Dong Quai: Six Reasons Why These Supplements are Popular with Women


What is Dong Quai?

Dong quai, otherwise known as Angelica sinensis or Chinese angelica is a popular herb used in alternative or integrative medicine especially for women. The plant is also identified as “female ginseng” for two reasons. One reason is that the root bears certain similarities in appearance to ginseng. The second reason would be that dong quai is considered the primary female tonic in contrast to ginseng being the primary male tonic. Described below are reasons why dong quai herbal preparations have achieved popularity with women.

Despite advances in medical care as a result of evidence-based medical research, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) still remains a force to be reckoned with. It must be due to the fact that TCM had the benefit of millennia of study and tradition. TCM has the penchant for using herbs both for prevention and treatment of disease. Dong quai happens to be one those beloved herbs.

#1: Dong Quai Helps Manage Menopause and Other Gynecological Complaints

The herb is used in preparations that are designed to treat symptoms related to menopause as well as premenstrual syndrome. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes can be managed with dong quai root. There also are women who have fertility problems have been prescribed by integrative and alternative medicine practitioners to use the herb. As certain reports indicate that dong quai contains substances that estrogen-like effects, the herb has found use in regulating the menstrual cycle, treating amenorrhea, and promoting recovery after childbirth. Though studies remain inconclusive, there are those that report of dong quai’s potential for preventing breast cancer by regulating estrogen activity.

#2 Dong Quai “Freshens Up” and Revitalizes the Blood

As practitioners of TCM believe it to be a blood tonic, dried root preparations from dong quai have been used to treat certain conditions relating to the blood. Herbalists would testify that dong quai improves blood circulation, making the herb useful for promoting the healing of bruises, preventing and/or treating migraine and managing high blood pressure. Dong quai has been reported to aid in dissolving blood clots as well as correct “blood deficiency” or anemia, functions that can be easily described as improving blood flow.

#3 Dong Quai Helps in the Treatment of Nerve Damage

dong quaiDespite the lack of studies regarding dong quai’s effectiveness, certain practitioners of alternative medicine allege that dong quai promotes nerve repair and alleviates nerve pain. A hypothesis exist that active ingredients in the herb reduce inflammation that surrounds nerves in particular instances, as is said to be contributory towards nerve pain recovery.

#4 Dong Quai Manages Rheumatoid Arthritis, Allergies, and Respiratory Disorders

Rheumatoid arthritis and allergic reactions are the result of the immune system going haywire. Allergies even result into the development of respiratory illnesses such as asthma. The anti-inflammatory properties of dong quai, particularly an antihistamine and antiserotonin effect, helps keep the immune system from overreacting and therefore helps in the treatment of autoimmune disorders and other conditions related to allergies.

#5 Skin Disorders Can Be Treated Using Dong Quai

Skin care is a very important thing for most women, and any skin disorder simply cannot be tolerated. As the herb has the capability of improving blood circulation, it can therefore improve complexion and give individuals a much desired rosy glow. Skin discoloration and blemishes can also be treated using dong quai’s detoxifying properties. The herb’s capability to manage autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions therefore lends into treating various skin conditions within the said etiological scope such as hives, eczema, rosacea, and pruritus. In more simple terms, the “female tonic” provides a way to make a woman’s skin look more radiant and healthy.

#6 Other Fringe Benefits of Dong Quai

Being described as a tonic, the herb has been reported to improve digestion and to exhibit mild laxative properties that aid in bowel movement. Its diuretic effects are helpful in improving kidney function and blood pressure management. The herb is also promoted as helpful in weight management which means that women who are conscious about keeping their figures trim would likely make use of dong quai.

Because of its popularity, dong quai preparations are available in health food and herbal stores, traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine practitioners, and Chinese drug stores. Dong quai is available in dried root, tincture, fluid extract, and capsule forms. As with most herbal medications, scientific studies do not always agree with testimonies from users of dong quai as well as those who prescribe its use. Nevertheless, women who are interested in dong quai should first consult a physician before using it. Given the many benefits associated with the “female ginseng”, it doesn’t come as a surprise that dong quai is popular with women and comes highly recommended in the natural herbal remedy community.

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