Angelica sinensis, or Dong Quai as it’s commonly known, is an indigenous Chinese herb found in high and cold mountainous regions of China, Japan and Korea. This plant is of the celery, carrots, parsley, and poison hemlock family and has smooth stems that have white flowered clusters and fruits at the ends. The thick, yellow-brown colored roots are harvested for medicinal uses.
Health Benefits of Angelica Sinensis
Another name associated with Angelica sinensis is “female ginseng”, because it is most frequently used to relieve the symptoms of menopause and other female issues such as lack of sexual desire and vaginal dryness. The ingestion of this herb is believed to reduce hot flushes in menopausal women and reduce night sweats. Nonetheless, for treatment of menopausal symptoms, usually Angelica sinensis is not taken alone, but as a combination with other herbs.
There is also some supporting evidence that Angelica sinensis helps people with heart disease (in combination with Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Astragalus) by improving heart condition and decreasing chest pain, so people with heart disease can better tolerate exercise. Additionally, it can help with lowering blood pressure by improving blood flow.
Angelica sinensis may also benefit symptoms associated with ulcers, joint pain, constipation, anemia, skin conditions like psoriasis, and a lot of other health conditions such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Recovery from childbirth or illness
- Fatigue or low energy
- Headache ( in combination with white peony root and sichuan lovage rhizome)
- Insomnia (in combination with longan aril and sour jujube seed)
- Blurred vision
- Liver and spleen problems (in combination with other herbs)
- Nerve pain
- Abdominal pain
- Premature ejaculation (as an ingredient in topical cream)
How to Use
Angelica sinensis is safe for ingesting, but seldom taken alone. The typical dose range is 2-3 grams per day taken in three divided doses. It is available in capsule, liquid, or powder form. In Japan and China it is often times administered by injection.
Prolonged application of Angelica sinensis may have adverse side effects. It can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. If using this herb on skin, make sure to take precaution and wear natural sunscreen before going out.