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Angelica sinensis - (Oliv.)Diels.

Common Name Dang Gui - Dong Quai - Chinese Angelica
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis[238]. High doses over 500 mg a day may cause abdominal bloating and menstrual timing/flow changes. Unproven information suggests it can effect heart rhythm and lower blood pressure [301]. Caution is needed for diabetics, acute viral infections, (e.g. influenza) and with treatments with anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin)[301].
Habitats High ground in cool and damp areas of western and north-western China[165]. Forests[266].
Range E. Asia - China.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Angelica sinensis Dang Gui - Dong Quai - Chinese Angelica


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Angelica sinensis Dang Gui - Dong Quai - Chinese Angelica
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Angelica sinensis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.7 m (2ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

A. polymorpha sinensis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Alterative  Analgesic  Anticholesterolemic  Antiinflammatory  Antispasmodic  Deobstruent  Emollient  Hepatic  
Laxative  Sedative  Vasodilator  Women's complaints

Dang Gui is a well-known Chinese herb that has been used in the treatment of female ailments for thousands of years. Its reputation is perhaps second only to ginseng (Panax ginseng) and it is particularly noted for its 'blood tonic' effects on women[218]. The root has a sweet pungent aroma that is very distinctive and it is often used in cooking, which is the best way to take it as a blood tonic[254]. One report says that the root contains vitamin B12 and can be used in the treatment of pernicious anaemia[176]. The root is alterative, analgesic, anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, deobstruent, emmenagogue, emollient, hepatic, laxative, sedative and peripheral vasodilator[165, 176, 218]. It is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of women's complaints where it regulates the menstrual cycle and relieves period pain[218, 238, 254] and also to ensure a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery[218]. However conflicting information suggests it should not be used during pregnancy [301] and should not be used if menstrual flow is heavy or during menstration [301]. It is an ideal tonic for women with heavy menstruation who risk becoming anaemic[254]. The water-soluble and non-volatile elements of the root increase the contraction of the uterus whilst the volatile elements can relax the muscle of the uterus[176]. Its use prevents the decrease of liver glycogen and protects the liver[176]. Used for menopausal symptoms (hot flushes) [301]. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus typhi, B. comma, B. cholerae and haemolytic streptococci[176]. The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China[254]. The other species used are Rehmannia glutinosa, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora[254]. The root is harvested in the autumn or winter and dried for later use[254, 283]. It has been used to treat pulmonary hypertension in combination with the allopathic medication nifedipine [301]. Other uses include: constipation (a laxative), trauma injuries, ulcers, rheumatism and malaria [301].

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Other Uses

This plant is said to contain vitamin B12[176].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun[200]. This species is not fully hardy in the colder areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to at least -5°c[238]. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed[200].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability[200]. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

(Oliv.)Diels.

Botanical References

238266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

nijamudeen   Sat Apr 18 2009

is angelica sinensis proved to be used for infertility?

Daniel   Thu May 14 2009

Not proved for infertility. However, in Chinese Medicine each patient should be treated individually; and, Chinese herbs generally use combination formulas, not a single herb or a single herb extract, particularly for infertility.

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