Discovering herbs: Dong Quai

Dong quai, also called Chinese Angelica, is a common remedy in both China and the United States. Chinese herbalists often call Dong quai women’s ginseng. It has been used for thousands of years for many medicinal purposes, especially as a tonic for a variety of female problems, and is second only to ginseng in popularity.


The nutritional and healing constituents of Dong quai include; Vitamins A, B3, B12, B-complex, C, E, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, tannins, resin, and volatile oil and the phytoestrogens of Dong quai can help to supply the needed balance to minimise the oestrogen loss in women that occurs around menopause.


Dong quai is also a traditional remedy for disorders of the menstrual cycle, like cessation of menstruation, pain that accompanies menstruation and heavy bleeding. This versatile herb has several other health benefits besides relieving period problems and menopause symptoms and can be used for effectively treating PMS, arthritis, and lowering blood pressure. Chinese herbalists recommend it for both males and females to treat cardiovascular disorders like high blood pressure or circulatory problems and studies show that it can help regulate the production of unhealthy prostaglandins which are responsible for increased blood flow. In addition, Dong quai is very rich in iron and so it is used to treat or prevent anaemia and because Dong quai carries nutrients including magnesium, B12 and vitamin E, which all regulate the nervous system and ease pressure placed upon it, it can also help ease stress and headaches.


Dong quai is a root that is usually crushed into a powder and then taken as a pill.  (Dong quai is contained in the combination herbal supplement Black Cohosh Plus, see the Resources Page).

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