|Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis, Dang Gui, Tang-kuei)
grows profusely throughout Asia. Called the "female ginseng", dong quai is an
all-purpose herb for a wide range of female gynecological complaints. For centuries,
Chinese women have used this herb to regulate the menstrual cycle and quell painful
menstrual cramps caused by uterine contractions. Modern herbalists use dong quai to
eliminate the discomfort of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and to help women resume normal
menstruation after going off birth control pills. Dong quai is also reputed to be useful
against hot flashes and other concerns of menopause caused by hormonal changes. Rich in
vitamins and minerals including A, B12, and E, this herb may also help to control anemia.
Dong quai has also been used to combat insomnia and high blood pressure for both sexes.
Both men and women use this herb as a blood tonic. One of the most widely used herbs in
the Orient, Dong Quai Duck is a popular Cantonese dish.
In the Journal of Natural Products (45:398, 1982) it says that Dong Quai, Angelica
sinensis has been used as an antispasmodic, a blood purifier, and to help
hypertension, rheumatism, ulcers, anemia, and constipation.
Dong Quai also contains compounds that act to stimulate the central nervous system,
supporting its use as a mild energizer.
Researchers have identified several coumarin derivatives that are known to act as
antispasmodics and vasodilators. Dong quai, Angelica sinensis' key ingredients
include Ligustilide, butylene phthalide and butyl phthalide found in the aromatic oil.
Ferulic acid and various polysaccharides are found in the non-aromatic fractions. Research
suggests that both ferulic acid and ligustilide are useful for preventing spasms, relaxing
blood vessels and reducing blood clotting in peripheral vessels.
Caution: Do not use
Dong Quai-Dang Gui during pregnancy.