Eastern medicine has used Dong Quai as a major ingredient in tinctures, powders, and other various formulations for thousands of years. This supplement is also known by its scientific name, Angelica sinensis, and more loosely in the health supplement community as simply “female ginseng.”
The main health-boosting and restoring properties are extracted from the dried root of the plant, but the flowering plant is used for decorative purposes too, in Korea, Japan, and China where Dong Quai originates. Dong Quai is officially a part of the celery family and are a perennial, meaning they can live for several years.
Keep reading to learn more about Dong Quai’s benefits, side effects, dosing recommendations, and advice for selecting the right product for whatever ails you.
Top 5 Dong Quai Supplements
|Now Foods Dong Quai Root||Solaray Dong Quai Root||Nature’s Answer Dong Quai Root||Herb Pharm Dong Quai Extract||Nature’s Way Dong Quai Root||Swanson Dong Quai Root|
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
|Overall Rating||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||4.9 / 5||4.8 / 5||4.7 / 5|
|Serving Size||2 Capsules||1 Capsule||1 Capsule||0.7ml||2 Capsules||1 Capsule|
|Effectiveness||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||4.9 / 5||4.9 / 5|
|Quality||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||4.9 / 5||4.8 / 5|
|Taste||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||4.5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5|
|Digestibility||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5|
Dong Quai Benefits:
1.Hormone Balancing in Women
The most common benefit for women who consume Dong Quai is also the least understood. Studies have shown that while there appears to be no appreciable increase in serum blood levels of estrogen when consuming Dong Quai, there is significant changes in those hormone levels at the cellular level. This hormonal-balancing effect is also believed to be the reason so many women experience relief from menopausal symptoms when taking Dong Quai.
In addition, many women who suffer from unexplained weight gain, or find it difficult to lose weight despite a healthy low-calorie diet often find this herbal medicine to help get the weight off and keep it off. This effect can also be attributed to elevated levels of vitamin’s B12 and E in Dong Quai root extracts.
2.Menstrual Symptom Relief
Due to the benefits Dong Quai offers in balancing hormones, it has been used to help alleviate undesirable, often unbearable menstrual symptoms in women for thousands of years in Ayurveda and oriental medicine. Symptoms it’s shown the most promise with include cramping, hot flashes, bloating, mood swings, and anemia due to the excessive blood loss some women experience during this time.
Dong Quai has antioxidant properties that give users an unmatched advantage when it comes to reducing oxidation in the blood and body. Studies like this one have shown Dong Quai to be effective at both scavenging and preventing superoxide activity in the bloodstream at rates as high as 85 percent.
Dong Quai helps with circulation in three particular ways. First, its ability to reduce inflammation in the bloodstream and throughout the body using its healthy phenol and flavonoid profile.
Second, ground Dong Quai root contains lots of iron, which is needed for red blood cell health.
Last, the hormone balancing properties may also help to restore optimal circulation levels in those suffering from severe imbalances. This benefit also contributes to improved health of all organs in the body, including the heart and lungs.
Dong Quai contains healthful levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, and biotin, along with heaping doses of phenols and flavonols (see complete breakdown here). These compounds are each responsible for Dong Quai’s ability to improve circulatory health, boost sexual appetite, and potentially prolong life.
Dong Quai helps to improve mood by curbing depression, while also boosting circulation in people of all ages and states of health. Both of these factors are thought to contribute to increased sexual desire and performance in both men and women.
Some male users have indicated that topically-applied Dong Quai helped them get control over premature ejaculation.
7.Male Fertility Booster
Ferulic acid is a potent male fertility enhancer that’s found in Dong Quai. Eastern doctors have been giving it to their male patients for centuries to help boost both male libido and sperm quality.
Anxiolytic medications come in all forms, from prescription to non-prescription. Many with such dire side effects that anxiety patients are forced to stop taking them in order to regain control of their life (ie., the very thing that made them begin taking those meds in the first place).
Though the exact mechanism hasn’t been found, it’s thought Dong Quai’s hormone-balancing effect is responsible for its ability to curb anxiety symptoms.
The anti-inflammatory properties inside Dong Quai once again come to the rescue of people suffering from occasional or chronic joint pain. Those suffering from degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis, and autoimmune conditions affecting the joints such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis may find relief taking doses of Dong Quai on the upper end of the limit regularly.
There are a number of aging processes and environmental invaders ravaging our skin on a daily basis. Dong Quai helps prevent skin aging including wrinkles, acne, pigmentation, varicose veins, and other skin conditions.
It helps these conditions by balancing hormone levels, improving blood flow, and preventing and removing free radicals from the blood stream. Free radicals are nasty little compounds found in our blood that get spread to every cell in our body.
The typical “safe” dosage range is currently 2,000 – 4000 mg (2 – 4 grams) daily. Consuming more may lead to increased risk and severity of the side effects listed next. Consult your doctor if you have any of the conditions and/or are taking any of the medications or supplements listed on this page.
