Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
Parts commonly used: Root.
Properties/energetics: Emmenagogue, analgesic, mild laxative, antiarthritic, sedative/Warm; sweet, bitter, spicy.
Uses: The Chinese herb Dong Quai is a processed, cured root derived from a particular species of Angelica (Angelica sinensis). Dong Quai is warm, sweet, spicy, and bitter, It possesses the actions of the other species, but is found to be more tonic. It is often referred to as the “female’s Ginseng” and is used with great success as a female sexual organ tonic and builder of the blood and circulation in the uterine area. It is equally useful as a male sexual organ tonic and remedy especially in conditions such as prostatitis and orchitis (inflammation of the testicles which can be a painful complication of adult occurring mumps and gonorrhea).
Affects on specific body types: Dong Quai enhances metabolic activity in the liver, evidenced by this organ’s increased oxygen consumption. This property, along with its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic effects, makes it quite useful for the liver-deficient, allergy-prone Seer. Use of this root moistens the bowels, alleviating constipation that is a result of dry intestines, often a Seer’s reoccurring condition. Dong quai is known in Chinese medicine as a blood tonic, for it begets a prompt increase in red blood cell propagation. This property renders it a valuable food for individuals who tend toward weakness, anemia, dizziness, a pale face, numbness in the limbs, and/or heart palpitations. It helps normalize heart contractions while it dilates coronary blood vessels, increasing peripheral blood flow and bringing warmth to the extremities. All this works to stabilize the Seer’s blood circulation, thereby nourishing the musculoskeletal system, the abdominal organs, and the reproductive and the respiratory organs.
Precautions: Due to Dong Quai’s ability to prevent blood clotting by inhibiting platelet aggregation and dilating arteries (thus thinning the blood), it should not be used by anyone exhibiting excessive bleeding or taking blood-thinning agents.
Preparations/dosage: Decoction: 1/2 cup three times a day. Infusion: 1/2 cup two to three times a day.
Tincture: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in a cup of warm water.
By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008
For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition