Tag Archives: Angelica sinensis

Black Cohos

Botanical Name : Actaea racemosa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Actaea
Species: A. racemosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Black cohosh, Black bugbane, Black snakeroot, Fairy candle
Other Names: Actaea macrotys, Actaea racemosa, Actée à Grappes, Actée à Grappes Noires, Actée Noire, Aristolochiaceae Noire, Baie d’actée, Baneberry, Black Aristolochiaceae, Black Snakeroot, Bugbane, Bugwort, Cimicaire à Grappes, Cimicifuga

Habitat :Black cohosh  is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings.

Description:
Black cohosh is a smooth (glabrous) herbaceous perennial plant that produces large, compound leaves from an underground rhizome, reaching a height of 25–60 centimetres (9.8–23.6 in). The basal leaves are up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) long and broad, forming repeated sets of three leaflets (tripinnately compound) having a coarsely toothed (serrated) margin. The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on a tall stem, 75–250 centimetres (30–98 in) tall, forming racemes up to 50 centimetres (20 in) long. The flowers have no petals or sepals, and consist of tight clusters of 55-110 white, 5–10 mm long stamens surrounding a white stigma. The flowers have a distinctly sweet, fetid smell that attracts flies, gnats, and beetles. The fruit is a dry follicle 5–10 mm long, with one carpel, containing several seeds……..click & see the pictures of black cohos:

Do not confuse black cohosh with blue cohosh or white cohosh. These are unrelated plants. The blue and white cohosh plants do not have the same effects as black cohosh, and may not be safe.

Cultivation:
Black cohosh grows in dependably moist, fairly heavy soil. It bears tall tapering racemes of white midsummer flowers on wiry black-purple stems, whose mildly unpleasant, medicinal smell at close range gives it the common name “Bugbane”. The drying seed heads stay handsome in the garden for many weeks. Its deeply cut leaves, burgundy colored in the variety “atropurpurea”, add interest to gardens, wherever summer heat and drought do not make it die back, which make it a popular garden perennial. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit

Edible Uses:
Black cohosh is used today mainly as a dietary supplement marketed to women as remedies for the symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynecological problems. Recent meta-analysis of contemporary evidence supports these claims.  Study design and dosage of black cohosh preparations play a role in clinical outcome,  and recent investigations with pure compounds found in black cohosh have identified some beneficial effects of these compounds on physiological pathways underlying age-related disorders like osteoporosis.

Medicinal Uses:
The root of black cohosh is used for medicinal purposes. Black cohosh root contains several chemicals that might have effects in the body. Some of these chemicals work on the immune system and might affect the body’s defenses against diseases. Some might help the body to reduce inflammation. Other chemicals in black cohosh root might work in nerves and in the brain. These chemicals might work similar to another chemical in the brain called serotonin. Scientists call this type of chemical a neurotransmitter because it helps the brain send messages to other parts of the body.

Black cohosh root also seems to have some effects similar to the female hormone, estrogen. In some parts of the body, black cohosh might increase the effects of estrogen. In other parts of the body, black cohosh might decrease the effects of estrogen. Estrogen itself has various effects in different parts of the body. Estrogen also has different effects in people at different stages of life. Black cohosh should not be thought of as an “herbal estrogen” or a substitute for estrogen. It is more accurate to think of it as an herb that acts similar to estrogen in some people.

Native Americans used black cohosh to treat gynecological and other disorders, including sore throats, kidney problems, and depression.   Following the arrival of European settlers in the U.S. who continued the medicinal usage of black cohosh, the plant appeared in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1830 under the name “black snakeroot”. In 1844 A. racemosa gained popularity when Dr. John King, an eclectic physician, used it to treat rheumatism and nervous disorders. Other eclectic physicians of the mid-nineteenth century used black cohosh for a variety of maladies, including endometritis, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, sterility, severe after-birth pains, and for increased breast milk production.

Side effects:
According to Cancer Research UK: “Doctors are worried that using black cohosh long term may cause thickening of the womb lining. This could lead to an increased risk of womb cancer.” They also caution that people with liver problems should not take it as it can damage the liver, although a 2011 meta-analysis of research evidence suggested this concern may be unfounded.

