Angelica sinensis or dong quai
History: Angelica is from the medieval Latin herba angelica, "angelic herb”, from a belief that it would protect against evil and cure all ills. In Chinese medicine, known as dong quay, or dang gui, it is probably the most important Chinese tonic after ginseng and is an ingredient of many Chinese patent medicines.
Dong Quai has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb and is prized for its ability to benefit both the female and male reproductive system. Dong Quai is considered to be the "premier hormone regulator” and has the ability to reduce estrogen levels if they are too high or increase estrogen levels if they are too low. It is often used as a natural infertility treatment and can also help improve sperm quality in men due to its ferulic acid.
Mineral content: cobalt, iron
Vitamin content:Cobalamin (vitamin B12), folic acid (vitamin B9), biotin (vitamin H or co-enzyme R)
Beneficial application:Hypothyroidism, migraines, irritable moods, depression, low energy, heart palpitations, insomnia, hypertension, kidney disease, angina, arthritis, nerve pain, shingles, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Dong Quai is also highly beneficial for the cardiovascular system by helping to reduce blood pressure levels and blood sugar levels. It is also good for reducing anxiety, alleviating stress damage, calming the nervous system, and promoting overall relaxation in the body. Some people claim that dong quai can help you feel happier and less overwhelmed with the stresses of life. Dong Quai contains anti-spasmodic properties that can ease cramps and other symptoms of PMS. It is also known to help prevent hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms as well. Dong Quai is an excellent blood builder and can help to replenish and rebuild the blood after injury or surgery. It contains anti-aging properties and can help increase circulation, improve one’s complexion, and aid in detoxification. Topically, dong quai is helpful for skin problems such as rosacea, hives, eczema, neurodermititis, and vitiligo.
Culinary uses: The leaves are eaten like celery; Young stalks are candied for decorating cakes and other deserts, or may be added to stewed rhubarb, jams, and marmalade; Flower buds, which are enclosed by sheaths, are eaten raw in salads or cooked.
Other uses:The essential oil from the roots and seeds is used to flavour ice creams, confectionery, cordials, vermouth, vodka, and liqueurs; It give the characteristic flavour of Benedictine.
Caution:Should not be used with those who have breast, uterine, or prostate cancer or women who are pregnant. Skin allergen.
Horticultural Society: 2002. Encyclopedia of Herbs & their uses. DK London
Hoffman D: 1987. The Herbal Handbook. A user’s guide to medical herbalism. Healing Arts Press. Canada .
Published Date: 07 Oct 2014