Dong quai - Angelica sinensis

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This Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Dong quai - Angelica sinensis in the Umbelliferae or Parsley family

Part used: Root.

Taste/smell: Sweet, bitter, slightly pungent.

Tendencies: Warming, moistening, stimulating.

Dosage: Decoction: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:4 dry liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Dong quai is beneficial for gynecological complaints with spasms and pain, chills, dryness of skin, constipation due to dryness and uterine or ovarian masses. It is also indicated for congestion in the pelvic region.

Use: (a) Warming female tonic, (b) Enriches the blood, (c) Promotes blood circulation, (d) Regulates and normalizes menstruation and the menstrual cycle, (e) Mild laxative, (f) Diuretic, (g) Sedative, (h) Hepatoprotectant, (i) Anti-inflammatory, (j) Analgesic, (k) Antibacterial, (l) Hypotensive, (m) Calcium channel blocker, (n) Antispasmodic, (o) Stimulate the uterus if the volatile oil is decocted off and an antispasmodic if made as a proper infusion with the volatile oil intact or as a liquid extract.

Experiments have shown dong quai stimulates uterine cell multiplication. It is beneficial with gynecological problems, including PMS, cramps, menopausal-related symptoms, uterine bleeding due to stagnation and chronic pelvic infections. It is also indicated for constipation, headache due to blood deficiency, thrombosis, anemia, vasculitis, arthritis, sciatica and chronic bronchitis.

Concerning the cardiovascular system, it strengthens heart contractility while decreasing the rate of contractions, acts as an anti-arrhythmic, dilates coronary blood vessels, increases coronary blood flow and dilates peripheral blood vessels. With hypertension, dong quai initially raises the blood pressure, followed by a decline.

Dong quai's constituents include vitamin B12 and E, biotin, nicotinic acid, folic acid and folinic acid.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated when taking blood-thinning agents. Dong quai has been shown to potentiate coumadin. The furocoumarins sensitize the skin to the sun and can increase the chance of sunburn. Since it is a uterine vasodilatory, it may worsen heavy clotted menses. This herb is best used for ‘cold, dry and stagnant’ conditions and is contraindicated in conditions associated with ‘heat’ signs or symptoms. Dong quai is contraindicated during pregnancy unless under the guidance of a qualified health care professional.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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