Looking for a natural way to support your overall health and well-being? Look no further than Dong Quai tea! This ancient herbal remedy has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and is known for its potential health benefits and unique flavor profile.

But before you start brewing a pot, it’s important to understand both the potential benefits and risks associated with this powerful brew. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the world of Dong Quai tea together!

What is Dong Quai Tea?

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Dong quai, also known as Angelica sinensis, is a fragrant plant with dainty white flowers. The name “angelica” is a common alternative for this plant. This flower shares a botanical ancestry with vegetables like celery and carrots. The Chinese, the Koreans, and the Japanese all dry the plant’s roots and use them in medicinal preparations. 

Since more than two thousand years ago, dong quai has been utilized as a medicinal herb. Its purpose is to:

  • Treat blood deficiency
  • Boost or activate blood circulation
  • Build blood health
  • Relax bowels
  • Relieve pain
  • Regulate the immune system

Herbalists often recommend Dong quai tea to female patients whose blood needs to be “enriched.” Improving the quality of your blood is the same as making it more enriched or nourishing it. 

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Dong quai tea may be most helpful to women after childbirth, during cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, during and after menstruation. 

Because of this, dong quai is sometimes called the “female ginseng.”

Other names for Dong Quai include:

  • Chinese angelica root
  • Dang gui
  • Tang-kui
  • Radix Angelica Sinensis

There is a general absence of proof in the scientific literature about the direct advantages of dong quai. Since the herb is more of a therapeutic treatment, it shouldn’t be used as the first line of defense. Talk to your primary care physician about any worries or possible adverse reactions to medications you are currently taking.

Dong Quai Tea Benefits

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An increasing body of evidence points to the possibility of scientific connections between the uses of dong quai and its purported benefits [1]. However, to draw any conclusions, there must first be more clinical tests conducted in the Western style. 

The effects that have been hypothesized are likely caused by dong quai’s trans-ferulic acid and its ability to dissolve in fats and oils when used as an essential oil. These components have properties that are anti-inflammatory as well as anticoagulant.

Those who suffer from the following conditions may find relief from taking dong quai:

  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Nerve pain
  • Infections
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart conditions

The traditional Chinese medical theory postulates that various components of the root could each produce a unique set of effects.

Possible Role in Cancer Therapy

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Dong quai tea can stop the cell cycle and cause cell death in cancerous cells. This can be accomplished through the use of dong quai extracts. 

According to research, dong quai may be able to kill cancer cells, including those that cause brain tumors, leukemia, and colon cancer [2]. On the other hand, other studies’ results suggest no discernible impact on cancer cells, particularly in humans.

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According to research from 2011, patients with cancer who take dong quai have a reduced risk of developing anemia, which a low count of red blood cells characterizes [3].

Both men and women use the herb for various purposes since it has nearly universal applications. Always get the OK from your primary care provider before using the herb. It may have an adverse interaction with other medications that you are currently taking.

Facilitating Healthy Blood Flow

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According to the research that has been conducted on how the body processes dong quai after it has been absorbed and eliminated, the herb may improve blood circulation and reduce pain [4].

Extracts of dong quai in both water and ethanol effectively reduce fat accumulation. The presence of excessive adipose tissue is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Why do Females Consume Dong Quai?

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Dong quai, also referred to as “female ginseng,” is well-liked by a significant number of women who typically consume it because of:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Frail body
  • Ridges in their nail beds
  • Dull and Pale complexion
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes and skin

Menopause

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Dong quai tea is a herbal remedy from China that can help with hot flashes. However, more research is needed to determine whether or not dong quai is effective in treating hot flashes, according to a 2006 study published in the journal American Family Physician [5]. 

No significant difference was found between the women who took a product containing dong quai and those who did not take the product in a randomized, controlled study that lasted for over a year [6].

Soothing Menstrual Cramps

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Dong quai tea may be a soothing remedy for women who experience period-related abdominal cramps. It has been demonstrated that dong quai tea, known as ligustilide, can stimulate nonspecific antispasmodic activity, particularly in the uterus muscles [1]. 

Only a small amount of evidence suggests that dong quai tea can control menstrual cycles.

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In a 2004 study, 39% of women who took dong quai twice daily reported a normalization of their menstrual cycle and a reduction in abdominal pain (to the point where they no longer required painkillers). Most respondents (54%), though, said they still needed pain medication to go about their normal day [1].

It is impossible to conclude that dong quai directly affects menstrual pain because the study could have been better balanced, and the results were too similar to those of the control group. There is a chance that dong quai is nothing more than a placebo.

Dong Quai, How Do You Take It?

