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Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Acidic polysaccharides, American angelica, angelol, angelica, Angelica acutiloba, Angelica archangelica, Angelica atropurpurea, Angelica dahurica, Angelica edulis, Angelica gigas, Angelica keiskei, Angelica koreana, Angelicapolymorpha var. sinensis Oliv., Angelica pubescens, Angelica radix, Angelica root, Angelica silvestris, Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels, angelicide, angelicin, angelicone, angelique, anodynes, Apiaceae (family), Archangelica officinalis Moench or Hoffm., bergapten, beta-sitosterol, Chinese angelica, Chinese danggui, coumarins, dang gui, dang gui ku shen wan, dang quai, dāngguī (pinyin), Danggui-Nian-Tong-Tang (DGNTT), danggwi (Korean), dong kwai, dong qua, dong qui, dry-kuei, empress of the herbs, Engelwurzel (German), eumenol, European angelica, female ginseng, ferulic acid, flavescent sophora root, flavonoids, furanocoumarins, garden angelica, Heiligenwurzel (German), Japanese angelica, kinesisk kvan (Danish), kinesisk kvanurt (Danish), lactones, Ligusticum glaucescens Franch., Ligusticum officinale Koch, ligustilides, Moon CycleTM tea, phytoestrogen, psoralens, qingui, radix Angelica sinensis, root of the Holy Ghost, sodium ferulate (SF), sovereign herb for women, tan kue bai zhi, tang kuei, tang kuei root, tang kwei, tang quai, tanggui (Korean), tanggwi (Korean), toki (Japanese), wild angelica, wild chin quai, Women's EnergyTM tea, women's ginseng, yuan nan wild dong quai, yungui.
  • Selected combination products: Angelica-alunite solution, angelica-paeonia powder, Bloussant( breast enhancement tablets, Bust Plus(, danggui huoxue tang (blood stimulant decoction of dong quai), danggui buxue tang (dong quai hematinic decoction), hormonal and immune system tonic, Four Things Soup (dong quai, Rehmannia glutinosa, Ligusticum wallichii, and Paeonia lactiflora), koo sar pills (containing 11 ingredients, including dong quai), Phyto-Female Complex (SupHerb®, Netanya, Israel; ingredients: standardized extracts of black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, American ginseng, and chaste-tree berry), shou wu chih, dong quai four, shenyan huayu tang (decoction for nephritis and stasis), Sini decoction, Siwu tang, shimotus to, tokishakuyakusan, xiao yao powder, xiao yao wan ("free and easy wanderer," Bupleurum, and dong quai), yishen tang (kidney tonic decoction).
  • Note: Angelica dahurica is commonly known as Chinese angelica; however, it is not included in this bottom line.

Background

  • Dong quai is also known as Chinese angelica. It belongs to the same plant family as parsley, celery, carrots, and poison hemlock. Dong quai has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine. It is one of the most popular plants in Chinese medicine.
  • Dong quai has been called "female ginseng" because it is commonly used for health conditions in women. The plant has been used for menstrual cramps, anemia associated with menstruation, pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, recovery from childbirth or illness, and fatigue or low energy. Dong quai is used in both men and women for heart conditions, high blood pressure, inflammation, headache, infections, and nerve pain.
  • It has been suggested that dong quai has weak estrogen-like effects. However, it remains unclear whether dong quai has the same effects as estrogens, blocks estrogen activity, or lacks significant hormonal effects.
  • Dong quai is often used in combination with other herbs for liver and spleen problems. It is thought to work best in people who have a calm, reserved profile, and is thought to be a mildly warming herb. Dong quai is believed to help nourish the blood and balance energy.
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Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.