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Dong Quai

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What other names is Dong Quai known by?

Angelica China, Angelica sinensis, Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis, Angelicae Gigantis Radix, Angélique Chinoise, Angélique de Chine, Chinese Angelica, Dang Gui, Danggui, Danguia, Don Quai, Kinesisk Kvan, Ligustilides, Radix Angelicae Gigantis, Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Tang Kuei, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tanggwi, Toki.

What is Dong Quai?

Dong quai is a plant. People use the root to make medicine.

Dong quai is used for menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms. It is also used orally as a "blood purifier"; to manage hypertension, infertility, joint pain, ulcers, "tired blood" (anemia), and constipation; and in the prevention and treatment of allergic attacks. Dong quai is also used orally for the treatment of loss of skin color (depigmentation) and psoriasis.

Some men apply dong quai to the skin of the penis as part of a multi-ingredient preparation for treating premature ejaculation.

In Southeast Asia, other Angelica species are sometimes substituted for dong quai (Angelica sinensis). Most often these include Angelica acutiloba, which is predominantly found in Japan; and Angelica gigas, which is mainly found in Korea. Although these three species are similar, the chemicals they contain are different. Don't think of these species as interchangeable.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Heart disease. Early research suggests that injecting a specific product containing dong quai, ginseng, and astragalus (Yi-qi Huo-xue Injection) intravenously (by IV) reduces chest pain, improves heart function, and increases exercise tolerance in people with heart disease.
  • Stroke. Early research suggests that injecting 200 mL of solution containing dong quai intravenously (by IV) for 20 days does not improve brain function in people who had a stroke due to a blocked blood flow to the brain.
  • Menopausal symptoms. The effect of dong quai on menopausal symptoms is unclear. In a study evaluating dong quai, it was found to have no beneficial effect on menopausal symptoms. However, in some studies evaluating products containing dong quai and other ingredients hot flashes were decreased.
  • Migraine. Early research suggests that taking a combination of soy, dong quai, and black cohosh for 24 weeks reduces migraines associated with menstruation.
  • Problems during pregnancy. Early research suggests that taking a combination of dong quai, motherwort, white peony, Banks' rose, and Ligustica during pregnancy reduces the risk of having a miscarriage in pregnant women with maternal-fetal blood group incompatibility.
  • High blood pressure arteries carrying blood from the heart to the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Early research suggests that injecting 250 mL of a dong quai solution intravenously (by IV) for up to 10 days reduces pressure and improves blood flow in people with pulmonary hypertension.
  • Premature ejaculation. Early research shows that applying a cream contain dong quai and other herbs might improve premature ejaculation. The other herbs included in the cream are Panax ginseng root, Cistanches deserticola, Zanthoxyl species, Torlidis seed, clove flower, Asiasari root, cinnamon bark, and toad venom (SS Cream).
  • Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea).
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Joint aches and pains.
  • Ulcers.
  • Anemia.
  • Constipation.
  • Skin discoloration and psoriasis.
  • Allergies.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dong quai for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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