The most interesting health benefits of Dong Quai include its ability to balance hormone levels, detoxify the body, ease the menstrual process, boost energy levels and circulation, improve mood, reduce signs of aging, protect skin health, lower blood pressure, improve sex drive, and protect the heart.
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What is Dong Quai?
If you’ve ever heard of “female ginseng”, then you’ve heard of dong quai, which has the scientific name Angelica sinensis. This powerful herb grows primarily in Asia and has been in use for thousands of years as a sacred herbal remedy. While many traditional Chinese herbal medicines are largely discounted by medical professionals, dong quai remains quite viable and continues to prove its value as more and more medicinal benefits are identified. The yellow root of the dong quai plant is where the most valuable chemical components are found. This root is then dried and used to make a number of powders, tinctures, tonics, and other herbal supplements, notably for female health issues, but more recently for an impressive array of benefits. The plant actually belongs to a rather normal family, Apiaceae, which is commonly known as the carrot, parsley, and celery family, but the unique chemical composition of dong quai gives it far more benefits than your average green stalk.
The nickname “female ginseng” may turn off some men to using dong quai, but as it turns out there, are plenty of benefits for both genders. The active ingredients like ferulic acid, various polysaccharides, and more than 70 other powerful chemical compounds result in significant effects on our system, and it’s becoming harder to deny!
Health Benefits of Dong Quai
Let’s take a closer look at this mysterious and powerful plant to investigate the many health benefits of this root.
Maintains Hormonal Balance
For thousands of years, dong quai has mainly been turned to by the fairer sex, as it has a unique ability to regulate estrogen levels within the body. Whether you’re too high or too low in the estrogen department, dong quai extracts and supplements can get your system back on track, effectively protecting feminine health by helping to regulate periods.
Acts as an Aphrodisiac
This is one of the benefits that certainly helps men and women – dong quai’s use as an aphrodisiac. Studies have shown that dong quai in various forms can increase male and female libido levels, as well as their fertility likelihood. Instead of going to expensive fertility centers and paying thousands of dollars or spending years trying to conceive, adding some powerful dong quai to your diet can help boost your chances of conception, and increase your interest in the act itself!
Detoxifies the Body
One of the most common places for toxins and potentially harmful substances to appear in the body is in the blood. It can be difficult to detoxify the blood, but the high levels of nutrients and vitamins in dong quai, such as folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B12, actually work to clear out the blood and reduce toxicity throughout the body.
Improves Blood Circulation
The significant levels of iron found in dong quai mean that it can significantly boost circulation throughout the body. Iron is a key component of red blood cells, and without it, people often suffer from anemia, characterized by headaches, muscle weakness, unexplained fatigue, and cognitive disorders. By increasing circulation throughout the body, you can boost energy levels and promote healing as extremities in the body become oxygenated and energized with nutrients.
Reduces Menstruation Problems
One of the other reasons why dong quai has been called female ginseng is because of its effects on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause. The cramping, mood swings, and general discomfort of menstruation are alleviated by the antispasmodic properties of dong quai, while also helping to replenish the blood after your menstruation so that you don’t feel weak or tired for days afterward. For women who have chosen to get off birth control pills, dong quai can actually help to naturally regulate and ease your cycle.
Relieves Anxiety & Stress
One of the other valuable functions of dong quai that has emerged in recent years is its ability to improve mood and lessen anxiety and stress. For women undergoing the hormonal rollercoaster of menopause or menstruation, as well as men suffering from anxiety and stress, it can help to regulate hormones to reduce mood swings and ease our minds.
Reduces Mood Swings
Dong quai, perhaps due to its invigorating and arousing properties, has been linked with reducing depression and lessening the effects on our system. There is a relationship between dopamine and serotonin releases in our body from certain active components of dong quai, which can explain this wonderfully uplifting quality of this supplement!
As mentioned earlier, dong quai is chock full of powerful chemical compounds that have a wide range of effects on our body, including eliminating free radicals before they can damage our organ systems and cause chronic diseases. This means that dong quai has the potential to reduce our chances of everything from heart disease to cancer due to these important antioxidant compounds.
Improves Heart Health
Dong quai can help with heart health in a number of ways. Firstly, it has been directly connected with lowered blood pressure in research studies, and it can also treat abnormal heart rhythms due to its antispasmodic capabilities. Finally, this root can reduce excess platelet build-up in the arteries and blood vessels, which is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
While the antioxidant compounds mentioned before also have some role in keeping the skin young and healthy in appearance, dong quai more specifically works as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial substance for skin conditions like alopecia, psoriasis, and eczema, lessening the discomfort and appearance of these skin afflictions quickly.
Word of Caution: It seems like there is something good for everyone in dong quai, but for those women suffering breast cancer, men suffering from prostate cancer, as well as those women who are pregnant or nursing, this herbal supplement shouldn’t be used. Furthermore, as it can act as an anticoagulant, it can cause complications for people taking blood pressure medication, like warfarin, and may cause excess bleeding. Always speak to a medical professional before pursuing a new herbal regimen.