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Brand Name: Dong Quai Latin Name:Angelica sinensis                                                   A Remedy For                          Often referred to as the "female ginseng, " Dong Quai has been used for                         thousands of years to treat menstrual problems such as PMS and relieve                       menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Chinese doctors also use it,                         for men and women alike, to treat high blood pressure, poor circulation,                         and anemia (loss of red blood cells).                                                   What It Is; Why It Works                          Contrary to some theories, Donq Quai is not, in itself, a replacement for                         estrogen, nor does it have any hormone-like effects on the body. Its ability                       to relieve menstrual difficulties is thought to stem from its power to quell                         spasms in the internal organs.                                                 Chinese researchers have also found that Dong Quai stimulates                                                 production of the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body,                                                 thus increasing energy and combating fatigue. Some scientists even claim                                                   that the herb contains an immune-boosting compound that could help                       prevent arthritis and cancer, although its effectiveness for such problems                       remains unproven.                                                   A type of wild celery, Dong Quai should not be confused with its European                       cousin, Anglica archangelica, which is used primarily to relieve digestive                         problems. It is the Dong Quai root that's used medicinally. Look for moist                         specimens with a brown outer layer and a white cross section. Avoid dry                         roots and those with greenish-brown cross sections.                                                   Avoid If...                          No known medical conditions preclude the use of Dong Quai.                                                   Special Cautions                          If you are suffering from diarrhea or bloating, check with your doctor before                       using Dong Quai. Remember, too, that Dong Quai sometimes increases                         sensitivity to sunlight, particularly if you are fair-skinned. To avoid a                       sunburn when using this herb on an extended basis, limit your exposure to                         the sun.                                                   Possible Drug Interactions                          No interactions have been reported.                                                 Special Information If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding                                                 Dong Quai is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.                                                   How To Prepare                          Dong Quai is available as crushed root, and in tablets, capsules, and                         alcohol solutions (tinctures).                                                 To make a medicinal tea, use 1 teaspoonful of crushed root per cup of                                                 boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes.                                                   Typical Dosage                          Women often take 3 to 4 grams per day. Strengths of commercial                         preparations may vary, so follow the manufacturer's directions whenever                         available.                                                   Overdosage                          No information on overdosage is available.