Dang Gui (Angelica sinesis) is also known as Dong Quai, and should not be confused with the European (Angelica archangelica) and American (Angelica atropurpurea) equivalents. In traditional Chinese medicine, Dang Gui is the premier women’s tonic herb with a powerful action on the reproductive system. It contains phytochemicals with proestrogenic activity; has a strong emmenagogue action and promotes menstruation when scanty; builds blood by encouraging the liver to release iron from storage into the bloodstream; and can induce abortion. Dang Gui is rarely prescribed alone but blended in combination with other adaptogens or qi tonics, such as in the Basic Four formula (sì wù tāng) or Eight Treasures formula (bā zhēn tāng), to improve women’s energy and vitality,
Dang Gui has a bitter and slightly sweet flavour with a hot and moistening nature. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is said to enter the heart, kidney and spleen meridians. Different parts of the root are believed to have different properties: the “tails” being more invigorating and the “heads” more tonifying.
As Dang Gui can increase bleeding, it is not recommended during the first days of your period, during pregnancy, those with bleeding disorders, or those on blood thinning medications. The dose ranges from 3-15 grams per day. Dang Gui is not generally popular among men due to its estrogenic-like action and heaty nature, but can be a useful blood tonic as well.« Back to Glossary Index