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ANGELICA SINENSIS

PIN YIN: DANG GUI
 PHARMACEUTICAL NAME: RADIX ANGELICAE SINENSIS
 COMMON NAME: ANGELICAE SINENSIS, CHINESE ANGELICA ROOT

Medicinal substance: The dried root of Chinese Angelica, Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels (family Umbelliferae)

Flavor: sweet, spicy, bitter
 Energy: warm
 Meridians: Liver, Heart, and Spleen
 Effect: Harmonizes and regulates the uterus and its associated functions. Sedative, analgesic, diuretic, antibiotic, moistens intestines and tonifies the Blood.

Clinical Use:

1. Tonifies the Blood: 

Used for Blood deficiency diseases. The primary flavor of Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is sweet, which warms and tonifies the Blood. Angelica Sinensis is often combined with Prepared Rehmannia Shou Di, Polygonum Root He Shou Wu and Astragalus Huang Qi. This is a derivative of the Angelica Decoction for Replenishing the Blood Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang. Since it has a warm energy, Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is preferably used for Blood deficiency with coldness. The substance is not indicated for Blood deficiency associated with Heat.

2. Vitalizes the Blood and regulates menstruation. 

Used for Blood stagnation and postpartum abdominal pain, menstrual irregularities from Blood vacuity resulting in congealed Blood manifested as dysmenorrhea or amenorrhea.
 Angelica’s secondary flavors are spicy and bitter, and its energy is fragrant. The spicy flavor disperses, the bitter flavor drains, and the fragrant property activates Qi flow and relieves stagnation, hence the herbs blood activating, menstrual regulating, and analgesic affects. With White Peony Bai Shao, Ligusticum Wallichi Chuan Xiong, and Prepared Rehmannia Shou Di, it forms the Four Substances Decoction Si Wu Tang, a famous formula that forms the basis of many Blood tonic and Blood activating formulas.
 Moreover, Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui it is also prescribed for traumatic injuries such as cuts, swelling, hematoma and pain, as well as for Blood deficient arthritedes (Bi pain).

3. Moistens the intestines and facilitates bowel movement. 

Because of its moistening properties Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is often prescribed for Blood deficient constipation. For this, it is frequently combined with Cannabis Seeds Huo Ma Ren, Black Sesame Seeds Hu Ma, Immature Bitter Orange Zhi Shi, and Cistanche Rou Cong Rong.

Dosage: 2 5 qian. Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is used fresh, fried in wine or charred. In herbal formulas it is mostly administered fresh. When stir fried in wine its warm properties are enhanced, giving it a stronger vitalizing effect on blood vessels. Its ashes are preferred for a warming, hemostatic effect. For Spleen deficiency with loose stools, Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is pan fried to a light yellow brown color.

Comparison of functions: 

In clinic the medicinal substance Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui is divided into 3 parts: The whole root is used to tonify the Blood and invigorate its flow; if only the top part of the root is entered into a prescription, it is referred to as Angelica Head Dang Gui Tou, which has a stronger tonic effect; if the bottom part of the root is prescribed, it is aptly named Angelica Tail Dang Gui Wei, preferred for its stronger Blood vitalizing properties. However, nowadays this practice is uncommon, and the whole root is usually prescribed.

Pharmacological research:

1. Volatile oils contained in Radix Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui control the functioning of the uterus by relaxing the uterine muscles, while the non-volatile ingredients will excite the uterus, thus leading to contraction. The relaxing or excitatory effects depend on the cooking time, dosage and the constitutional strength of the individual uterus.
 2. Angelica Sinensis Dang Guicontains Vitamin B 12 and folic acid, which help prevent anemia.
 3. According to animal experiments, Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui decreases blood pressure and inhibits cardiac muscles, thus preventing atrial fibrillation caused by surgery.
 4. It prevents reduction of glycogen in the liver of diseased laboratory animals, therefore is considered as having a liver protecting effect.
 5. It has an antibiotic effect on Shigella and Streptococcus.
 6. Plasters made from Angelica Sinensis Dang Gui can be used for the external treatment of shingles.

Chemical composition:

Essential oils .2-.4% (ligustilide, n-butylidene phthalide, n-butylphthalide, n-valero-phenone-O-carboxylic acid); ferulic acid, scopletin.