Studies on human subjects who were administered two commercially available black cohosh preparations did not detect estrogenic effects on the breast.

No studies exist on long-term safety of black cohosh use in humans.  In a transgenic mouse model of cancer, black cohosh did not increase incidence of primary breast cancer, but increased metastasis of pre-existing breast cancer to the lungs.

Liver damage has been reported in a few individuals using black cohosh,  but many women have taken the herb without reporting adverse health effects,  and a meta-analysis of several well-controlled clinical trials found no evidence that black cohosh preparations have any adverse effect on liver function.  Although evidence for a link between black cohosh and liver damage is not conclusive, Australia has added a warning to the label of all black cohosh-containing products, stating that it may cause harm to the liver in some individuals and should not be used without medical supervision.  Other studies conclude that liver damage from use of black cohosh is unlikely,  and that the main concern over its safe use is lack of proper authentication of plant materials and adulteration of commercial preparations with other plant species.

Reported direct side-effects also include dizziness, headaches, and seizures; diarrhea; nausea and vomiting; sweating; constipation; low blood pressure and slow heartbeats; and weight problems.

Because the vast majority of black cohosh materials are harvested from plants growing in the wild,  a recurring concern regarding the safety of black cohosh-containing dietary supplements is mis-identification of plants causing unintentional mixing-in (adulteration) of potentially harmful materials from other plant sources.

Bioactive compounds:
Like most plants, black cohosh tissues and organs contain many organic compounds with biological activity.  Estrogen-like compounds had originally been implicated in effects of black cohosh extracts on vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women. Several other studies, however, have indicated absence of estrogenic effects  and compounds  in black cohosh-containing materials. Recent findings suggest that some of the clinically relevant physiological effects of black cohosh may be due to compounds that bind and activate serotonin receptors,  and a derivative of serotonin with high affinity to serotonin receptors, N?-methylserotonin, has been identified in black cohosh. Complex biological molecules, such as triterpene glycosides (e.g. cycloartanes), have been shown to reduce cytokine-induced bone loss (osteoporosis) by blocking osteoclastogenesis in in vitro and in vivo models. 23-O-acetylshengmanol-3-O-?-d-xylopyranoside, a cycloartane glycoside from Actaea racemosa, has been identified as a novel efficacious modulator of GABAA receptors with sedative activity in mice

Click & see:..> Fact sheet of Black Cohos

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actaea_racemosa
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-857-black%20cohosh.aspx?activeingredientid=857&activeingredientname=black%20cohosh

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Glycyrrhiza Uralensis

Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza Uralensis
Family:    Fabaceae
Genus:    Glycyrrhiza
Species:G. uralensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Fabales

Common Name: Licorice, Gan Cao, Iriqsus, Kan T’Sao, Kan Ts’Ao, Liquirita, Madhuka, Meyankoku, Mi Ts’Ao, Regaliz, Sus Maikik,Chinese liquorice.

Common Names in Azerbaijani:Ural biyan
Common Names in Chinese:Gan Zao
Common Names in English:Chinese Licorice, Gan-Cao, Russian Licorice
Common Names in French:Réglisse De L´oural, Réglisse De Sibérie
Common Names in German:Chinesische Lakritze, Chinesisches Sübholz
Common Names in Hinese:Gan Cao
Common Names in Japanese:Gurukiruriza Urarenshisu, Uraru Kanzou,
Common Names in Kazakh:Miya-Tamr
Common Names in Russian:Solodka Ural´skaja, Solodka Uralskaya
Common Names in Thai:Cha Em Kha Kai (Central Thailand)
Common Names in Tibetan:Shing-Mngar
Common Names in Vietnamese:Cam thao

Habitat : Native to Central Asia. Licorice grows in sandy soil usually near a stream for ample water. Glycyrrhiza glabra, which is very similar medicinally, comes from the Mediterranea region.

