Herbal Meds

Dong Quai, an effective treatment for health conditions in women

Where does Dong Quai come from?

Dong Quai, also known as Chinese Angelica, is widely cultivated for medicinal purposes in China. Dong Quai also grows wild in Asia.

The most widely available therapeutic form is derived from the root of A. sinensis, a plant with hollow stems that have clusters of white flowers.

In the late 1800’s, Dong Quai became popular in Europe as a herbal treatment for gynecological problems. Dong Quai has also been used for centuries in Korean and Japanese herbal medicine.

How can Dong Quai help me?

Generally, Dong Quai is used to keep the uterus healthy and to regulate the menstrual cycle.

This herbal Medicine is also believed to widen blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to various organs.

Migraine headaches associated with the menstrual cycle is also alleviated by the use of Dong Quai.

Using Dong Quai will assist with correcting abnormal menstrual bleeding, easing menstrual cramps and alleviating symptoms of PMS. Dong Quai has also been used to reduce menopausal hot flushes and other symptoms associated with menopause.

This herb is also rich in Vitamin B12, helping to build red blood cells.

Dong Quai contains coumarins, which is a group of natural chemicals that dilates blood vessels, increases blood flow to the uterus and also stimulates the central nervous system.

Some herbalists believe that Dong Quai contain plant oestrogens, which are weaker than the oestrogens produced by the human body. These plant oestrogens bind with oestrogen receptors in human cells, minimizing the negative effects of a woman’s own oestrogen, which include an increased risk of breast cancer.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side effects I need to know about when using Dong Quai?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Due to its anticoagulant and anti-platelet effects, Dong Quai should not be used by patients with bleeding disorders or patients that are using blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin.

Increased sun sensitivity may occur and prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultra-violet light should be avoided when using Dong Quai.

Dong Quai may have laxative properties and could also cause bloating.

Dong Quai should not be used during pregnancy and if a woman is breastfeeding due to the hormones that this herb contains.

Studies have shown that Dong Quai can interact with birth control pills rendering it ineffective or by reducing the effectiveness.

How do I take Dong Quai?

For PMS, menstrual irregularities, menstrual cramps or hot flushes a dosage of 600mg daily is recommended.

Use of Dong Quai with other menstrual-regulating herbs such as Chasteberry and Siberian ginseng is also recommended.

For PMS, use Dong Quai on the days that you are not menstruating. For hot flushes use it daily. The use of Dong Quai should be continued for a period of two months before deciding if it has any effect.

Powdered or dried roots as well as tinctures are readily available.

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