Grown in China, Japan, and Korea, dang gui is a medicinal herb used for centuries in those countries to treat various ailments. Other common names for it include dong quai and tang kuei. Among Chinese medicine herbalists and practiitioners, it is second only to ginseng in its versatilty. Though it is especially popular among women and often goes by the name "women's ginseng," dang gui can also be taken by men. Its benefits include treatment for cardiovascular issues, constipation, insomnia, inflammation, and women's reproductive issues.
Because the root of the dang gui herb contains phytoestrogens, it is often used to balance hormonal cycles in women with low or high estrogen production. This is helpful in treating extreme symptoms of menstruation or menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings, cramps, and headaches. The herb is also given to women in China after childbirth, as it is believed to restore the health of her uterus.
Dang gui can also benefit people with blood circulation issues, angina, or high blood pressure. Chemical properties of the herb help keep artery walls smooth and dilated, so there is improved blood circulation through the body. In fact, the herb is particularly high in iron, so it beneficial for preventing and treating anemia.
In addition, dang gui can help alleviate suffering from migraine headaches, blurred vision, or tinnitus as the herb promotes blood flow to the head.
Taking dang gui can also benefit people with constipation. The herb helps nourish the blood and reduces dryness in the bowels.
Dang gui can also be used as a relaxer or sedative. This is beneficial to people with insomnia who are looking for a natural remedy.
Another important property of dang gui is that it contains phytochemicals, which reduce swelling and inflammation and increase white blood cell production. For this reason, it has been used historically to treat conditions like arthritis and liver and kidney disfunctions. The herb is currently being tested as a treatment for cancer, liver, and kidney disease.
Dang gui should not be taken by pregnant women, as it may increase the risk of miscarriage. In addition, because of its effects on blood flow, it should not be taken by people on blood thinning medications. It should also be avoided by people who are prone to diarrhea, as it may cause dehydration. Additionally, always consult your doctor prior to beginning any herbal regimen.
Dang gui can be easily consumed in different forms depending on your preference. Tablets, tonics, and roots can all be found at Chinese health stores. If you don't mind the slightly sweet and bitter taste of the herb, it can be prepared at home as a tea or soup. For this preparation, it's recommend to boil the root for 30 minutes and drink. In addition, the root can be eaten in almost raw form. In this case, steam the root for 3 to 4 minutes and slice into small pieces. Place the pieces in a jar to dry out of the sunlight. Consume 1 to 2 pieces daily.