Dong quai – have you heard of this herb before? Do you know what it is? Dong quai, also called female ginseng, grows mainly in Asia. This particular herb possesses a lot of powers. In fact, its health benefits may come as a surprise to you. It has the ability to improve mental, bone and skin health, lower blood pressure, fight anemia and boost energy. It is also essential in improving heart health, easing menstrual cramps, treating infertility, increasing sex drive and balancing hormone levels. Dong quai has so much to give! Give this article a read to learn more about it.
What is Dong Quai?
Scientifically known as Angelica sinensis, this Asian herb has been used for thousands of years as a sacred herbal treatment. Though a lot of traditional Chinese herbal treatments are hugely discounted by medical practitioners, dong quai has remained quite viable and keeps proving itself as more and more of its medicinal benefits are discovered.
The yellow root of dong quai is where most of its valuable chemical components are found. They dry these roots and use it to make tonics, tinctures, powders and other supplements for a range of health benefits, but particular female health conditions. The plant belongs to the Apiaceae plant family, whose other members include celery, parsley and carrots. However, the distinct composition of dong quai gives it way more benefits than your average green stalk.
The term ;female ginseng’ may turn some men off from using dong quai, but it turns out there are so many health benefits that are essential for both genders. Active components like the polysaccharides, coumarin, ferulic acid and other potent chemical compounds may result in significant effects on the body’s health.
Health Benefits of Dong Quai
Here are some of the most mesmerizing health benefits of dong quai:
- Helps reduce inflammation. Dong quai is beneficial in reducing various inflammatory markers in the body. These are the body’s way of fighting off foreign organisms. The rich levels of antioxidants the herb makes it a very effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial food.
- Helps lower blood sugar. Studies show that dong quai is beneficial in insulin resistance and the reduction of blood sugar levels. Thus, it is essential in improving fatty liver disease and sugar homeostasis.
- Helps improve heart health. Dong quai helps the heart in so many ways. First, it is directly connected with low blood pressure levels. It may also treat abnormal heartbeats, as it has antispasmodic properties.
- Possesses antioxidants. There are lots of antioxidants in dong quai, all of which have a wide array of effects on the body. They can eliminate free radicals before they cause any damage to the organs.
- Helps fight depression. Dong quai has the ability to improve the mood and help lower depression, stress and anxiety. This is one of its greatest health benefits.
- Helps improve blood circulation. The rich levels of iron in the herb help significantly boost blood circulation throughout the body. By way increasing circulation, there will be a boost in energy levels and faster recovery injuries to the extremities.
Side Effects of Dong Quai
Here are some of the most common side effects of dong quai:
- Cancer: Those suffering from cancer, especially women suffering from breast cancer and men suffering from prostate cancer, must avoid consuming this herb.
- Medication: Dong quai may interact with some medications, including hormone replacement therapy, naproxen, ibuprofen, birth control pills and more. Discuss with your doctor before taking it.
- Blood clot: Those who have a protein deficiency must not eat dong quai, as it may cause blood clots.
- Uterine muscles: Women must avoid dong quai throughout pregnancy, menstruation and lactation.
- Allergy: Avoid this herb if you are allergic to dill, celery or cilantro. These are all part of the same family.
- Blood thinning: Dong quai has coumarin in it, which is a major ingredient responsible for blood thinning. Consuming it with some other blood thinner, like warfarin, may increase the risk of bleeding. Taking garlic, ginger, or gingko biloba may have the same effects, since they’re effective blood thinners as well.