Medicinal plants

Angelica – balances the heart and hormones

Scientific name: Angelica sinensis

The Chinese angelica (Angelica sinensis) is a classical medicinal plant from traditional Chinese medicine and is also known as Dong Quai.

The Chinese name means translated as ” female ginseng ” and already reveals a lot about the healing properties of the Chinese angelica.

Because similar to the ginseng is considered angelica in TCM as a so-called blood herb , which is to serve the harmonization of the blood. The hormone balance should also benefit from Dong Quai.

Angelica – The medicinal herb of the angels and emperors

Angelica belongs to the umbelliferae family (Apiaceae) and is often mistaken for its poisonous conspecific, the bear claw. Like the angelica, it has a hollow, upright-growing giant stalk, which in the case of the Angelica can reach heights of up to 3 m and is covered with double-flowered inflorescences.

There is occasionally confusion within the angelica family, too, because the Chinese angelica known as Dong Quai is often mistaken for the medicinal angelica (Angelica archangelica) native to us.

The reason for this is that both angelica are used medically and because of the almost identical ingredients also have the same healing effect. For this reason, both the Chinese and the medicinal angelica are used in the treatment of

  • anorexia
  • Anemia,
  • Gastrointestinal spasms,
  • disturbed menstrual period,
  • Menopausal and menstrual problems,
  • Rheumatism,
  • Gout,
  • Poor circulation,
  • Liver weakness,
  • typhus
  • and constipation

very popular. The Chinese angelica also has applications

  • Wound bleeding,
  • Arrhythmia
  • and bloody ulcers

which is due to the importance of Dong Quai as a blood herb . She has received this definition from the Chinese “Herbal Emperor” Shennong. Its herbal book Heilgräuterklassiger after Shennong (神农 本草 经) is one of the most important standard works of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

He also described Dong Quai as a female ginseng , pointing out the similar effect. On the other hand, the name indicates the special significance of the Chinese angelica in classical gynecological disorders. The German name “angelica” for Angelica, however, has its very different story:

In the Middle Ages, the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared to a monk in a dream and pointed out Angelica as a remedy for the plague.It is also said that angelica flowers especially vigorously on Michael’s name day, September 29th.

Effect of angelica – ingredients at a glance

At the root of Dong Quai is a high content of essential oils . These are mainly composed of two active substances or groups of active ingredients:

  • 15-Oxypentadecenlacton
  • terpenes

Angelica balances blood levels and hormones

The 15-oxypentadecenelactone contained in Chinese angelica belongs to the active ingredient group of lactones. The flavors are known to drain the body by removing water-binding sodium from the cells.

Especially on the blood this cell drainage has a special effect, because the reduced amount of water ensures that the body’s own blood initially reduced. Vessels and heart are enormously relieved by this process.

In the second step, Dong Quai stimulates the purification of the blood by fresh blood formation . The initial anemia will be lifted later. These herbal effects are especially interesting for:

  • Anemia,
  • High blood pressure,
  • heart failure,
  • and heavy bleeding.

Furthermore, lactones are also considered as testosterone inhibitors . The sex hormone is not only important for men, but as a precursor to female sex hormones also involved in the course of the female cycle and menopause. In particular, too much testosterone can cause tremendous hormone fluctuations, resulting in too

  • lack of ovulation,
  • disturbed menstrual period,
  • disturbed libido,
  • Mood swings during ovulation or menopause
  • and even hormonal hair loss

can lead. 15-Oxypentadecenlacton acts here hormone-regulating and can hormone disorders, such as

  • Menstrual disorders,
  • hormonally conditioned mood swings
  • and menopausal hot flushes

by eliminating the testosterone level.

Angelica’s terpene quenches pain and sores

Terpenes are phytochemicals that give the ethereal vegetable oil of the angelica both its oily consistency and its unique aroma. They also work

  • antibacterial,
  • antioxidant,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • antispasmodic,
  • antifungal
  • and sore.

For the healing scheme of Dong Quai in the field of blood purification , but also for the nursing and disinfecting of wounds and the treatment of convulsions , terpenes are therefore very interesting.

The most important terpenes in Dong Quai are

  • bisabolene
  • bisabolol
  • caryophyllene
  • phellandrene
  • pinene

Application of angelica

Dong Quai can be purchased in a wide range of product forms, with the actual content of active ingredients varying widely from product to product. If in doubt, you should therefore keep to the respective manufacturer’s instructions for dosage .

Angelica tea for menopausal and menstrual problems

As with most medicinal plants, such as Columbine , Taiga root or card , can be easily made from angelica tea. The tea has a particularly gentle effect. It is particularly useful for alleviating hormone-related imbalances that occur during the cycle or menopause.

For the preparation of the tea

  • Do you take 1 teaspoon of the root herbs?
  • put them in a cup of boiling water
  • leaves the whole 10 – 15 min. pull
  • The angelica tea can be drunk 3-4 times a day

Angelica capsules and drops in internal diseases

Heart, vessels and organs can be better cured by an increased concentration of active ingredients of the Chinese angelica. A careful dosage is important, which is why the following guidelines are commonly used:

  • Max. every 4 hours 1 g of angelica capsules or
  • Max. 1 – 3 x 30 drops of angelica daily

Both preparations should always be taken with sufficient fluid.

Side effects of Dong Quai root:

Although the use of angelica in anemia is common practice in traditional Chinese medicine, the blood-reducing effect of the herb can aggravate existing anemia . Without targeted instruction treating doctors should take place therefore no intake.

Pregnant and nursing mothers should also refrain from Dong Quai, as the herb can cause diarrhea and bloating in mother and child. During pregnancy, premature labor may be triggered.

People with fairer skin occasionally develop increased sensitivity to sunlight when taking angelica . Cases of acute dermatitis are also known. The reason for this is a phototoxic plant compound called furocoumarin, which makes the skin extremely sensitive.

Experiences with angelica

The exact mechanism of action of the ingredients in Chinese angelica is still not fully understood. However, in two out of three areas of application, the effects that are said to have been confirmed by Dong Quai are at least partially confirmed.

For example, the School of Pharmacy of the Chinese University of Hong Kong has confirmed the positive effect of angelica on menopausal symptoms . The researchers found an estrogen-like effect, meaning that Chinese angelica can mimic the function of the female sex hormone.

The protective function of Dong Quai on the heart and vessels has also been tested in various studies. Interesting is, among other things, a study on the combination effect of angelica and astragalus. The two herbs should together have a particularly cardio-protective function .

Studies on the effect of Dong Quai in indigestion are unfortunately still pending. However, there are already positive experiences from various private users to report, which also makes in this area draw a positive balance.


The Chinese angelica known as Dong Quai can be compared in its effect with the related medicinal angelica.

Its hormone-regulating and heart and vascular protective effect is well documented at least in part and the use of teas, capsules or drops of Dong Quai roots is relatively straightforward.

Since the herb can cause various side effects with wrong dosage or certain counterindications, we recommend a careful consultation with the treating physician before the application.


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