Dong quai, also known as tang-kuei, dang-gui and Angelica polymorpha has been prescribed in China, Korea and Japan for thousands of years. A member of the same botanical group as parsley, carrots, celery and dill, Dong quai has traditionally been used to treat “female ailments” and other conditions (in both sexes) such as high blood pressure, ulcers, arthritis, allergies, inflammation, constipation, and muscle soreness.
Current uses for dong quai focus primarily on women’s health conditions including menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, anemia associated with menstrual blood loss, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, recovery from childbirth as well as low energy and fatigue.
It is thought that dong quai has weak estrogen like effects but it is not clear whether it has the same effect as estrogen. Human research is ongoing regarding this remarkable herb. Years of anecdotal evidence and preliminary research point to its efficacy.
Dong quai appears to be more effective when combined with other substances especially for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. It has been found to be most effective when combined with black cohosh.
Dong quai may have some side effects including a risk of bleeding when combined with anti coagulants such as warfarin, or heparin, anti platelet drugs such as Plavix and NSAIDS.
Always consult with your health care provider when using herbal supplements so that he or she can determine if there are possible interactions with medications you may be taking.