Clayton's Health Facts: Dong Quai.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?

Dong Quai (Angelica) is a plant that is native to China, Korea and Japan. It has been used for centuries in ancient Asian and Oriental medicine systems.

Dong Quai Angelica Acutiloba
Click Image To Enlarge.
Dong Quai (Angelica Acutiloba).
Image Courtesy Of Annie's Annuals.

Dong Quai is also known as Willow Older, the female ginseng, Sovereign herb for women, Empress of the Herbs, Dang Gui and Tang-kuei.

What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?

Dong Quai may be helpful for weight loss. Dong Quai contains vitamins E and B12. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and vitamin B12 aides in the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The actions of vitamins E and B12 are thought to underlie its antioxidant and diuretic and weight loss properties.

Many obese or overweight persons have high blood pressure - hypertension. Dong Quai plays a role in lowering blood pressure and has been known to reduce the occurrence of symptomatic headaches.

This herb has been widely used as an anti-microbial. It stimulates immune system response, contributing to immune system function. It is also used as an adjunct in diabetes treatment because it helps regulate blood sugar.

Dong Quai's chief use has been in gynecological treatment. It helps ease menstrual cramping by controlling the activity of estrogen and balancing the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.

Basic research has also demonstrated that Dong Quai can help to ease joint and muscle pain by acting as an anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory. Dong Quai is also a rich source of iron.

Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?

Females who want to lose weight or who suffer from gynecological complications may benefit from Dong Quai supplementation. Also, women with weak or compromised immune systems can benefit from the immune system stimulating properties of Dong Quai.

There are no symptoms of deficiency.

How Much Should Be Taken?
Are There Any Side Effects?

Strictly adhere to label recommendations. Side effects of use can include mild sedation, sensitivity to sunlight, and blood thinning.

Persons on blood thinning medications, or those who take stimulants, depressants or medicine for diabetes should consult their physician prior to use, as Dong Quai may interact with these medications.1


  1. Abebe W. Herbal medication: potential for adverse interactions with analgesic drugs. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2002 Dec; 27(6):391-401.