dong quai (Angelica sinensis, Chinese Angelica, Tang Kuei, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tanggwi, Toki)

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GENERIC NAME: Angelica sinensis, Chinese Angelica, Tang Kuei, Tan Kue Bai Zhi, Tanggwi, Toki, Angelica China, female Ginseng

BRAND NAME: Don Quai

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Dong quai is a plant and the root is used as a natural medicine to treat several conditions. Dong quai has some effects of estrogen and it may affect other hormones in the body. Dong quai also contain coumarins, which give it blood thinning effects in the body. Individuals should check with their physicians before using this compound.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Dong quai is available in capsules, liquid extract, and powder form. Concentration of Dong quai may vary from product-to-product due to multiple manufacturers producing various products.

STORAGE: Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of Dong quai, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Dong quai is commonly used for premature ejaculations, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms, and menstrual cramps. It is also used for treatment of anemia, constipation, skin discoloration, joint aches and pain, ulcers, and high blood pressure.

DOSING (note that different suppliers may suggest different doses):

  • Premature ejaculation: A multi-ingredient topical cream, containing Dong quai, is applied to the penis one hour prior to sex and washed off immediately before sex.
  • Menopausal symptoms: Take 4.5 grams of powder by mouth daily or 520 to 1560 mg by mouth three times daily with meals.
  • Liquid extract: Take 1 ml by mouth three times a day.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Dong quai has blood thinning effects (slow blood clotting) and should not be taken with blood thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and pain medications like ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and diclofenac (Voltaren). Such combinations increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. It should also not be combined with herbs that also slow blood clotting. Examples include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, and willow.

PREGNANCY: Dong quai may affect muscles of the uterus in pregnant women and possibly be harmful to the fetus. Dong quai should not be used in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether Dong quai enters breast milk; however, it is best to avoid Dong quai in nursing mothers to prevent harm to the newborn.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of Dong quai are skin irritation, sun sensitivity, bruising, and bleeding. It may increase the risk of cancer.

REFERENCE: MedlinePlus. Dong quai.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2014



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