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What Is Angelica Extract?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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Chinese angelica extract, also known as simply angelica extract, is an herbal supplement used for various ailments. Derived from the root of the aromatic herb, Chinese angelica, it has been used for a digestive tonic, gynecological disorders, and many other conditions. Also a flavoring agent in some foods, it is most commonly used and sold as a light yellow powder.

Popularly referred to as dong quai, this extract is most often used in treating menstrual disorders and pain. Postmenopausal symptoms, menstrual discomfort, backaches, and other effects of the menstrual cycle may be alleviated through the use of the remedy. Some claim that when used as a premenstrual tonic, dong quai can help regulate hormones. It can also be used in treating headaches.

Several medical tests have been conducted on dong quai. Though many of these studies have yielded inconclusive results, some largely indicate that the supplement can be used in treating many different sicknesses. Angelica extract may wield healing power as an analgesic, sedative, diuretic, cardiotonic, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory agent. It also exhibits qualities that could make it ideal in protecting the liver and heart.

The herb has been used pharmacologically for several different minor ailments. Mild colds, coughs, and hay fever have been alleviated with dong quai. Several more serious conditions, such as osteoporosis and asthma, may be treated with the remedy as well. As a digestive aid, many assert that angelica extract improves appetite.

Urinary disorders have been remedied through use of dong quai. The herbal extract has also been used in ameliorating colic and rheumatism. It may be useful in treating pleurisy, eczema, bronchitis, and arthritis, too.

A member of the Apiaceae family, the Chinese herb is widely used in its native country. Traditional Chinese medicine utilizes the extract in treating anemia, high blood pressure, and fatigue. It is also often used as an aphrodisiac.

Dong quai may cause some serious side effects, including anticoagulant results within the body, and possibly miscarriage during pregnancy. Pregnant and nursing women and children should avoid the herbal remedy. Use of this extract should be supervised by a physician.

Formally named radix angelicae sinensis in Latin, angelica extract is known by many other names. Some of these include angelicae radix, angelica, ligustici radix, angelicae sinensis radix, and angelica root. Another favorite name of the herb that many natural practitioners use is female ginseng. In Korea, it is known as danggwi.

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Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
By lonelygod — On Jul 20, 2011

Has anyone had any success with using angelica extract as a treatment for high blood pressure?

I was diagnosed with hypertension a few years ago and would really like to find some natural products that I could use to keep my blood pressure in check, alongside my usual healthy diet and exercise program.

For myself, I hate taking prescription medications as I feel I have done enough work to go off of them. Just as a precaution though, I would like to try something that was natural and that could help me maintain my good progress when I am stressed out.

By Sara007 — On Jul 19, 2011

@hyrax53 - The benefits for those who have menstrual issues are numerous, so if you were thinking of trying out angelica extract I would go for it. I started taking angelica extract to help with my period a few yeas ago and I much prefer it to over-the-counter medications.

Angelica extract does a great job of reliving me of serious cramps and really tones down the headaches I used to get during my cycle. On top of that I am convinced it regulates my hormones so I am not as moody, which I am sure everyone in my family appreciates.

As for buying angelica extra it is easily found at any herbal supply store or you can always order it online. It's fairly inexpensive.

By sunshined — On Jul 19, 2011

While angelica extract has been known to help with high blood pressure, peony extract has also been used for this same reason. A lot of times different herbal remedies will have similar benefits.

The key is finding what works best for you because everybody reacts differently. It doesn't matter if it is a medication or a natural remedy you are trying, some things just work better for some people than others.

When I have a headache, if I take Tylenol it doesn't seem to even touch it. If I take some Advil, then it goes away within a few minutes. The opposite of this is true for my husband. You can use the same principle here with natural extracts as well.

By julies — On Jul 19, 2011

When I went for my annual physical and was complaining to my doctor about menstrual cramping and symptoms, one of the first things he recommended was putting me on birth control pills.

I tried this for about a year, but then decided I wanted to find more of a natural method to deal with this. After doing some research, I decided to try some of this - scientifically known as angelicae longona extract.

I gave my body a a few months to get back in balance after discontinuing the birth control pills before expecting to see much in the way of results. I was happy to find great relief with this extract, and another bonus was I noticed I had fewer headaches.

By sherlock87 — On Jul 19, 2011

@hyrax53- I think you can get it at a lot of natural food stores, and possibly even grocery stores if they have things like herbal teas and other herbal remedies. Vitamin stores might also be a good place to go for the different products containing angelica herbs.

By hyrax53 — On Jul 18, 2011

I have been told about the benefits of the angelica plant for menstrual issues a few times. I really ought to try it, is it easy to find, does anyone know?

By sapphire12 — On Jul 17, 2011

Many of the things used to help menstrual pain are not good ideas for pregnant women, since these are such contradictory health conditions. If you do have problems with pregnancy though, I know there are other herbal remedies that can help for those sorts of pain.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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