Description:
Glycyrrhiza uralensis is a perennial  herb  growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Species:
Glycyrrhiza has several Species and that include:

Glycyrrhiza acanthocarpa
Glycyrrhiza aspera
Glycyrrhiza astragalina
Glycyrrhiza bucharica
Glycyrrhiza echinata – Russian liquorice
Glycyrrhiza eglandulosa
Glycyrrhiza foetida
Glycyrrhiza foetidissima
Glycyrrhiza glabra – liquorice, licorice
Glycyrrhiza gontscharovii
Glycyrrhiza iconica
Glycyrrhiza inflata
Glycyrrhiza korshinskyi
Glycyrrhiza lepidota – American licorice
Glycyrrhiza pallidiflora
Glycyrrhiza squamulosa
Glycyrrhiza triphylla
Glycyrrhiza uralensis – Chinese liquorice
Glycyrrhiza yunnanensis

Cultivation:  
Requires a deep well cultivated fertile moisture-retentive soil for good root production. Prefers a sandy soil with abundant moisture. Slightly alkaline conditions produce the best plants. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. This species is widely cultivated in China as a medicinal plant. Unless seed is required, the plant is usually prevented from flowering so that it puts more energy into producing good quality roots. A very deep-rooted plant, it can be difficult to eradicate once it is established. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:    
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer when in active growth. Plants are rather slow to grow from seed. Division of the root in spring or autumn. Each division must have at least one growth bud. Autumn divisions can either be replanted immediately or stored in clamps until the spring and then be planted out. It is best to pt up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established before planting them out in the spring or summer.

Edible Uses:    
Edible Parts: Root.
The fibrous root is used as a sweetener for foods. It is boiled in water to extract the sugars etc and used as a liquorice substitute in sweets, medicines, drinks etc. The root contains glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar.

Parts Uses: Root & the whole herb

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne, Antioxidant, Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, Demulcent, Depurative, Diuretic, Emollient, Estrogenic, Expectorant, Pectoral

Glycyrrhiza Uralensis is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is considered to be second in importance only to Ginseng (Panax spp). Used in excess, however, it can cause cardiac dysfunction and severe hypertension. The root is a sweet tonic herb that stimulates the corticosteroidal hormones, neutralizes toxins and balances blood sugar levels. It is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, antitussive, cholagogue, demulcent, emollient, expectorant and laxative. It is used internally in the treatment of Addison’s disease, asthma, coughs and peptic ulcers. Externally, it is used to treat acne, boils and sore throats. It is included in almost all Chinese herbal formulae, where it is said to harmonize and direct the effects of the various ingredients. It precipitates many compounds and is therefore considered to be unsuitable for use with some herbs such as Daphne genkwa, Euphorbia pekinensis and Corydalis solida. It increases the toxicity of some compounds such as ephedrine, salicylates, adrenaline and cortisone. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women or for people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or anyone taking digoxin-based medications. Excessive doses cause water retention and high blood pressure. It can cause impotence in some people. The roots are harvested in early autumn, preferably from plants 3- 4 years old, and is dried for later use. The flowers are alterative and expectorant.

Other Uses:
Fire retardant;  Insulation.
Liquorice root, after the medicinal and flavouring compounds have been removed, is used in fire extinguishing agents, to insulate fibreboards and as a compost for growing mushrooms.

Known Hazards: Liquorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which can cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and low potassium levels; it could also lead to heart problems. Patients who take liquorice with diuretics or medicines that reduce the body’s potassium levels could induce even lower potassium levels. Taking large amounts of liquorice root could also affect cortisol levels as well.[citation needed] People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about taking liquorice root. Pregnant women also need to avoid liquorice root because it could increase the risk of preterm labor.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Glycyrrhiza+uralensis
http://www.angelicaherbs.com/herbdetail.php?id=339&cat=latin_name&latin_name=Glycyrrhiza%20uralensis
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/G/Glycyrrhiza%5Furalensis/
http://www.theplantencyclopedia.org/wiki/Glycyrrhiza

Ligusticum wallichii


Botanical Name
:Ligusticum wallichii
Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae
Genus: Ligusticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Species: L. wallichii
Common Names:  Szechuan lovage &  Chuan Xiong


Habitat
:E. Asia – Himalayas, from India to China.  Shady slopes in forests at elevations of 1500–3700 metres in western China.

