Dong Quai Health Benefits
The way that the modern medical system works is to focus on the creation of drugs to cure diseases and they spend billions of dollars to study and research synthetic health potentials. And by DSHEA law(1), nothing but a “drug” can be said to cure or prevent or heal any type of disease (2). While the medical industry excels at emergency medicine, they seem less well versed in healing chronic ailments, outside of managing symptoms or recommend the removal of a “problematic” part of the body. Such that, the best reasons to make use of herbs for wellness support is to actively reinforce the body so that chronic illnesses(3) doesn’t manifest. Being “healthy” means being ahead of the curve. No need to wait till we’re struggling to “catch back up”.
Why am I talking about this in an article on Dong Quai?
Because when you go looking into the science of the benefits of Dong Quai when it comes to disease, outside of a few particular ailments (mostly around menopausal and reproductive health for women, and androgen issues, ED or PE in men) the consensus is: we need more studies.
“Because there are so few studies into the health benefits of Dong quai, we have to largely rely on historical use and personal anecdotes.” And when you dive into the traditional history of this wonderful plant in Chinese Medicine (more than 2000 years of documented use): we see Dong Quai, aka Angelica sinensis or female ginseng, has “far reaching” benefits, be it providing support to the entire brigade of female hormones, to Alzheimer’s(4), to diabetes, and more.
3 Reasons Dong Quai Is Amazing
- It’s a blood builder and tonic: rich in folic acid, biotin, nicotinic acid, cobalt, and vitamin B12. It helps replenish blood supply and blood volume, which allows for better oxygenation, and offers a much-needed energy lift. It’s recognition as a tonic indicates its usefulness (5)
for those with liver conditions.
- Builds strong bones: “Dong quai may help improve bone health and strength and protect against osteoporosis.” Interestingly, osteoporosis most often affects older women. And this is because menopause brings declining estrogen levels; estrogen actually plays a part in bone health, and dong quai has quite an effect on bone cell proliferation(6).
- Menstrual Hormone Balance: For thousands of years, women in China have used it to bring relief from PMS, cramps and other discomforts arising around reproduction cycles. By using it in advance of the cycle, weakness, hot flashes, headaches, as well as cycle regulation, are all documented benefits.
Like most TCM herbs, dong quai can be used in many ways: roots, twigs, leaves, or granulated berries or whole powdered, encapsulated, or as tea, are the most common. Note: Dong quai is rarely used alone. Instead, it’s combined with other herbs to work together synergistically.
Fun Fact: Dong quai apparently translates as “husband returns to wife” which hints at boosting sex drive.
Caution Avoid using Dong Quai if you are on blood thinners. In general, please talk to your health care team before taking dong quai. Pregnant and nursing women, and those who are undergoing hormone therapy, or taking birth control pills should also avoid dong quai.