What to Look for on the Package:
Dong Quai may also go by other names, depending on the manufacturer:
• Angelica sinensis
• Radix Angelica sinensis
• dang gui
• Chinese angelica root
Always buy your Dong Quai from a reputable supplier with a positive reputation. Aside from potential quality issues, it’s important to know exactly what, if anything, you’re trying to treat with it:
• If the desire is to use Dong Quai for its overall relaxing properties, including relief from menstruation symptoms or as an anxiety reliever, it’s important to consume the supplement in either pill or quick-brewed tea form. This will make sure you get every ounce of the “volatile” oils contained in the root that are known for the plant’s relaxing benefits.
• If you’re using Dong Quai to stimulate a late oncoming period or as a supplement to stimulate natural childbirth, a decoction or tincture of Dong Quai is preferred. This process eliminates the relaxing oils the root contains and gives you just the stimulation properties.
Dong Quai Side Effects:
1.Reduced Blood Pressure Warning
Dong Quai reduces inflammation throughout the body, including the blood stream. This anti-inflammatory effect can have a significant impact in reducing blood pressure in both people with healthy cardiopulmonary function and those who’ve been diagnosed with conditions like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and other maladies of the heart and circulatory system.
2.May Impede Blood Clotting
One of the most profound benefits of consuming Dong Quai is its ability to naturally thin blood and improve circulation without medication. In healthy individuals, this means that you may find cuts take longer to close.
In individuals who use prescription and non-prescription blood thinners like Warfarin, Coumadin, or Aspirin, the use of Dong Quai can have potential life threatening side effects if you seriously injure yourself or suffer internal bleeding from an accident. Ask your doctor if you’re on any medications before starting Dong Quai.
3.Increased Menstrual Bleeding
Strangely, even though Dong Quai helps alleviate the symptoms of PMS, certain forms of the root have actually shown to increase the rhythmic contractions that take place inside a woman’s womb when menstruation begins. Some women actually take Dong Quai to induce menstruation, and reduce overall time spent on their period. The extra bleeding may come as a surprise if you’re taking Dong Quai for the first time or for other health benefits altogether.
Much like the supplement’s anxiolytic effects, science is not entirely sure why so many users experience an increased sense of relaxation while taking Dong Quai. However, it’s best to take extra care as to the time of day you consume this supplement until you know how strong of an effect it will have on you.
5.Can Exacerbate Hormone Sensitive Conditions
This, in particular, if you’re taking hormone replacements for estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and other maladies. It’s also believed that Dong Quai has such potent hormonal potentiating effects that it can lead to increases in the instance of breast cancers in women, and cancer of the prostate in men.
If you have a family history or known predisposition to these and other types of illnesses that are affected by heightened hormone levels in the body, Dong Quai is best avoided.
Estrogen dominance is a very real and dangerous issue to have going on inside the body, for both women and men.
Since Dong Quai is so popular for its ability to raise cellular estrogen levels, it should come as no surprise that it can also cause the body to produce too much estrogen in some cases. There is a massive list of potential symptoms to look out for including impaired memory, bloating, mood swings, sexual difficulties, trouble sleeping, gynecomastia (men), and many others.
7.Heart Arrhythmia and/or Palpitations
Some people experience arrhythmia and/or palpitations of the heart soon after beginning Dong Quai therapy. Often these symptoms disappear as quickly as they come on. It’s unknown why this occurs, but estrogen and testosterone both affect the way our heart beats. Contact your doctor first before taking it if you’re on any drugs that have an effect on your heartbeat.
Note about the side effects of Dong Quai:
The side effects mentioned above are by no means a guarantee that you’ll suffer any adverse symptoms taking Dong Quai whatsoever. For instance, gynecomastia is often listed as one of the top complications for men, yet only one instance has ever been reported because of Dong Quai usage.
Start off with a low daily dose as noted on the packaging of whatever product you buy, and ramp up slowly to asses your symptoms, positive or negative, for best results.
Dong Quai Interactions/Warnings
• Dong Quai hasn’t been tested for use in children. Medical professionals recommend against giving the supplement to pubescent and prepubescent children.
• Don’t consume Dong Quai if you’re currently on any heart medications, blood thinners, or ACE inhibitors without consulting your doctor.
• Ask your doctor if you should take Dong Quai if you’re currently on any sort of hormone replacement therapy regimen.
• If you currently have breast cancer (women), or a known genetic proclivity to it, or have been diagnosed with or have a family history of prostate cancer (men), do not take Dong Quai.
• Dong Quai, particularly at higher doses, can make your skin more sensitive to the rays of the sun. Wear lots of SPF 40 sunblock during longer exposures.
Dong Quai is a miracle for most who use it.
Relief from PMS symptoms, sub-optimal hormone levels (estrogen), anxiety, joint problems, lack of sexual desire and performance – and fertility issues, are definitely worth it to members of both sexes.
The most benefit appears to be when its consumed at a rate of 2,000 – 4,000 mg of ground root (in powder or tea form) every day.
Always follow the dosing instructions carefully, and always begin at a lower dose then ramp up over the course of a week or more, to assess what Dong Quai can do for you. Stop using immediately if any undesirable side effects come on, and talk to your doctor as soon as possible.