Angelica, also known as Dong quai and tang quai, is an herbal supplement used in medical applications. It is called the female ginsing.
This herb is native to Korea, Japan and China. It grows in the high, cold and damp areas of these countries.
Angelica is taken as a treatment for female conditions, and has been for years. This is the primary usage, but some users claim other benefits. Angelica is noted as a general tonic.
The leaves, seeds, and roots are used for medical uses. Dry the roots before use. Angelica has a wide medical use for menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other menopausal symptoms. It is reputed to have many uses that include, improving circulation, for stomach pain, sour stomach, lowering blood pressure, as a laxative, for migraine headaches and to control arrhythmia. Some women claim it helps with hot flashes.
For medical use, Angelica can be brewed as a tea or used in liquid, powder or capsule form. It is also taken in dried plant form. The dried raw root can be boiled or soaked before taking. As with any other medicine or herbal supplement, check the container for dosage and usage.
Like all other supplements and medicines, it also has some side effects.
Pregnant or lactating women shouldn't take this herb as it may have estrogen like effects. It shouldn't be used during treatment for breast or hormonal related cancers. Children shouldn't take this herb.
It is an anticoagulant, which will restrict the body's ability to form blood clots. Patients that are scheduled for surgery should notify their surgeon if they are taking angelica. People takng blood thinners shouldn't use Angelica. Women who have heavy menstrual discharge should also be cautious about using the herb.
It shouldn't be taken in conjunction with medicine taken to reduce high blood pressure.
It may make skin hypersensitive to sunlight and makes the skin burn easier.
It shouldn't be used when someone has chronic diarrhea, or continuous stomach problems.
As with all other supplements or medicine, a person's doctor should be informed when taking angelica. While the FDA considers angelica safe, it hasn't been tested regarding its beneficial claims. Reports of the effectiveness of its benefits haven't been confirmed with controlled studies. As with other herbal supplements, the FDA hasn't done studies that confirm, or deny, the effectiveness of the plant for medicinal purposes. Control of the product is left to the supplier, so the accuracy and amount of active ingredients may vary between packages.