dong quai


Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.

don kwi

Trade Name(s)

  • Angelica sinensis 
  • Chinese Angelica
  • Dang Gui
  • Danggui
  • Don Quai
  • Ligustilides
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Radix angelicae gigantis 
  • Tang Kuei
  • Tan Kue Bai Zhi

Ther. Class.

none assigned

Common Uses

  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Various uses as a blood purifier
  • Topically in combination with other ingredients for premature ejaculation


  • May have vasodilating and antispasmodic properties.
  • Binds to estrogen receptors.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

Improved ejaculatory latency.


Absorption: Unknown.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.

Half-life: Unknown.




Contraindicated in:

  • Allergy to carrot, celery, mugwort, or other members of the Apiaceae family;
  • OB:  Pregnancy and lactation.

Use Cautiously in:

  • Hormone-sensitive cancers and conditions (may exacerbate effects or stimulate growth of cancer cells);
  • Protein S deficiency (↑ risk for thrombosis);
  • Surgery (discontinue 2 wk prior to procedure).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Derm: photosensitivity

GI: diarrhea

Misc: Some constituents are carcinogenic and mutagenic

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.


Natural Drug Interaction


Herbs with antiplatelet or anticoagulant properties may increase bleeding risk when combined with dong quai including:  angelica,  clove,  danshen,  garlic,  ginger,  ginkgo,  Panax ginseng , and  willow .


PO (Adults): Bulk herb: 3–4.5 g per day in divided doses with meals;  Extract: 1 mL (20–40 drops) three times daily.


Bulk herb: OTC

Extract: OTC


  • Assess pain and menstrual patterns prior to and following menstrual cycle to determine effectiveness of this herbal supplement.
  • Assess for pregnancy prior to recommending use of the herbal supplement.
  • Assess for history of hormone-sensitive cancers or conditions and warn against use.
  • Assess medication profile including prescription and over-the-counter use of products such as aspirin- and ibuprofen-based products to treat menstrual pain.


  • PO Take with meals.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Caution patients to avoid use of aspirin or other NSAIDs concurrently because of the risk of bleeding.
  • Notify patients that there are no studies supporting the use of this herbal supplement for treatment of menopausal symptoms.
  • Advise patients to consult their health care professional if taking prescription medications before taking dong quai.
  • Discontinue the herbal supplement if diarrhea or excessive bleeding occurs and contact a health care provider if symptoms do not resolve.
  • Inform patients that photosensitivity may occur and to wear sunscreen and protective clothing if sun exposure is anticipated.
  • Advise females of reproductive potential to avoid use if pregnancy is planned or suspected.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

Reduction in menstrual pain and cramping and regular periods with normal flow.