FUN FACTS

BN: Angelica sinensis AKA 当归 (Dāngguī), Dong Guai, Chinese Angelica, Female Ginseng, Angelica gigas(Korean), Angelica sinensis (Chinese) Angelica acutiloba (Japanese).

CONSTITUENTS

Contains carotenoids, ascorbic acid, folinic acid, biotin, coumarin, phytosterol, furanocoumarins, flavonoids, polysaccharide and  n-butylidenephthalide.  butylidene phhtalide, ligustilide, sequiterpenes, carvacrol, dihyrophthalic anhydride, sucrose, b vitamins, beta-sitosterol.  Key Nutrients: Vitamin B12, folic acid.

USES/BENEFITS

Helps mitigate PMS discomfort, lack of menstrual bleeding, menstrual cramps and migraines.  Used to treat premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain, recovery from childbirth and menopausal symptoms.²  It contains a natural hormone, phytoestrogen, to treat hot flushes and menopausal issues.   The coumarin and ferulic acid in dong quai may help protect agains atherosclerosis, angina, heart attacks, and hypertention.  Helps with allergy by inhibiting antibody production.  Antibaterial, antiviral, antiobesityAttenuates insulin resistance.Boosts immune system.  Anti-inflammatory. Improves circulation.  Support uterine tone and strength for getting ready to get pregnant.

The compound, butylidenephthalide, from Angelica sinensis inhibits malignant brain tumor growth in vitro and in vivo.¹  Can have a therapeutic effect on bladder cancer cells. ³ Induces the apoptosis of cervical cancer HeLa cells.

The cobalt in dong quai is used to treat iron deficiencies and anemia - particularly erythropoietin (EPO)-resistant anemia.   Powder normalizes ovarian hormone levels and protects against osteoporosis because of the courmarin in this root.   

Video describing Dong Quai's use in fertility

CAUTION

Do not use if pregnant because it can cause miscarriage. This herb also affects the clotting of blood and must not be used by those with bleeding disorders or those on anticoagulant drugs.  Dong quai may act like estrogen, so don't use if you have conditions that can be worsen by estrogen.

PRODUCTS

Google "Dang gui", "dang gui",  or any of the scientific names, with any of the following categories to find the variety of products.  Below are links to a few examples - not a comprehensive list.

TYPES

BN: Angelica sinensis AKA 当归 (Dāngguī), Dong Guai, Chinese Angelica, Female Ginseng, Angelica gigas(Korean), Angelica sinensis (Chinese) Angelica acutiloba (Japanese).

GROWING 

Good video describing how it's grown and propagated

 

TCM NOTES

This information is for education purposes only.  Seek the advice of your physician before taking any home remedies, herbs, or supplements.

PropertiesTreatmentsUsageCautionsFormulas
Temp Taste Ent. Meridians Photo
Warm
 

Name

 当归 (Dāngguī)

Sweet
Acrid
Bitter


Action

Tonifies Blood

Heart
Liver
Spleen

Indications/Issues Description / Symptoms Usefulness(1-10)
Menstrual irregularities • Period comes more frequently than 21 day
• Period is 35 days or more between cycles
• The length of cycles varies greatly
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Menstrual cramps • Throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Menopause • Hot flashes,  mood swings, depression, Insomnia,  vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, lower sex drive, and urinary incontinence ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Anemia • Headaches, dizziness, easily bruised, persistent fatigue, tingling in toes and fingers ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Allergies • Sneezing, itchy nose, watery eyes
• Hives, rash, wheezing, unable to breath
Lip, tongue, or face swelling
♦♦♦♦
Blood Deficiency • Tonifies blood ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

 

Directions:

1. Stew a 2-3 inch slice of dang gui with eggs or chicken for 45 minutes.  Drink the broth.
2. Take dang gui supplements per instructions on bottle
3. Drink tea that has dang gui in the mix

DOSAGE information found online

Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.

