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The most common dong quai benefits include headache relief, the easing of premenstrual pain, restored energy, and faster vaginal healing post-childbirth. Relieving hypertension, fortifying bones, and strengthening blood flow are other benefits of this Asian herb. A mild phytoestrogen, dong quai benefits many females by allegedly restoring hormonal balance during youth and menopause; it has been lauded for quelling hot flashes, bloating, poor lubrication, and cramping. Research, however, is inconclusive about these gynecological benefits.
The ability to restore normal menstruation to women suffering from amenorrhea is one of the leading dong quai benefits. This herb is also credited for soothing arthritis and treating angina. Some users take dong quail to improve kidney functions.
Dong quai comes from the angelica sinensis plant, which grows in Eastern countries such as China. Medicinal dong quai benefits are derived from the plant’s roots, specifically the root ingredient ligustilide, which is the main biologically-active component; scientific tests affirm that ligustilide is the component that improves blood quality and overall vitality. Research also confirms that ligustilide is responsible for having a calming effect on the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. In some cultures, the root is pulverized and used as a spice. Bits of the root can also be steeped to make a tea.
The most common way to partake in dong quai benefits is through nutritional supplements found in pharmacies or health stores. Many users take between 200 mg and 600 mg in capsule form daily. Excess amounts are not recommended by doctors.
The herb is also sold in powder, either alone or mixed with other herbs and sugar. Sugar additives may make the concoctions unsuitable for those suffering from high blood sugar. Use is typically temporary since potent negative side effects make the herb unsuitable for permanent or long-time use. It is not generally recommended for children.
The enjoyment of don quai benefits may be tempered by a few negative side effects, such as asthma, an increased susceptibility to damage from sun rays, and rash. In some patients with sensitive digestive systems, the herb can induce nausea or diarrhea. The herb can also interfere with prescription medicines, particularly those prescribed for blood thinning and hormone balancing. In excess, the herb can cause severe hemorrhages, because it has properties which prevent blood from congealing. A few medical reports suggest miscarriage is possible.
Some studies suggest using don quai could lead to a higher risk of uterine cancer or stroke. The phytoestrogens are one factor in raising cancer risks. The presence of a cancer-inducing oil named safrole, an ingredient in the herb’s leaves, is a second factor.
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