Dong Quai

By SheCares Editorial Team | Updated: Jun 18, 2020

What Is Dong Quai?

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is a fragrant, perennial plant that grows at high altitudes in the cold, damp mountain regions of China, Korea, and Japan. The yellowish-brown, thick-branched roots of the dong quai herb have been used for thousands of years for their vast number of medicinal uses. The herb is sometimes referred to as "female ginseng," and it has recently earned itself a considerable following in Australia and the United States.

herbs for menopause

The reputation of dong quai is second only to ginseng and is classically considered the ultimate, all-purpose woman's tonic herb because of its ability to ease gynecological disorders.

What Is Dong Quai Used for?

Dong quai has been widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gynecological ailments, fatigue, mild anemia, and high blood pressure for thousands of years. This phytoestrogenic herb has a variety of properties, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and sedative, and it is also used as an aphrodisiac.

Currently, the primary use of dong quai is regulating gynecological disorders, including menopause symptoms and premenstrual (PMS) symptoms.

Dong quai is used for:

Relieving menstrual disorders

Relieving menopause symptoms, including:

How Dong Quai Works

Dong quai works in the female body by raising the amount of estrogen, an important female hormone that regulates many bodily functions.

How Dong Quai Works

Dong quai accomplishes this because it contains phytoestrogens, which are botanical compounds that have a chemical structure very similar to estrogen. In other words, dong quai replaces the natural human hormones with plant hormones, raising the amount of estrogen and leading to higher hormone levels.

Dong quai's reputation as a female tonic is largely thanks to its ability to reduce the symptoms of PMS and regulate the menstrual cycle. Countless women have used it to treat amenorrhea (irregular or absent periods) and menorrhagia (heavy bleeding or prolonged periods). The herb's long-standing popularity for reducing menstrual cramps as well as the pain of endometriosis has been ascribed to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions.

However, the use of dong quai has been recently questioned by medical establishment because this herb may stimulate the development of breast cancer cells with estrogen receptors due to its phytoestrogen content.

In any case, you should get informed about the benefits and side effects of this phytoestrogenic herb before using it in order to make the best decision. Continue reading to find out more.

Benefits and Side Effects of Dong Quai

Before using dong quai, women should be aware of the beneficial and the adverse effects this phytoestrogenic herb has.

Dong quai benefits

Benefits and Side Effects of Dong Quai

Dong quai relieves menopause symptoms and PMS. This phytoestrogenic herb is effective for some women as a short-term treatment for alleviating menopause symptoms, as well as menstrual disorders and PMS.

Dong quai is a good alternative to HRT. The phytoestrogens in dong quai can supply the needed hormones to mitigate estrogen loss. In those terms, dong quai intake has almost the same benefits as HRT with less cost.

Dong quai has several potential health benefits besides relieving menopause symptoms. Dong quai may help reduce chest pains and high blood pressure, but these uses have not been extensively studied.

Dong quai side effects

Dong quai may stimulate breast cancer. This herb may provoke the spread of breast cancer cells that have estrogen receptors because of the herb's phytoestrogens.

Dong quai causes skin inflammation and rashes because it increases an individual's sensitivity to sunlight. People taking dong quai should minimize their exposure to sunlight or use sunscreen while taking the herb.

Dong quai's contraindications. Dong quai cannot be used by pregnant women or by people being treated with any anticoagulant or blood thinner.

Conclusions about Dong Quai

Dong quai is very effective for treating many menopause symptoms, and it's reasonably priced compared to HRT. However, dong quai has been recently questioned because it adds artificial hormones to the body. By doing this, dong quai can raise the risk of developing breast cancer and blood clots. Even so, this herb may be a suitable option for short-term treatments.

You can find other alternative treatments that are just as effective as dong quai, but have no side effects. For example, hormone-regulating herbs are a great alternative for treating hormonal imbalance.

Hormone-regulating Herbs for Hormonal Balance

Hormone-regulating herbs have nutrients that nourish the endocrine system to balance hormone levels naturally, avoiding side effects. This means that hormone-regulating herbs make the body itself produce the needed hormones. Click on the following link to read more about hormone-regulating herbs for balancing hormone levels.