Description:Ligusticum wallichiiis a perennial flowering plant in the carrot family, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

 

clic k to see..>…...(01)...(1).....(2)..….

Cultivation:
The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring.

Chemicial constituents
Biologically active compounds in the plant include tetramethylpyrazine….CL
ICK & SEE

Medicinal Uses

Haemostatic;  Nervine;  Oxytoxic;  Vasodilator.

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is used as a main ingredient of a ‘coronary pill’ which is said to have a definite therapeutic effect on heart problems. Carthamnus is the other major ingredient whilst Acronychia and Salvia are also included. Haemostatic. The root is analgesic, emmenagogue, nervine, oxytocic, sedative and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of abnormal menstruation, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, cerebral embolism, coronary heart disease, headaches and body aches. The root is an ingredient of ‘Four Things Soup’, the most widely used woman’s tonic in China. The other species used are Rehmannia glutinosa, Angelica sinensis and Paeonia lactiflora. The root has also shown antibacterial activity against E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, Pseudomonas, B. typhi, B. paratyphi, Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio Proteus.

You may click to see :Effects of electret and Ligusticum wallichii (chuangxiong) on the functional recovery of muscle grafts

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligusticum_wallichii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ligusticum+wallichii
http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00MedTCsitZUzv/Ligusticum-Wallichii-Concentrated-Granules.jpg
http://ethnobotanicals.ca/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=22

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Chinese Foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa)

Botanical Name :Rehmannia glutinosa
Family : Gesneriaceae/Phrymaceae
Genus : Rehmannia

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order:
Lamiales
Species: R. glutinosa

Synonyms : Rehmannia chinensis – Liboschitz. ex Fischer & C.A.Mey.

Common Names: Chinese Foxglove, Di Huang, Sheng Di, Sheng Ti Huang, Shu Ti Huang, Ti Huang Chiu, Ti Huang

Habitat:
E. Asia – N. China, Korea.  Well-drained stony ground along roadsides and in woods. Mountain slopes and trailsides from near sea level to 1100 metres.Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;


Description:

Perennial growing to 0.3m by 0.25m. with reddish-violet flowers native to China, Japan and Korea.

click to see the pictures…>….(01)...….(1)……...(2)..…………………

It is hardy to zone 9. It is in flower from April to June, and the seeds ripen from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation details
Requires a light freely-draining humus-rich loam in light shade. Prefers a neutral to acid sandy soil. Requires a warm sunny position.  This species is probably hardy to about -25°c if the plants are dry, but the softly hairy leaves are susceptible to rot in warm damp winters and so the plants are often grown in the greenhouse. The plants are prone to fungal infections, especially when grown in damp conditions. The Chinese foxglove is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China.

Propagation
Seed – sow autumn or spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Root cuttings in winter. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in late spring or early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Leaves. No further details are given. Root – cooked. Boiled nine times before it is eaten. This suggests that the root is somewhat toxic, or at least has a very bitter flavour. Having boiled it nine times (and presumably throwing the water away each time), there is going to be very little left in the way of vitamins and minerals.


Constituents:

“A number of constituents such as iridoids, phenethyl alcohol, glycosides, cyclopentanoid monoterpenes, and norcarotenoids, have been reported from the fresh or processed roots of R. glutinosa.”

Rehmannia contains Vitamins A, B, C, amino acids, cerebroside, dammelittoside, melittoside, rehmaglitin and other substances that have antiinflammatory and antifungal properties. It helps prevent depletion of glycogen for hypoglycemia and helps disperse heat from the body. Its astringent compounds help stop bleeding of ulcers and reduce inflammation of the digestive system. Other compounds work to reduce capillary fragility and help protect the adrendal glands and liver function. Rehmannia tonifies the blood and helps with deficiencies, working as a blood tonic.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses
Antiseptic; Cardiac; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Haemostatic; Hypoglycaemic; Skin; Tonic.

Rehmannia glutinosa is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has the name Sheng di huang.