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The vast majority of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs can be found in the following:

  • Dried form, to be strained and boiled as a soup or tea
  • Injection form, typically in Japan and China only
  • Pill form, sold solely as dong quai or to be mixed with other herbs
  • Granular forms, which may be combined with hot water
  • Raw or Bulk form, including berries, roots, leaves, and twigs.

Dong quai tea is typically taken in combination with other herbs. The foundation of traditional Chinese herbal medicine is the idea that different herbs have complementary effects on one another and that the positive effects of other herbs can mitigate the negative effects of one herb. 

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Make your purchase from a reputable vendor. Because the FDA needs to monitor the quality of herbs, there is a possibility that some herbs are impure or contaminated.

Your symptoms can be evaluated by a trained practitioner, who can then decide whether or not dong quai is appropriate for you. Because of this, you must read the labels on your medications very carefully.

Possible Side Effects of Dong Quai?

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States does not have the authority to regulate dong quai, which is one of the reasons why its adverse effects are less well-known than those of prescription medications.

However, based on its history of 2,000 years, some side effects have been confirmed, as well as interactions with other substances. The following constitutes this category:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vision loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset
  • Low blood sugar
  • Increased bleeding risk
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Dong quai should not be consumed by individuals who have an allergy to plants belonging to the carrot family, which includes parsley, dill, celery, caraway, and anise. Dong quai belongs to the same plant family as these other plants, causing allergic reactions in some people.

Dong quai may interact with the following medications:

  • Topical tretinoin
  • Naproxen
  • Lorazepam
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Disulfiram
  • Birth control pills
  • Ibuprofen

Dong quai cannot be taken simultaneously as blood-thinning medications like warfarin or Coumadin.

This list needs to have everything checked off. Always get your doctor’s approval before beginning any treatment, and make sure you read and understand the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Risks and Warning

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The American Pregnancy Association considers dong quai to be unsafe during pregnancy since it stimulates the uterine muscles, which can lead to the loss of pregnancy [7].

Because of its sedative and sleep-inducing properties, you should avoid using this herb if you are breastfeeding your child. It is best to avoid using it during pregnancy and while breastfeeding to ensure your child will not be affected by it.

Dong quai has been hypothesized to have estrogenic effects, which could impact hormone-sensitive conditions like breast cancer, which worsens when exposed to estrogen.

There is also no evidence from scientific research to suggest that dong quai can boost fertility. Although this effect has only been seen in rats in studies, there is evidence that dong quai can cause the uterine lining to become thicker [1].

Bottomline

Dong quai is a dietary supplement that has the potential to inhibit the growth of cancer and is said to have benefits for the health of the blood.

Even though dong quai has been utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for over two thousand years, few scientific studies demonstrate that it can significantly improve blood health. 

Talk to your doctor before starting dong quai, especially if you are taking other medications. Dong quai should be stopped, and medical attention sought if any signs of easy bleeding appear, including blood in the feces or urine or bleeding gums.

Dong quai shouldn’t be used by pregnant women, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant in any capacity.

FAQs

Dong quai is possibly safe when taken for up to 6 months and is taken by mouth. It’s been safely used in combination with other ingredients up to 150 mg daily.
It is sometimes called “female ginseng”. Although only a few studies are conducted on dong quai, it is sometimes suggested to relieve cramps, infrequent periods, irregular menstrual cycles, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal symptoms.
Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you’re taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). It may increase your risk of bleeding. Pregnant women should avoid Dong Quai because it may raise their risk of miscarriage.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  1. Assessment report on Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels, radix. (2013, July 9). European Medicines Agency |. Retrieved April 16, 2023, from http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_HMPC_assessment_report/2013/11/WC500155549.pdf
  2. Chao, W. W., & Lin, B. F. (2011). Bioactivities of major constituents isolated from Angelica sinensis (Danggui). Chinese medicine, 6, 29. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21851645/
  3. Lee, J. G., Hsieh, W. T., Chen, S. U., & Chiang, B. H. (2012). Hematopoietic and myeloprotective activities of an acidic Angelica sinensis polysaccharide on human CD34+ stem cells. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 139(3), 739–745. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22155392/
  4. Wu, Y. C., & Hsieh, C. L. (2011). Pharmacological effects of Radix Angelica Sinensis (Danggui) on cerebral infarction. Chinese medicine, 6, 32. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21867503/
  5. Carroll D. G. (2006). Nonhormonal therapies for hot flashes in menopause. American family physician, 73(3), 457–464. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16477892/
  6. Kelley, K. W., & Carroll, D. G. (2010). Evaluating the evidence for over-the-counter alternatives for relief of hot flashes in menopausal women. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association : JAPhA, 50(5), e106–e115. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20833608/
  7. E. (2020, April 27). Herbs and Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/herbs-and-pregnancy/
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Dr Faisal Rasheed, M.D.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

Author

  • Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

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Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn