Angelica Sinensis (Dang Gui)
Angelica Sinensis is also know as Dang Gui
* Among the four Chinese herbs tagged in Western Latin terminology under the genus Angelica, only Angelica sinensis, which is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine, is known by the common English name Angelica, or Angelica Root. The other three were designated in the Angelica category rather arbitrarily, and are not traditionally used in Western herbology, so they have no common English name
OTHER NAMES: honeywort; shan chin (mountain celery); Angelica polymorpha.
ThIS fragrant perenmal herb produces brown, fleshy rootstocks that branch into masses of large, pliant, densely packed rootlets, somewhat like gentian. It is highly aromatic, with a bittersweet taste that resembles celery, hence the Chinese nickname. It has always been highly reputed in China and Japan, ranking close to licorice in frequency of use in formulas, and is particularly valued for its efficacy in every type of female menstrual disorder.
The herb is grown most abundantly in the provinces of central and western China, and also in Japan.
MEDICINAL PART: Root
Flavor: bitter, sweet, slightly pungent
Affinity: liver, spleen
THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS: emmenagogue; tonic; analgesic; sedative; alterative; stimulates appetite; improves muscle tone; stimulates immune system (TCM: tonifies blood)
INDICATIONS: irregular, insufficient, profuse, painful, and otherwise abnormal menstruation; premenstrual syndrome (PMS); headache; pain from traumatic injury or surgical wounds; paralysis; poor appetite;. cancer (TCM: empty blood)
Decoction: for painful and/or irregular menstruation, add one whole, uncut angelica root to 2 cups pure water and decoct to 1 cup of broth. Divide into two doses and take on an empty stomach in the morning and at bedtime.
For heavy bleeding from hemorrhages in uterus, decoct 10 grams of angelica with 10 grams of Japanese catnip, using 1 cup of rice wine or sherry and 2 cups pure water. Take in two doses, on an empty stomach, morning and bedtime.
INCOMPATIBLES: fresh ginger, herbs of Acorus species, seaweed
REMARKS: This has long been regarded as one of the primary herbs for all sorts of female disorders related to blood, menstruation, and pregnancy, and it's therefore known as the Great Tonic for All Female Deficiencies. Modern scientific research validates these traditional claims. The herb has been shown to contain estrogenic compounds called phytoestrogens, which account for its menstrual-regulating properties. It also helps control fungal infections such as Candida albicans, which is the main causative agent in vaginal yeast infections.
The herb has also been proven to enhance immunity by stimulating the production and activity of white blood cells, such as B-Iymphocytes and T-Iymphocytes, and by increasing production of interferon and leukocytes as well. These properties account for the herb's anticancer activity.
Angelica is regarded as one of the most balanced yin tonics, just as ginseng is the perfect yang tonic. Combining the two therefore provides complete and balanced tonification of both yin and yang energies.
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