This plant, called Di Huang in China, is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is one of the most popular tonic herbs and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The root is the main part used and it can be prepared in four different ways – charcoaled, prepared (but no details of the preparation are given) when it is called Shu Di Huang and fresh or dried when it is called Sheng Di Huang. The roots are antibacterial, antiseptic, cardiac, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypoglycaemic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments, including anaemia, cancer, bleeding, constipation, coughs, fever and premature ejaculation. The charcoaled root is used to stop bleeding and tonify the spleen and stomach. The fresh root is used to treat thirst, the rash of infectious diseases and bleeding due to pathological heat. The dried root is used to treat bleeding due to blood deficiency and to nourish the vital essence. The prepared root is used to treat dizziness and palpitations due to anaemia or blood deficiency, chronic tidal fever, night sweats, dry mouth, lumbago and nocturnal emissions. The roots of cultivated plants are harvested in the autumn or early winter, whilst wild plants are harvested in early spring.  They can be used fresh or dried. The root is an ingredient of ‘Four Things Soup’, the most widely used woman’s tonic in China. The other species used are Angelica sinensis, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora. The leaves are bruised and used in the treatment of scaly eczema or psoriasis.

Rehmannia’s root is used medicinally in Oriental medicine to replenish vitality, to strengthen the liver, kidney and heart and for treatment of a variety of ailments like diabetes, constipation, anemia, urinary tract problems, dizziness and regulation of menstrual flow.

Side Effects:

Causes dizziness and heart palpitations in some people. Can cause diarrhea, loss of appetite or upset stomach.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Rehmannia+glutinosa
http://www.nutriherb.net/rehmannia-glutinosa.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehmannia_glutinosa
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail233.php

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)

Botanical Name:Angelica sinensis.
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Genus: Angelica
Species: A. sinensis

Synonyms:American angelica, Angelica acutiloba , Angelica archangelica , Angelica atropurpurea , Angelica dahurica , Angelica edulis , Angelica gigas , Angelica keiskei , Angelica koreana , Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis Oliv. , Angelica pubescens , Angelica radix, Angelica root, Angelica silvestris , Angelique, Archangelica officinalis Moench or Hoffm, beta-sitosterol, Chinese Angelica, Chinese Danggui, Danggui, Dang Gui®, Danggui-Nian-Tong-Tang (DGNTT), Dang quai, Dong Kwai, Dong qua, Dong quai extract, Dong quai root, Dong qui, dry-kuei, engelwurzel, European angelica, European Dong quai, Female ginseng, FP3340010, FP334015, FT334010, garden angelica, Heiligenwurzel, Japanese angelica, Kinesisk Kvan (Danish), Kinesisk Kvanurt (Danish), Ligusticum glaucescens franch, Ligusticum officinale Koch, Ligustilides, phytoestrogen, Qingui, radix Angelica sinensis , root of the Holy Ghost, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tang Kuei, Tang Kuei Root®, Tang kwei, Tang quai, Tanggui (Korean), Tanggwi (Korean), Toki (Japanese), wild angelica, wild Chin quai, women’s ginseng, Yuan Nan wild Dong quai, Yungui.

Common Name : Dang Gui – Dong Quai – Chinese Angelica
Other Names: Angelica sinensis, Chinese angelica, dang gui, tang kuei

Habitat :Dong Quai  is native to China, Japan, and Korea.  It grows on high ground in cool and damp areas of western and north-western China. Forests.

Description: Dong Quai is a perennial herb , growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.7 m (2ft 4in)  The herb produces white flowers with a green hue that bloom from May to August, and the plant is typically found growing in moist mountain gullies, meadows, along river banks and in coastal areas.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile. The root of the Dong Quai plant has a number of medicinal appications.

..click to see the pictures..>.....(1).…(2)…….(3)..…..…….………

Dong Quai, or traditionally known as Chinese Angelica, is commonly used for treating conditions in females in both America and China. Traditional Chinese medicine, frequently refers to Dong Quai as female ginseng.

Dong quai comes in tablet, liquid extract, and raw root forms. In Chinese medicine, dong quai is often boiled or soaked in wine. The root is removed and the liquid is taken orally.

