Plant Family:

Apiaceae family

 

Habitat & Cultivation: 

Angelica Sinensis is also known as Dang gui (Dong Quai) and has the nickname of being the female herb.Angelica Sinensis was first found in China. It can also be found in Japan and India. Since the beginning it has been used for many things focused in the female reproductive system; ovarian cysts, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, fibroids, infertility, menopause, and premenstrual syndrome, as well as anemia.  Also s a general female tonic, for improved pelvic circulation, angina, anxiety, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches. Dang gui is imported from China by either manufacturers or herb distributors, predominantly those in domestic Chinatowns. It is available in a variety of different grades and forms depending upon root characteristics, processing methods, and desired medicinal effects. 

 

Parts Used/Collection: 

Dried root

 

Herbal Actions: 

  • Alterative

  • Antispasmodic

  • Uterine tonic

  • Emmenagogue

Indications: 

  • Blood detoxifier

  • Rheumatic conditions

  • Bone growth supporter

  • Antiplatelet activity

  • Stimulates circulation to prevent stagnation of blood and liver

  • Anemia

  • Constipation

  • Angina

  • Anxiety

  • Hypertension

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Headaches

Contraindications: 

Anyone with low platelets or clotting disorders, this may extend to those on anticoagulant medications as well. The inhibition of platelet aggregation may lead to heavy bleeding.

 

Plant Constituents: 

 

System Affinities:

  • Circulatory

  • Female reproductive

  • Respiratory

  • Digestive

Energetics: 

  • Mobile, moist, light, sweet, acrid, bitter, warming

Safety: 

Safety Class 1

Reported inhibition of platelet aggregation - may lead to heavy bleeding (AHPA, 2013).
May have an interaction with warfarin.

Possible adverse and side effects from AHPA:

  • Aggravation of endometriosis

  • Severe bleeding of gums (high doses for months)

  • Overstimulation of menstrual cycles

  • Increased or excessive menstrual flow (which may be the outcome you are looking for)

  • Edema and breast tenderness

  • Headaches

  • Increased irritability

  • Gynecomastia (Enlargement of male breast tissue)

  • Occupational asthma (?)

“No significant adverse events are reported in the traditional Chinese medicine literature (AHPA, 2013).”

“In Chinese medicine practices, dong quai is used in combination with other herbs at various stages in pregnancy (AHPA, 2013).”

“Cases of rashes and high blood pressure during lactation have been reported” - those studies did not specify the dose that was being taken (AHPA, 2013).

 

Gardner, Z. & McGuffin, M. (2013). American herbal products association's botanical safety handbook (2nd ed.). Boca Raton: FL.

Dosage: 

 

Decoction: 1 tsp of dry herb to 1 cup of water

1:4 dry liquid extract: Take 10-60gtts 1-4 times a day (Tillgner, 1999)

 

Dried Root products: 3.5 - 4 g/day

Dried Root in decoction 6 - 12 g/day

Tincture 3 - 5 ml 3 TID

Standardized extract (to 1% ligustilide): 200 mg TID (Romm, 2010).

Personal Experience:

 

I prepared this as a decoction, it was sweet and bitter but enjoyable. 

Research: 

  • AHPA. (2013). Botanical safety handbook (2nd ed.). CRC Press, FL.

  • Frawley, D., & Lad, V. (2001). The yoga of herbs. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press

  • Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.

  • Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). The essential guide to herbal safety. Elsevier Health Sciences.

  • Romm, A. (2010). Botanical medicine for women's health (p.18-19). St. Louis, Mo: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

 

 

 

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)

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