Introduction of Dang Gui:Dong Quai, Chinese Angelica Root or Radix Angelicae Sinensis.
✵The article gives records of the herb Chinese Angelica, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Chinese Angelica, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
Radix Angelicae Sinensis(Chinese Angelica).
Pin Yin Name: Dānɡ Guī.
English Name: Chinese Angelica, Chinese Angelica Root, Dong Quai
Latin Name: Radix Angelicae Sinensis.
Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes pungent, sweet.
Brief introduction: The Herb Radix Angelicae Sinensis is the dried root of Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels., used (1).to nourish the blood for treating blood deficiency of the heart and liver, (2).activate the blood flow and regulate menstruation for treating menstrual disorders, and (3).as an emollient and laxative for treating chronic constipation in the aged and debilitated. The herb is commonly known as Radix Angelicae Sinensis, Chinese Angelica Root, Dānɡ Guī.
Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Chinese Angelica) as the dried root of the species (1).Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels., It is a species of the Angelica L. genus, the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family) of the Apiales order. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels.
Botanical description: The plant is commonly known as Angelica sinensis, Chinese Angelica, Dānɡ Guī, Dong Quai, or Tang Kuei, which is the prepared root of the plant Angelica polymorpha Maxim. var. sinensis Oliv., also known as Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels., a member of the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family). The herb is mildly laxative, although it is used primarily for its uterine tonic, antispasmodic, and alterative (blood purifying) effects.
The Chinese species, Angelica Sinensis, which grows in the eastern part of the Asia-Europe continent, grows high to about 1 meter by 0.7 meter. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds mature from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both stamens and gynoecia) and are pollinated by insects. The plant is self-fertile. The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
The plant, Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels., is a perennial aromatic plant, of the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family). The plant grows up to 0.4~1 meter tall. Roots are terete (cylindrical), branched, have many succulent fibrous roots, are yellowish-brown, and have a strong aroma. The stem is upright, green, or purplish, has vertical deep grooves, and is smooth and glabrous.
Leaf: trifoliolate leaves, bipinnatifid to tripinnatifid; petioles are 3~11 cm long, the base is expanded and turns to the tubiform membranous sheath, purple or green; the outline of basal leaves and cauline leaves on the lower part of stems is oval (egg-shaped), 8~18 cm long, 15~20 cm wide, lobules (leaflets) are in 3 pairs, the 1 pair of petioles on the lower part is 0.5-1.5 cm long, the adapical pair of lobules are sessile, terminal lobes are oval (egg-shaped) or ovate-lanceolate, 1-2 cm long, 5-15 mm wide, 2-3 lobed, the margin is incised-serrate, the tip of teeth is pointed, the undersurface of leaves and edge is sparsely covered with mamillary white fuzz; cauline leaves on the upper part of stems are simplified to pouchlike sheath (saccate sheath) and pinnate leaves.
Flowers: composite umbel (compound umbel) is apical, peduncles are 4~7 cm long, densely covered with fine pilose; umbrella spokes are 9–30; 2 involucre bracts, linear, or absent; umbellule (umbellet) has 13–36 flowers; 2–4 bracteoles (bractlets), linear, 5 calyx teeth, oval (egg-shaped); flowers are white, flower stalks are densely pilose; flower petals are ovate-oblong, the apex is narrow pointed, inflexed (recurved); style is short, stylopodium is conical. Its flowering period is from June to July.
Fruit: fruits are elliptic to oval (egg-shaped), 4~6 mm long, 3~4 mm wide, dorsal ribs are linear, raised (protuberant), lateral ribs turn into wide and thin wings, as wide as or slightly wider than the fruit body, wing margin is mauve (lilac), rib groove has 1 vittae (oil duct), commissure has 2 vittae (oil ducts). Its fruiting period is from July to September.
The original plant of Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels. cultivated in Min County has several distinct features: its stems are purple, its leaves are ternate tripinnatifid, purple, the outline of basal leaves and cauline leaves on the lower part of stems is oval (egg-shaped), terminal lobes are oval or ovate-lanceolate, the edge is incised-serrate. The flowers are white, and the edges of the flower petals are mauve (lilac).
Ecological Environment: The plant, Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels is native to the eastern part of the Europe-Asia continent, it grows in the highland area, and in cool and damp areas of the western and northwestern parts of China. The wild plants of Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels. grow in untraversed mountains and forests of Zhang County, Zhouqu County of Gansu province, China. The cultivated plants grow in areas at altitudes of 2,000 meters above sea level, and now they are produced mainly in several counties south-east of Gansu province, such as Min County, Tanchang County, Weiyuan County, Zhang County, Wudu County, Wen County, Zhuoni County, Lin County, etc. The Chinese Angelica root from Gansu province has a big size and its quality is good, the herb is also cultivated in other provinces in the northwest and southwest of China. Min County and Tanchang County are two famous cultivation areas for Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels.