Medicinal Uses:

Often called “the female ginseng.”  Though dong quai has no specific hormonal action, it exerts a regulating and normalizing influence on hormonal production through its positive action on the liver and endocrine system.  It has a sweet and unusually thick pungent taste and is warming and moistening to the body.  Chinese angelica is taken in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a tonic for “deficient blood” conditions, anemia and for the symptoms of anemia due to blood loss, pale complexion, palpitations, and lowered vitality.  Chinese angelica regulates the menstrual cycle, relieves menstrual pains and cramps and is a tonic for women with heavy menstrual bleeding who risk becoming anemic.  Since it also stimulates menstrual bleeding, other tonic herbs, such as nettle, are best taken during menstruation if the flow is heavy.  It is also a uterine tonic and helps infertility.  Chinese angelica is a “warming” herb, improving the circulation to the abdomen and to the hands and feet.  It strengthens the digestion and it also is useful in the treatment of abscesses and boils.  Research has shown that the whole plant, including the rhizome, strengthens liver function and the whole rhizome has an antibiotic effect.  In China, physicians inject their patients with Dong quai extract to treat sciatic pain.  Clinical trials show that when this extract is injected into the acupuncture points used to treat sciatica, about 90% of people receiving treatment report significant improvement.
In Chinese medicine, different parts of the dong quai root are believed to have different actions – the head of the root has anticoagulant activity, the main part of the root is a tonic, and the end of the root eliminates blood stagnation. it is considered the “female ginseng” because of its balancing effect on the female hormonal system. However, studies have not found dong quai to have hormone-like effects.

*Menopause
*Weakness after childbirth
*Women’s tonic
*Chronic nasal or sinus congestion
*PMS, painful menstruation
*Irregular menstrual bleeding
*Fibroid tumors
*High blood pressure
*Blood tonic
*Fibrocystic breast disease
*Rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
*Anemia
*Allergies
*Constipation
*Shingles
*Hepatitis
*Headache

In Chinese medicine, Dong quai is most often used in combination with other herbs, and is used as a component of formulas for liver qi stasis and spleen deficiency. It is believed to work best in patients with a yin profile, and is considered to be a mildly warming herb. Dong quai is thought to return the body to proper order by nourishing the blood and harmonizing vital energy. The name Dong quai translates as “return to order” based on its alleged restorative properties.

Although Dong quai has many historical and theoretical uses based on animal studies, there is little human evidence supporting the effects of Dong quai for any condition. Most of the available clinical studies have either been poorly designed or reported insignificant results. Also, most have examined combination formulas containing multiple ingredients in addition to Dong quai, making it difficult to determine which ingredient may cause certain effects.

Other Uses:    This plant is said to contain vitamin B12

Chinese
Its drying root is commonly known in Chinese as Radix Angelicae Sinensis, or Chinese angelica is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat gynecological ailments, fatigue, mild anemia and high blood pressure. Chinese angelica possesses the distinction of being one of the few good non-animal sources of Vitamin B12, along with some varieties of yeast and microalgae like spirulina. It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and sedative effects. The plant’s phytochemicals consist of coumarins, phytosterols, polysaccharides, ferulate, and flavonoids.

It is also used as an aphrodisiac.

Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Dong quai should not be used by people with bleeding disorders, excessive menstrual bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, or during infections such as colds and flu. Call your health practitioner if you experience bleeding, unusual bruising, diarrhea, or fever.

Dong quai may contain estrogen-like compounds and should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with breast cancer.

People taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) such as warfarin should not use Dong quai.

Dong quai should not be used during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. It should also not be used during breast-feeding.

Dong quai can cause photosensitivity, so people should limit sun exposure and wear sunblock.

Prohibition
Being a uterine tonic and hormonal regulator this herb is an effective herb for female reproductive system. It is often used in premenstrual syndrome formulas as well as menopausal formulas. However, this herb is not recommended during pregnancy due to possible hormonal, anticoagulant, and anti-platelet properties. Animal research has noted conflicting effects on the uterus, with reports of both stimulation and relaxation. Dong quai is traditionally viewed as increasing the risk of miscarriage.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong_quai
http://www.nutrasanus.com/dong-quai.html
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/DongQuai.htm

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Angelica+sinensis

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