Dong Quai [Glandular] pronounced “don kwy,” is considered the queen of herbs by the Chinese and is China’s most popular herb for women.
Chinese physicians use the herb to enrich the blood, promote circulation, regulate menstruation, calm nerves and soothe the intestines.
The plant’s root has a vitamin E content that actually outranks that of wheat germ.
Dong quai is also a source of iron and cobalt.
Take one or two capsules with a meal three times daily.
SIZE: 100 capsules
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Dong quai, also known to Traditional Chinese Medicine as dang gui, is among the most popular herbs in both China and America for treating female conditions. Chinese herbalists use dong quai to promote balance for conditions of unhealthy imbalance in the body, to restore the body's vital energy known as qi, and to nourish the blood, heart, liver and spleen.
Dong quai is believed to promote blood flow to the female reproductive organs, thus balancing menstruation. Research shows dong quai regulates uterine contractions, both stimulating and relaxing the uterus depending on how the herb is prepared. Thus, dong quai's antispasmodic properties are helpful for relieving menstrual cramps and pain. Dong quai is commonly used to treat anemia, bleeding disorders, hemorrhaging, menstrual irregularities such as amenorrhea and PMS, menopausal complaints and postpartum healing. Chinese herbalists also regard dong quai as an aphrodisiac which stimulates the reproductive organs, increases the effectiveness of ovarian and testicular hormones, and enhances fertility.
As a tonic for the blood, dong quai is helpful for women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia, as such a condition can lead to anemia. However, dong quai should not be taken during menstruation since the herb promotes blood flow and could aggravate the condition.
Research indicates dong quai promotes oxygen absorption by the liver and raises metabolism. Dong quai enhances the liver's ability to regulate glycogen production to normalize blood sugar levels, thus aiding in the treatment of diabetes. Dong quai has also been shown to relieve stagnation in the spleen, improve digestion, and treat constipation and dyspepsia, particularly among the elderly. Dong quai is even recommended for treating skin problems such as abscesses and boils.
Dong quai acts as a mild analgesic (pain-reliever), laxative, and sedative, and exhibits some antibacterial activity against vaginal infection. Dong quai has been used to relieve pain associated with angina, arthritis, gout, injury, neuralgia. Recent studies have shown dong quai reduces angina, arrhythmia, and blood cholesterol, and may prove beneficial in the treatment of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Dong quai's effect on circulation promotes a warming sensation which is helpful for treating ague—fever accompanied by chills or shivering— and colds.
Dong quai is rich in vitamin B3 (niacin), E, and the minerals cobalt, iron and magnesium. There is also some vitamin A present. Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12 , which may explain dong quai's beneficial effect on cases of pernicious anemia. Dong quai also contains a chemical compound that increases hair follicle activity and may help stimulate hair growth.
Researchers have yet to explain the mysterious relationship which exists between dong quai and another herb commonly used for female complaints, black cohosh. Most women benefit from taking either one or the other. Mixed together in herbal combinations where dong quai is dominant, the result is typically relief from cramping and increased menstrual flow; and where black cohosh is dominant, menstrual flow and swelling are reduced.
Pregnant women should avoid taking large doses, as dong quai contains a volatile oil which can act as a uterine stimulant. Dong quai also has a weak but apparent estrogenic effect on the body. Diabetics should also use caution when taking dong quai due to its natural sugar content.
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Dong Quai — Angelica sinensisBy Steven Horne and Paula Perretty
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is a member of the parsley family and closely related to the Western herb, angelica (A. archangelica). Both dong quai and angelica have a very feminine energy and have long been used to help women find balance in their health and emotions. In fact, dong quai means, ‘state of return’ in Chinese, referring to the use of the herb to help women return to their natural physical and emotional state. It counteracts the accumulation of toxins and emotions in the liver system.
In Chinese medicine, dong quai is often considered the female ‘ginseng.’ However, just as ginseng is not an herb for men only, dong quai is not an herb for women only.
In Chinese medicine dong quai is primarily used as a blood tonic. It helps build (or nourish) the blood and improves circulation. Dong Quai contains iron and is also reported to contain B 12, a vitamin needed for the assimilation of iron. Since women lose blood each month through their menstrual cycle, dong quai is used in Chinese medicine to rebuild this lost blood. It is typically combined with peony and other herbs for this purpose. Both Monthly Maintenance and Chinese Blood Build contain dong quai and other blood building herbs and are helpful formulas for anemia, PMS and menstrual pain and cramping.
Dong quai also contains coumarins. These compounds dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. They also help relieve muscle cramps and inflammation. Women who experience pain associated with their periods may have muscle cramps or blood stagnation, or both. Muscle cramps tend to produce sharp pains, and respond favorably to antispasmodic herbs like lobelia or wild yam. A dull, congested, painful feeling is due to blood stagnation and responds better to blood moving herbs like ginger and dong quai.
Like ginger, and its cousin angelica, dong quai has beneficial effects on digestion. It stimulates digestive secretions and can be helpful for gas and bloating. It also has a mild laxative effect. This is why it is included in Chinese Anti-Gas Formula and LBS II, a laxative blend.
There is conflicting information about dong quai containing phytoestrogens. Some sources say it does, others say none have been discovered. Dong quai does appear to help balance estrogen levels. Some of the female health problems dong quai has been used for relieving hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, post partum weakness, irregular menstruation, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease and PMS. For these conditions, dong quai is almost always used in conjunction with other herbs. Dong quai is found in Female Comfort and FCS II (general female tonics), 5-W (for the last five weeks of pregnancy), Flash Ease (for hot flashes and menopausal symptoms), Breast Enhance (for aiding breast development) and Monthly Maintenance (for PMS).
In addition to the female health problems mentioned above, dong quai has also been used for chronic sinus congestion, allergies, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and headaches. So, it isn’t just a ‘female’ herb.
Dong quai is found in many of NSP’s Chinese herbal formulas under another name, dang gui. It is in Blood Build (a great formula for women who are weak or anemic due to heavy menstrual bleeding), Liver Balance (for liver congestion), IF-C (for inflammation), Lung Support (for lung weakness), Mood Elevator (for depression and sagging energy), Nervous Fatigue Formula (for ‘burn-out’ from stress), Spleen Activator (for weak digestion) and Trigger Immune (for general weakness). One can readily see that dong quai has benefits way beyond just being a ‘female’ herb.
Although dong quai is a very safe herb, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy (except during the last five weeks) and should not be taken during periods by women with heavy menstrual bleeding. It should be used with caution by people taking blood thinners or with clotting disorders. These cautions don’t necessarily apply to formulas containing dong quai as the amounts are usually small enough to not be of concern.