(Siebold & Zucc.) Kitag. 1937
Angelica acutiloba is a perennial herb in the genus Angelica, a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family of Apiaceae. A. acutiloba is native to the temperate regions in Asia. It is found in Hokkaido and Honshu, Japan. It is also cultivated in Jilin, China, Korea and Indonesia. A.acutiloba is also known as Japanese Dong Quai, touki (トウキ, 当帰 [meaning: recovering good health]) and Chinese 东当归 (dong dang gui).
A.acutiloba grow to 0.3-1meter high. It has yellow-brown root with strong aromatic. The stems are erect, reddish to purplish, glabrous and thinly ribbed. The leaves are alternate with petioles 10-30cm in length. The leaves are shinning deep green in upper surface with purple tinge. The leaves on top of stem are simplified to oblong, monopinnately to bipinnately trifoliolate. The basal and lower leaves are petiolate. The leaf blades are lanceolate, dentate incised or obtuse toothed. The leaves are membranous, sparse hairs on veins with terminal lobes 2-9cm long and 1-3cm wide. The leaves are usually sessile or with short stalk. The apex of the leaves are acuminate to acute and the base of the leaves are cuneate or truncate.
Flowers and fruits
The flowers are five-petaled and arranged in compound umbels. The rays are pubescent, ranging from 15 to 45, 1-10 cm in length. Each ray is bearing cluster of 30 flowers. The pedals are white, obovate to oblong. The pedicles are slender with sparse hairs and often sessile. The calyx teeth are obsolete. The peduncles are glabrous or pubescent, 5-20 cm long. The phyllary is linear-lanceolate or linear about 1-2cm long. The small phyllary is glabrous, 5-15mm long. The ovary is also glabrous. The style is three times longer than the style base. The fruits are narrow-oblong between 4-5 mm in length and 1-1.5 mm in diameter. The fruits are achene. The cremocarp is narrow-oblong, slightly flat. The lateral edges are narrow winged. The vittae are 3-4 in furrow of edges and 4-8 in commissure. The plant flowers during July to August and fruits during August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and have a strong scent that attract insects for pollination. The plant is self-fertile.
The roots are dark brown to red brown. The cylindrical roots are 10-25cm long and 1-2.5cm thick in diameter. The roots are taproots and have numerous lateral roots sprout out, horsetail-like. Branched roots that grown from the taproot are 0.2-1cm in diameter. The surfaces of the roots are covered with wrinkles and some lenticels. The diameter of those wrinkles are about 1.5-3cm. Dry roots are brittle. Moist roots are soft and resilient. The xylems of the roots are yellow-white and light brown. The fragment is strong, sweet and later a little bitter.
Cultivation and Propagation
A.acutiloba is a perennial deciduous plant. It grows in sandy and clay soils which are either acid, neutral or basic. It prefers sunlight, but also grows in semi-shade regions. Cool climate is suitable for its optimal cultivation. The sowing season usually is during the spring between March and May. The cultivation of the plant may be affected by disease, such as cottony rot and downy mildew. Some pests, such as aphid, cabbage army worms and two-spotted spider mite will affect the plant growth as well. As a result, pest and disease control for plant cultivation are necessary and crucial. According to a study, A.acutiloba is majorly cultivated near mountain regions of Japan, such as in Nara, Wakayama, Ehime, Kohchi, Miyazaki, Toyama and Hokkaido.
Plant seeds are usually sown during the spring. However, the seeds are best sown in cold condition. During the spring, the seeds germinate slower than in cold condition. It requires water and sunlight for its germination. In most cases, the seeds of A. acutiloba will be sown in the first winter until next spring for its best germination.
The root extraction of A.acutiloba contains many chemical constituents, especially volatile oils, such as ligustilide, butylidene phthalide, n-butylidenphthalide, folic acid, linoleic acid, safrole, and isosafrole, etc. The alkylphthalide derivatives in the roots can be utilized for medical uses.
The root of A.acutiloba has many medical uses. It is also considered as substitute for the traditional Chinese medicine “dang gui”, Angelica sinensis. The herb is used to treat various gynecological disease and as a crude drug in Kampo medicine.The root is emmenagogue, oxytocic, sedative and tonic. The root extraction acts as medicine that has many functions, such as to help activating blood circulation, stimulating menstrual flow, relieving pain and lubricating intestine. The root extraction is mainly believed to be beneficial for females. It stimulates the circulation of "xue" in Chinese that is equivalent to "blood." Most Angelica roots have been used in traditional medicine to treat cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, inflammation, infections and headache. According to a study, the root of A.acutiloba can also treat diabetes that it attenuates insulin resistance induced by high fructose diet in rats. The root extraction of A.acutiloba does not only have an anti-diabetic effect, but it helps to maintain glucose homeostasis and also works as injury therapy. According to a study, A.acutiloba root is beneficial in the amelioration of AGE-mediated renal injury in a diabetic rat model.
The leaves of the plant are edible. A.acutiloba is also considered as an ornamental plant in gardens. The root extraction can be used in the cosmetics as a natural cosmetic product to keep moisture of the skin and prevent the age of the skin.
Toxicity and Insecticide
Angelica acutiloba, as many species in the genus of Angelica, contains furocoumarins which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis. Plants can act as potential insecticide to avoid insecticide resistance and promote environmental and human health safety. According to a study, Phthalides and furanocournarins extractions from the A.acutiloba root can act as insecticide against Drosophila melanogaster.
- Angelica acutiloba, USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database. 
- Angelica acutiloba http://flowers.la.coocan.jp/Umbelliferae/Angelica%20acutiloba.htm
- Flora of China: Angelica acutiloba 
- Yamada, Haruki, Saiki, Ikuo, Juzen-taiho-to (Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang): Scientific Evaluation and Clinical Applications.
- Medicinal Plant Images Database(School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University): Angelica acutiloba 
- Plants for future: Angelica acutiloba http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Angelica+acutiloba
- Liu, I.-M., Tzeng, T.-F., Liou, S.-S. and Chang, C. J. (2011), Angelica acutiloba Root Attenuates Insulin Resistance Induced by High-Fructose Diet in Rats. Phytother. Res., 25: 1283–1293. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3403
- Liu, I.-M., Tzeng, T.-F., Liou, S.-S. and Chang, C. J. (2011), Angelica Acutiloba Root Alleviates Advanced Glycation End-Product-Mediated Renal Injury in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats. Journal of Food Science, 76: H165–H174. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02310.x 
- Miyazawa, Mitsuo, Tsukamoto, Toshihiko, etc. (2004) Insecticidal Effect of Phthalides and Furanocoumarins from Angelica acutiloba against Drosophila melanogaster. J. Agric. Food Chem., 52 (14), pp 4401–4405 DOI: 10.1021/jf0497049 
- Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (in traditional Chinese) (in English)