Dong Quai Herb – Uses And Side Effects

Dong Quai

What is Dong quai ?

Dong quai comes from the roots of Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis, a fragrant perennial herb native to China, Korea, and Japan.

Common doses of Dong quai

Dong quai comes as tablets (fluid extract, 0.5 grams) and raw root (4.5 to 30 grams to be boiled or soaked in wine). In some countries, it also comes in injectable forms. In one study, people received a dose of 1 gram of the root.

Why people use Dong quai herb

  • Buerger’s disease (a condition of obstruction, inflammation, and blood clotting in a blood vessel)
  • Chronic runny nose
  • Constipation
  • Excessive fetal movement
  • Gynecologic disorders, such as irregular menstruation, painful menstruation. premenstrual syndrome, and chronic pelvic infection
  • Headache
  • Hepatitis
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections, including those producing pus
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Malaria
  • Raynaud’s disease (a condition of intermittent slowing of blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears or nose)
  • Severe stabbing pains
  • Shingles
  • Toothache
  • Ulcers

Side effects of Dong quai

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of dong quai:


Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don’t use dong quai while taking blood thinners.

Important points to remember

  • Don’t ingest volatile oil of dong quai because one of its components can cause cancer.
  • Don’t use this herb if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding because it may harm the fetus. Report planned or suspected pregnancy.
  • Report unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Know that some of the herb’s components increase the risk of certain cancers.
  • To help prevent skin sensitivity to sunlight, use sun block and wear adequate clothing and sunglasses.
  • Don’t use this herb for its estrogen-like effects because these effects haven’t been proven.

What the research shows

Only a few animal studies support the many therapeutic claims for dong quai. The herb seems to have more than 18 active chemical components, which exert widely divergent effects. Some components can cause cancer and others have unknown side effects. Extensive testing of individual components must be done before dong quai can be deemed safe or effective.

Other names for Dong quai : –

Other names for dong quai include Chinese angelica, drykuei, tang-kuei, and women’s ginseng.

Products containing dong quai are sold under such names as Dong K wai, Dong Quai Capsules, and Dong Quai Fluid Extract.

Useful References

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