Angelica sinensis

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Angelica sinensis
Dongquai cr.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Angelica
Species: A. sinensis
Binomial name
Angelica sinensis
(Oliv.) Diels[1]

Angelica sinensis, commonly known as dong quai or "female ginseng" is a herb from the family Apiaceae, indigenous to China.


Use in traditional Chinese medicine[edit]

The dried root of A. sinensis is commonly known as Chinese angelica (simplified Chinese: 当归; traditional Chinese: 當歸; pinyin: dāngguī; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: tong-kui) and is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine for gynecological ailments, fatigue, mild anemia, and high blood pressure.[citation needed] The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dong quai for most uses.[2]

Adverse effects[edit]

There is evidence that A.sinensis may affect the muscles of the uterus. Women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant should not use A.sinensis, because it may induce a miscarriage.[3] Taking A. sinensis can cause skin to become extra sensitive to the sun, leading to a greater risk for skin cancer.[3] One case of gynaecomastia has been reported following consumption of dong quai root powder pills.[4] Large and prolonged doses of the plant is not advised as it contains compounds that are considered carcinogenic.[3]

Drug interactions[edit]

A. sinensis may increase the anticoagulant effects of the drug warfarin and consequently increase the risk of bleeding.[5]


The plant's chemical constituents include of coumarins, phytosterols, polysaccharides, ferulate, and flavonoids.[6] When isolated from the plant, one of the chemicals, angelica polysaccharide sulfate, has in vitro antioxidant activity.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels". NPGS / GRIN. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  2. ^ MedlinePlus article on Dong quai
  3. ^ a b c "Dong Quai". Medline Plus. NIH. 
  4. ^ Goh, S. Y.; Loh, K. C. (2001). "Gynaecomastia and the Herbal Tonic Dong Quai". Singapore Medical Journal 42 (3): 115–116. PMID 11405562. 
  5. ^ Page, R. L.; Lawrence, J. D. (1999). "Potentiation of Warfarin by Dong Quai". Pharmacotherapy 19 (7): 870–876. doi:10.1592/phco.19.10.870.31558. PMID 10417036. 
  6. ^ Zhao, K. J.; Dong, T. T.; Tu, P. F.; Song, Z. H.; Lo, C. K.; Tsim, K. W. (2003). "Molecular Genetic and Chemical Assessment of Radix Angelica (Danggui) in China". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51 (9): 2576–2583. doi:10.1021/jf026178h. PMID 12696940. 
  7. ^ Jia, M.; Yang, T. H.; Yao, X. J.; Meng, J.; Meng, J. R.; Mei, Q. B. (2007). "当归多聚糖硫酸盐的抗氧化作用" [Anti-oxidative effect of Angelica polysaccharide sulphate]. Zhong Yao Cai (in Chinese) 30 (2): 185–188. PMID 17571770. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]