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Dong Quai - For Menopause And Menstruation

Oct 4, 2007
Dong quai, Angelica sinensis, is also known as dang gui in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In its native country, China, dong quai sells almost as much as the best selling herb, licorice.

Dong quai is sometimes called 'female ginseng' because while Chinese ginseng (panax ginseng) boosts and helps balance male energy, dong quai can help to achieve this balance for women. Dong quai has has been widely appreciated for centuries in the Far East where it is used by large numbers of the female population to invigorate them and as a blood tonic.

Dong quai or Angelica sinensis is closely related to Angelica archangelica which grows in Europe and is a common garden herb there. The archangelica variety is used as a flavouring in the liqueurs Benedictine and Chartreuse. It is also use as a digestant in Western herbalism.

Uses Of Dong Quai

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), dong quai is primarily used for menstruation -- monthly periods -- and menopause.

Dong Quai And Menstruation

For menstruation, dong quai can help reduce many of the commonest symptoms of an unbalanced menstrual cycle, including:

* suppressed menstrual flow
* abnormal uterine bleeding
* abdominal cramping, and
* dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation)

Dong quai can often be very helpful at this time.

Dong Quai And Menopause

Dong quai is well recognised for its value in menopause, so is helpful for a wide range of symptoms such as:

* hot flashes (flushes)
* night sweats
* depression, and
* fatigue

In China, dong quai is also used, for men as well as women, for high blood pressure, poor circulation, insomnia, abdominal cramps and anaemia.

How Much Dong Quai To Take

Dried Root: use one heaped teaspoon in a cup of water, gently simmered (covered) for 20 minutes. Take half a cup of the resulting mixture 3 x daily.

Fluid Extract: 10-20 drops, 3 x daily.

Tincture: 30-60 drops (roughly 1 - 1.5 teaspoons), 3 x daily.

Raw herb (powdered whole root): 1-5 capsules, 3 x daily.

Or follow the instructions on any proprietary pack of a dong quai product being used.

Take for a three months course and see if you find this helps you.

Dong Quai And Side Effects

Dong quai is generally believed to be nontoxic both by therapists who use it regularly and by scientists. In China, very large amounts have been given to rats without causing harm.

Side effects are rare and primarily consist of mild gastro-intestinal upsets and occasional allergic reactions (for example, a rash).

According to one single report, dong quai may interact with the blood-thinning drugs Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin or aspirin. This would increase the risk of bleeding -- but one report is not very strong evidence.

Dong Quai - A Good Choice For Menstruation And Menopause

The use of dong quai can be traced back for over 2000 years -- with good reason. It does not help everyone, but it certainly helps enough to make it worthwhile trying both for menopause and the monthly cycle. On top of that, it is a safe herb with very few adverse reactions or side effects reported.

Results will always be best if you follow a programme of healthcare measures rather than just taking one herbs and hoping that will be enough. Maybe it will; but maybe not. A programme should include measures to treat diet, exercise, relaxation as well as taking herbs and maybe other natural medicines. As with all things in life, the more you put in to the planning and the execution of that plan, the more benefits you will get out.

Good luck!
About the Author
Max Hill, a practitioner for 20 years, loves sharing what he knows. On www.herbal-menopause.com he gives valuable information about menopause symptoms. Get the benefit of Max's experience and knowledge.
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