angelica sinensis, angelica polymorpha
A) FEMALE HORMONAL TONIC
Dong quai’s use in Chinese medicine dates back to ancient times. Today it is one of the most heavily used female tonics throughout the world. It contains phytoestrogenic components which possess an activity that is approximately 1/400 that of human oestrogen. These phytoestrogens are frequently employed to modify oestrogenic activity in the body due to their ability to bind to oestrogen receptors in cells. If the levels of oestrogen are too high, the herb’s comparatively weak phytoestrogens can occupy receptors that otherwise could have been occupied by the much stronger hormone. If the oestrogenic activity in the body is too low, phytoestrogens can exert a mild positive oestrogenic effect. Research also suggests that dong quai may regulate uterine function and may be of value in normalising menstruation.
B) PAIN RELIEVER
Research has shown dong quai to be an effective analgesic. This combined with its muscle- relaxing qualities enhances its benefits in conditions such as menstrual cramps, headache, arthritis, etc.