Dong Quai, also referred to as Chinese Angelica sinensis. The plant and its roots are utilised as a natural remedy for the treatment of several medical conditions related to the hormone oestrogen. Hence, why it is commonly known as female ginseng. Furthermore, it’s colloquially known as the ‘Blood Mover’, because it contains coumarins that gives it the property of a blood thinner.1
Origin of Dong Quai
The botanical name of Dong Quai is Angelica sinensis and it belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is a small plant that grows up to 3 inches in height. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that is native to Japan and China and grows best in high altitude areas which are cold and damp. White flowers in small clusters grow on the plant of Dong Quai. It is cultivated extensively for its roots that are harvested in the autumn season.2
Anecdotal Information about its use in Chinese medicine
Dong Quai is a Chinese phrase which literally means “state of return” or ‘return to order’ and it is well known in restoring the various organ systems of the body to their normal working condition. The herb got its name Angelica Sinensis from a medieval folk tale according to which a Chinese Monk. He dreamed about an angel who taught him to use Dong Quai to treat the ailments of people; hence, the name Angelica from angel. Dong Quai has been used since thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat multiple problems associated with health of females. It is also nicknamed “The Blood Mover” due to the therapeutic effects it has on the circulatory system and blood cells.
What are the Health Benefits of Dong Quai?
The active ingredients present in Dong Quai are Ferulic Acid and Coumarin, which provides it anti-inflammatory and blood thinning properties. Dong Quai has been found to have many health benefits some of which are described below:
Relieves the Symptoms of Menopause
During menopause, the hormones secreted by the ovaries reduce as you grow older. You may develop menopause in your late 40s or early 50s. Symptoms of menopause are night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, development of osteoporosis and hair loss. Dong Quai proves to be a natural remedy that helps in relieving the symptoms associated with menopause. Dong Quai has effects similar to the hormone oestrogen and it relieves the symptoms of menopause by regulating the levels of oestrogen which is reduced during menopause.
According to a study published in the journal ‘Phytotherapy research,’ it was demonstrated that extract of roots of Dong Quai has effects similar to oestrogen hormone and that this may help to regulate the hormone levels and relieve your menopausal symptoms.4
It is also beneficial for females in preventing osteoporosis and strengthening bones. Osteoporosis is characterized by brittle and weak bones and a raised risk of fracture of bones. Elderly females who have entered menopause are more susceptible to develop osteoporosis due to decline in oestrogen hormone during menopause, which is responsible for regulation of formation of bone. Dong Quai helps in the prevention of bone loss due to menopause.
According to research, Dong Quai can help prevent the development of osteoporosis by strengthening and building up bones. In a study published in the ‘International journal of clinical chemistry’, it was found that formation of human bone cells increased when they were treated with extract of Dong Quai.6
Another study published in the journal ‘Nutrients’ demonstrated that treating rats whose ovaries were removed with extract of Dong Quai prevented bone loss in them. Moreover, no toxicity related to treatment was observed in rats.7
Why not try Dong Quai with White Kwao Krua or Sage both of which are also good herbal remedies to relieve symptoms of menopause.
Blood and Heart Health
Dong Quai helps in purifying blood and improving the circulation of blood. It is slightly warm and bitter and can invigorate blood and provide treatment for syndromes of stagnation of blood. It has the ability to tonify blood and treat deficiency of blood. Due to this characteristic of Dong Quai, it is suitable to treat syndromes of blood stagnation and blood deficiency. Such syndromes are seen in patients with weak constitution or in chronic diseases.11
It also helps in promoting the health of your heart. Coronary artery disease, the most frequently occurring heart disease, results from the build up of cholesterol and plaque in your arteries, which makes them hard and narrow.
Reducing your levels of cholesterol is an excellent way to decrease your heart disease risk and promote health of heart. Dong Quai is an herbal medicine that helps in reducing your cholesterol levels.
According to an animal study published in the journal ‘Food and function’, it was demonstrated that pre diabetic and diabetic mice that were given Dong Quai for 4 weeks had reduced levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol.8
In another study published in the ‘Chinese medical journal’ it was demonstrated that giving Dong Quai in combination with another herbal medicine Huang Qi, decreased triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in nephritic rats.9
Why not try Dong Quai along with OV Blood Pressure, Omega 3, Beetroot or Iron as they also help in promoting blood and heart health.
Promotes Women’s Health
Dong Quai is popularly known as ‘female ginseng’ and it is one of the most popular herbal medicines for balancing female hormones. It is taken by females who have blurry vision, frail body, dull and pale complexion, dry skin, ridges in nail bed and increased heart beat. It helps in relieving menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhoea in females. Ligustillide is a component present in Dong Quai and it has shown to have antispasmodic properties particularly for the muscles of the uterus. Dong Quai as a natural herb may also help in regulating your menstrual cycles. It has been beneficial as a menstrual regulator, tonic for reproductive health of females and a cure for amenorrhea. It also benefits females who are facing fertility challenges due to tubal blockages.
In one study of females who were having infertility due to tubal occlusion, extract of Dong Quai was administered through vaginal irrigation for duration of nine months. Patency of the tubes were regained in about 80% of females in the study and 53% of them became pregnant. 11
According to a study published in the journal ‘European Medicines Agency’, by taking a concentrated dosage of Dong Quai two times a day, improvement in the abdominal pain was noticed in 39% of females. The improvement was such that no painkillers were required. Their menstrual cycles also normalized. 54% of females had less severe pain; however, they still required some painkillers to perform routine tasks.10
Why not try Dong Quai along with Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Omega 3, OV Women’s Vitality Pack, complex health Pack for Women under 50 as they all help in promoting women’s health.
To help your body heal naturally and to build its vitality and energy there are various herbal adaptogens which help in reducing stress and its related symptoms. Adaptogens are natural herbal medicines that help in increasing the resistance of your body to stress and other hazardous environmental agents. They help in normalizing the functions of your body regardless of stressors impacting you. They have the capability to maintain equilibrium in your body with no adverse effects even when you use them for long term. Adaptogens help the body fight stress by improving energy of the body at cellular level.
Dong Quai is a natural herbal medicine, which acts as an adaptogen and helps the body rebuild its energy sources. It works directly with the mitochondria of the cells, also known as the powerhouse of a cell. According to research, dysfunction of mitochondria is not only behind aging but also behind various diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Dong Quai produces restorative effects on the mitochondria of the cells and helps in repairing the energy resources of your body. It is also a rich source of Vitamins A, E and B12.12
Dong Quai also helps in the treatment of depression and promotes calmness of mind. According to a study published in the journal ‘Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine’, depressive behaviours in rats exhibited by symptoms of reduced physical activity and appetite that were induced by exposing the rats to mild stress were normalized by giving them an extract of Dong Quai.13
Why not try Dong Quai with OV Energy Boost, B Complex, Creatine, Cordyceps Sinensis and Maca as they also help in promoting the energy and vitality of the body.
Dong Quai is an herbal remedy that is used in Traditional Chinese medicine since centuries to treat various medical conditions. It is also referred to as female ginseng and is a popular herb used to balance female hormones. It has multiple health benefits such as it helps in improving the menopausal symptoms in females, promotes blood circulation and heart health, improves menstrual cramps and fertility in females and promotes energy and vitality of the body.
** Dong Quai is also referred to by the following names Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis, Angelique Chinoise, Angelicae Gigantis Radix, Angelique de Chine, Dang Gui, Chinese Angelica, Danggui, Don Quai, Danguia, Kinesisk Kvan, Radix Angelicae Gigantis, Ligustilides, Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tang Kuei, Tanggwi, Toki.3