• Dong quai comes in raw root, tablets, capsule, and powder form.   It is also given as an injection at hospitals in Japan and China.
• There is no recommended dosage on the dried herb (root) that I can find.  Some websites recommend 3-15g.
• Do not use aluminum or stainless steel for Dong Guai.  Put 4 cups of water in stoneware or glass container.   Add chicken or beef and one small dong quai root, or half of a large one.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours until half the liquid is left.  Consume the broth.  Best time is after the menstrual cycle.
• Capsules For menopausal symptoms, people took 500 to 600 mg tablets or capsules up to 6 times daily.7
• Tincture (1:5 w/v, 70% alcohol): 2 to 4 mL.  3 times daily is one possible dosing schedule - doses may vary.  Dong guai is usually prescribed as part of a formula containing synergistic herbs. 7
• Infusion: 1 oz. root simmered in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes along with a little fresh ginger. Take 1 day per week as a uterine tonic.

PARTS USED

• The head (Dang Gui Tou), is more tonifying and moves blood upward.
• The body (Dang Gui Shen), is more nourishing and invigorates the blood.
• Dry fried any parts of the root will make it warmer and can be used to tonify the blood and reduces the possible side effects of diarrhea.

Dang gui is often given as an injection in China and Japan.  

***Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.***

Contraindications

• Do not take dong guai if you are pregnant.
• Do not give this root to children.
• Essential oil has small amount of cancer-causing substances and should not be ingested.
• Individuals with diarrhea, abdominal bloating, at risk of breast cancer, overian caner, or uterine cancer should not take this herb because of its phytoestrogen effects on the body.

Drugs Interactions

• Courmarin is the active ingredient that allows dang gui to be used as an anti-coagulant and to treat hypertension and other illness related to blood - tonifies blood.  Avoid taking this herb with other anti-coagulant medications like: Coumadindipyridamoleenoxaparinclopidogrel (Plavix)AsprinHeparinmore...
• Dang gui also contains furanocoumarins,9  which produce the grapefruit effect and may increase the amount of a drug in one's blood stream than what was prescribed.  The drugs include calcium antagonist (blood pressure reducers), benzodiazepines midazolam and triazolam (anti-depressants) and terfenadine(antihistamine).  This is due to the herb's inhibition of the drug's metabolizing enzyme, cytochrome P450 (CYP).10  Alternatively, this effect can also block transport enzyme, thereby making a drug(Allegra) less effective than prescribed.

Herb Interactions

Be cautious when using this with other herbs containing anticoagulant properties.  These herbs include the following - not a comprehensive list: American GinsengArnicaCassia CinnamonChamomile Ginger,  Goji Berrymore...

Xiang Fan/ Incompatibility:

Xiang Wei/ Counteraction:

Xiang Sha/ Suppression:

Xiang Wu / Antagonism:

Xiang Xu/ Accentuation:

Xiang Shi/ Enhancement:

 

This herb is an ingredient in the following formulas:

EDITOR NOTES

Dang Gui is a household herb.  My mother would cook it with a couple of eggs, chicken, or beef.  She would stew it in a small ceramic pot and drink the broth.  She often makes it after a period.  I also read that dang gui is high in cobalt, which helps with my lower back pain during menstrual cycles.  I've also used iron pills with the same effect.

 

REFERENCES

  1. nih.gov 2/17/2018 The natural compound n-butylidenephthalide derived from Angelica sinensis inhibits malignant brain tumor growth in vitro and in vivo
  2. cancer.gov 2/17/18 Radix Angelicae sinensis/Radix Astragali herbal supplement
  3. nih.gov 2/17/2018  Potential therapeutic effects of N-butylidenephthalide from Radix Angelica Sinensis (Danggui) in human bladder cancer cells.
  4. nih.gov 2/17/18  A novel polysaccharide, isolated from Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels induces the apoptosis of cervical cancer HeLa cells through an intrinsic apoptotic pathway.
  5. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2/17/18 Ultrafine Angelica gigas Powder Normalizes Ovarian Hormone Levels and Has Antiosteoporosis Properties in Ovariectomized Rats: Particle Size Effect
  6. nih.gov Angelica acutiloba root attenuates insulin resistance induced by high-fructose diet in rats.
  7. umm.edu 2/17/18
  8. medlineplus.gov 2/17/18
  9. Lin Y, Sheu M, Huang C, Ho H. Development of a Reversed-Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Method for Analyzing Furanocoumarin Components in Citrus Fruit Juices and Chinese Herbal Medicines. March 2009.
  10. Dharmananda S. The Interactions of Herbs and Drugs. Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland Oregon. Retrieved 4/8/2018

This information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.   Always consult a doctor prior to using herbal medicine.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes.

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