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Information on Dong quai including the benefits and uses of using Dong quai. Your Health are located in Australia are a group of alternative / holistic doctors and use Dong quai as part of a holistic approach to health.
Dong quai
Botanical name

Angelica sinensis


Dong quai (also known as Danggui) has been used for over a thousand years throughout Asia. Dong quai is considered to be one of the top five herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine and as such is a very complex herb, combined with many other herbs in various traditional formulas. It is never used on its own. The active constituents of dong quai have exhibited the following properties in animal studies:

  • Both stimulation and relaxation of uterine muscles, providing a balancing effect on uterine activity
  • Inhibition of platelet aggregation and blood clotting
  • Vasodilation (blood vessel relaxation)
  • Pain relieving, mild sedative and anti-spasmodic effects
  • Hepatoprotective (liver protecting) effects
  • Mild laxative effects
  • Anti-anaemic due to iron and vitamin E content
Conditions commonly used for

Dong quai is incorporated into many combination formulas in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and used for a variety of clinical purposes, including gynaecological and cardiovascular conditions.

  • Reproductive - irregular periods, menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhoea), scanty periods, menopausal symptoms
  • Digestive disorders - constipation, haemorrhoids, liver disorders
  • Migraine headaches, nerve pain
  • Cardiovascular disease - hypertension, heart disease, thrombosis (blood clots), angina, anaemia, varicose veins
Common dosage range

Dong quai is never prescribed on its own - it is always a part of a complex herbal formula, with doses ranging from 3 to 15 g per day.

Cautions, Contraindications and Side Effects

  • While adverse reactions to dong quai are uncommon, the primary concerns are the possibility of photodermatitis, rash, or sensitivity reaction. These effects are more likely to occur with higher doses. Because dong quai has been associated with photodermatitis, it should not be taken with other medications that may also cause photosensitivity reactions. People taking dong quai should minimise exposure to ultraviolet light or use sunscreen while taking this herb.
  • Dong quai should not be used in the case of chronic diarrhea, abdominal distention, bleeding tendency or heavy periods.
  • Not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • Dong quai may increase the effects of anticoagulant, antiplatelet, and antithrombotic drugs - please discuss with your healthcare practitioner.
Links & Other Information

It is not within the scope of the YourHealth website to provide comprehensive information on documented or potential herb-drug interactions. Please seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner.

Contact YourHealth for referenced material regarding this herb, any conditions or therapies mentioned.

A Medical Practitioner specialising in Integrative Medicine, a qualified Nutritionist or Naturopath will be well trained in the use of nutrients, including their proper dosage, contraindications and potential drug interactions.

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