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Medicinal Herbs & Therapeutic Botanicals
Botanical: Angelica or Dong Gui (Angelica sinensis Oliv.)
Dong Gui (Angelica sinensis), is also known as Chinese Angelica and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine. Today, it is still one of the most popular plants in Chinese medicine, and is used primarily for health conditions in women. Dong Gui has been called "female ginseng," based on its use for gynecologic disorders such as painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) or pelvic pain, recovery from childbirth or illness, and fatigue/low vitality. It is also prescribed in Chinese medicine for strengthening 'xue' (loosely translated as "the blood"). Furthermore, it is used for cardiovascular conditions/high blood pressure, inflammation, headache, infections, and neuropathic (nerve) pain.
Botanicals - Angelica
Angelica (Dong Gui)
Dong gui (Angelica sinensis) has a long history of use, especially in asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan, where it has been used as a spice, tonic and medicine.
Dong gui (Angelica sinensis) is a perennial plant with a smooth purplish stem. It bears umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers and winged fruits in mid- to late summer (July/August). Angelica grows well at high altitudes in cold, damp, mountainous regions.
Butylidene phthlide, n-valerophenon-o-carboxylic acid, dihydrophthalic anhydride, sucrose, vitamin b12, carotene, beta-sitosterol, polysaccharides, ferulic acid, ligustilide, senkyunolide H and senkyunolide I.
Traditional uses of Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used for a variety of purposes including reproductive, circulatory and respiratory problems and diseases.
* Menopausal symptoms—some women report relief of symptoms such as hot flashes from this medicinal herb; however, clinical studies to date do not support the effectiveness of dong gui for menopausal symptoms.
* PMS—studies suggest that dong gui offers some value when used in conjunction with other Chinese herbs, particularly black cohosh, to treat PMS.
* Anemia—there are individual reports of successful treatment of anemia using dong gui, but to date no studies verify this.
* Heart disease—when used in combination with ginseng (Asian ginseng) and astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), dong gui decreased symptoms of chest pain and improved exercise tolerance in a small group of people with heart disease.
* Stroke—a series of reports published in China indicate that the use of dong gui just following a stroke demonstrated a decrease in the amount of brain damage; more research is needed.
* High blood pressure—reports indicate that dong gui may lower blood pressure in some individuals.
* Ulcers—animal studies suggest dong gui may soothe ulcers, but studies in people are needed before a definitive conclusion can be drawn.
Other conditions for which dong gui has been used clinically include:
It must be remembered, that especially in traditional Chinese medicine, this herb is nearly always combined with other complementary herbs when prescribed. Thus, testing Angelica sinensis in isolation for a reported traditional use in a herbal formula, may not be conclusive or indicative of its effectiveness.
Pharmacological and clinical research(Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Bensky, D & Gamble, A.):
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