Botanical Name – Angelica sinensis
Chinese Name – DANG GUI
English Name – Chinese Angelica Root
When Chinese angelica is used as a medicinal herb it is mostly known by its Chinese name “Dong Quai”.
Dong quai is a member of the Umbelliferae family and is a fragrant perennial plant which can grow up to 2 meters tall, and produces white flowers in early summer.
Dong quai is native to China and is typically found growing in damp mountain ravines, meadows, river banks, and near the sea.
Angelica sinensis grows in cool high altitude mountains in China, Japan, and Korea. The yellowish brown root of the plant is harvested in Autumn and is a well-known Chinese medicine used for thousands of years.
The root is one ingredient of “four things soup”, a traditionally used woman’s tonic in China. Dong quai is often called “female ginseng” and it is as highly regarded as Panax ginseng.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Anti – Cancer – The polysaccharides found in the root might be able to increase the ability of the natural killer cells and other immune cells to destroy tumours. Researchers continue to study the potential of the herb as a treatment for cancer.
Anti-Bacterial – The root has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to hold back the development of fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
Anti-Fatigue – Traditionally Angelica Sinensis has been used for recovery from childbirth and related ailments, fatigue, and low vitality.
Anti-spasmodic –Angelisa Sinensis is mainly used as a female tonic. Its Anti-spasmodic and Analgesic properties make it useful in the treatment of painful periods, menstrual cramps and menstrual migraines.
Cordial – The root of Angelica sinensis contains active compounds that increase the cardiac rest period between heartbeats and relax blood pressure inside the arteries which in turn helps to increase blood flow.
Emmenagogue – The root is also used to stimulate menstrual flow in women.
Menopausal Symptoms – The herb is thought to contain natural hormones (phytoestrogens) and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.
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