Dong quai Angelica sinensis

Angelia sinensis

Family: Apiaceae 

Descriptive Characteristics: 

Erect stem that is green, tall, stout, hollow, fluted, purple on greenish white, Leaves are 2-3 pinnate and btw 3-4 in long and upper leaves have 1 pinnate. Flowers are perfect radially symmetric, 5 white petals

Flowers from June to July and fruits in July to Sept. Roots are cylindrical, branched and are sliced for medicinal use. 

Strongly aromatic and slightly smoky. Sweet to the taste and slightly bitter. 

Harvested in late autumn into winter. Roots are harvested in the 2-3 year plants. Seeds are harvested from 3 year olds plants


Alkyl Phthalides, polysaccharides, ferulic acid, essential oils, coumarin, vitamin B12,  folinic acid, psoralens, contains nicotinic acid, which is believed to have a blood vessel relaxing or vasodilating action 

Therapeutic Actions

Antispasmodic, analgesic, antioxidant, tonic effects

Chinese medicine- regulates qi and tonifies the blood, 

Eases headaches, menstrual pain, toothache, skin sores, rashes, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea


Extracts using water, ethanol, or a mixture. Dong quai is normally not taken alone but rather in concert with many herbs. 

1-2 grams of powdered whole plant, 3x daily

Herbal tincture: 1 to 3 ml, 2-3 x daily 

Or in combination with other herbs. 


Dong quai is typically used in combination with other herbs, and is rarely used alone. Bone suggests its use in combination with Corydalis, white peony, and Ligusticum for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. Dry for 2-3 days at low temperatures. smoke drying can take 1-3 months and is generally done over winter months. 

Lab, Notes and Media

Somewhat ineffective for COPD patients 

Science Direct (2016) Angelica sinesis. Science Direct. Retrieved from 

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