai is safe to use when breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and prevent use.
- Bleeding disorders. Dong quai may slow blood clot and increase the possibility of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding conditions.
- Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Dong quai might imitate estrogen. If you have any condition that might be worsened by estrogen, don’t utilize dong quai.
- Surgery: Dong quai may slow blood clot. It might increase the danger of bleeding throughout and after surgery. Stop taking dong quai a minimum of 2 weeks prior to a set up surgery. 
Dong quai is a supplement that has proposed benefits for blood health and might have an effect on slowing cancer development. While it’s been used in Chinese medication for over 2,000 years, there aren’t lots of scientific studies to show that dong quai can substantially improve your blood health. Speak with your doctor prior to taking dong quai, especially if you’re taking other medications. Discontinue dong quai and check out a physician if you experience any kind of simple 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.