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.