posted May 16, 2018 08:01 PM
Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis) is a tonic herb used and revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine to “restore healthy order to the body”. In the Chinese language, Dang Gui translates to “State of Return”.
Touted as the female ginseng, Dang Gui is most commonly used today by herbalists as a female fertility herb to support uterine tone and strength, for pelvic pain, for menstrual irregularities and to encourage menstruation when menstruation has ceased.
Dang Gui’s medicinal actions include:
stimulating and relaxing the uterus
antispasmodic and analgesic
improved blood flow to the pelvis
These benefits are in part why Dang Gui is also known for its ability to…
1. Build the Blood
Dang Gui’s circulation-increasing effects, and its vitamin and mineral content (vitamin B12, folic acid, folinic, ferulic and nicotinic acids, iron, along with biotin) boosts red blood cell production, in turn increasing blood volume, which is key to why it offers each of the benefits listed below. Low iron levels in particular contribute to anemia which is important to avoid when trying to conceive. Dang Gui is also slightly blood-thinning which may slow blood clotting.
2. Oxygenate the Blood
Dang Gui also contains cobalt which is believed to increase the hemoglobin content of red blood cells. Hemoglobin is a protein in blood that carries oxygen to red blood cells and contains iron.
3. Reduce Stress & Uplift Your Mood
Dang Gui is nourishing to the central nervous system – in turn helping to reduce anxiety and mood swings, reduce depression and promote relaxation. This may be due to its hormone-balancing, invigorating and arousing properties.
4. Strengthen the Immune System
Dang Gui may increase production of white blood cells which fight infection and boost the liver’s ability to detoxify the body. It is also a widely revered blood purifier helping to reduce toxicity throughout the body. Based on traditional use, or scientific theory, Dang Gui may be useful for “immune cytopenias” resulting in a decreased number of immune cells in the blood (MayoClinic.org) which may be associated with underlying autoimmune disease. If experiencing immune-related infertility, or blood disorders, consider researching the use of Dang Gui further with the help of your healthcare provider.
5. Support Male Fertility
Sperm quality and viability are known to be improved by ferulic acid, an antioxidant found in Dang Gui. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database shares that external application of an herbal cream containing Dang Gui has been used by men with premature ejaculation and proven “possibly effective”.
6. Alleviate Uterine Pain
Known to relax and stimulate uterine, vascular and intestinal smooth muscle, Dang Gui may be useful in relieving pelvic congestion by increasing circulation. This benefit may be useful in the case of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea).
7. Support Estrogen Balance
Dr. Aviva Romm in her book Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health shares that clinical studies are inconclusive and have not yet proven that Dang Gui has estrogenic effects in humans although it does, like many plants, contain phytoestrogens. As the “gynecological regulator” of herbs, Dang Gui may have the ability to lower high estrogen levels and raise low estrogen levels – meeting the needs of the body versus causing an estrogen imbalance.
This potent female (and male) fertility health herb, regarded as a fertility promoter, has become my recent herbal interest. I can’t read enough about it! Dang Gui can be rather fast acting and effective as a part of a natural fertility program.
While generally considered safe and highly recommended, there are precautions to know of…
The Botanical Safety Handbook classifies Dang Gui %as a class 1c: Not to be used during pregnancy unless otherwise directed by an expert qualified in the used of the described substance.
Never ingest the essential oil of Dang Gui without guidance from a qualified natural healthcare provider
Not to be used during menstruation
Not to be used while breastfeeding
Avoid self prescribing if you are at risk of developing hormone-related cancers
Not to be used with anticoagulant drugs, aka. blood thinners or hormonal medications
May increase skin sensitivity to the sun
Work with a qualified herbalist, or natural healthcare provider if interested in taking Dang Gui with any of the following herbs therapeutically because they may also have blood-thinning actions within the body:
St. John’s Wort