Growth characteristics: The plant is a crop of low temperatures and long-day, it bears a high, cold, and cool climate, and could be planted in the area at altitudes around 1,500–3,000 meters above sea level. In the area of lower altitudes, the bolting rate of cultivation is high, and the shrubs could not easily pass the summer safely. In the seedling stage, it likes shade, the transmittance of light is 10%, so it should avoid the hot and direct sun shining; Adult plants can withstand strong lights. It is appropriate to choose fields with deep soil layers, loose and fertile, humus-rich sandy loam with good drainage, for cultivation. It is not suitable to plant in low-lying waterlogged, easily-hardened clay or barren sandy soil, should avoid continuous cropping.
Characters of herbs: The dry root can be divided into three parts: the head of the root is named Dānɡ Guī Tóu (means root head of the Chinese Angelica), the taproot is named Dānɡ Guī Shēn (means body root of the Chinese Angelica), and the fibrous root and root tip are named Dānɡ Guī Wěi (means tail root of the Chinese Angelica). The root head and taproot are short and thick (stout), slightly cylindrical, with 3–5 or more rootlets (branch roots) in the lower part, 15–25 cm long. The surface is yellowish-brown to tan (chocolate brown) and has irregular vertical wrinkles and elliptical lenticels (or elongated lenticel-like protrusions). The root head is 1.5–3.5 cm long, 1.5~3 cm in diameter, or 1.5~4 cm in diameter, has cross striations (or annular cross striations), the upper end is blunt, or there are several protruding root stem marks, with purple or yellow-green stem and leaf sheath residues, the tip has many layers of residual scaly leaf base; the surface of the taproot is uneven; the rootlets are 0.3~1 cm in diameter, or 0.4-1 cm in diameter, the upper part is thick, and the lower part is thin, mostly twisted, with a few fibrous root marks. The texture of the herb is firm and hard, and easily absorbs moisture and turns soft and flexible (for example, absorbs moisture in the air or after steaming), the fracture surface is yellowish-white or fallow (light yellowish-brown), the cortex or bark is thick, there are cracks and many brown punctate secretory cavities, the cortex has many brownish oil spots and fissuring, the xylem (wood part) is light, the radial lines on the xylem are fine and dense, and the cambium ring is yellowish-brown. The herb has a strong aromatic fragrance, it tastes sweet, spicy, and slightly bitter.
The herb of a better grade has a thick and long taproot (main root), is oily or oleosus, the bark is brown, the root is full, the fracture surface is yellowish-white, and has a strong aromatic fragrance. The herb of an inferior grade is woody, dry, and has no oil, or its fracture surface is green-brown, which can not be used as herb medicine.
The taproot of a better grade is big size, long, the rootlets are fewer, the cross-section is yellowish-white, has a strong aroma. The taproot of inferior quality is short, the rootlets are many, the aroma is weak, and the cross-section turns reddish brown.
Collection: the herb Angelica Sinensis is dug out in the late autumn. After getting rid of the rootlets and drying slightly by evaporation, the roots are tied up in bundles, placed on the frame, baked and dried over a slow fire, sliced, and used unprepared or stir-baked with wine.
Chinese angelica root is classified into different types and grades: Wine Chinese Angelica (Chinese Angelica root prepared with wine), Whole Chinese Angelica, Chinese Angelica Body, Chinese Angelica Tail or Chinese Angelica Rootlet, etc.
Dong Quai, the prepared dried root of Angelica sinensis, is also known as Chinese Angelica, and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It remains one of the most popular herbs in Chinese medicine and is used primarily for women's health conditions. Dong Quai was also named Female Ginseng, based on its uses for gynecologic disorders such as painful menstruation or pelvic pain, aiding recovery from childbirth or illness, and fatigue or low vitality. It is also indicated for replenishing the blood, for cardiovascular conditions, high blood pressure, inflammation, headaches, infections, neuropathic pain, etc.
Pharmacological actions: ①.The volatile oil has a bidirectional effect on uterine smooth muscle and can inhibit the contraction of uterine smooth muscle caused by various mechanisms, reduce blood pressure, improve myocardial ischemia, anti-arrhythmia, and has antiasthmatic, inhibit the central nervous system, improve the immune function of the body, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and other pharmacological effects; ②.Chinese Angelica Root and its effective components have lowering blood lipid effect and resistant experimental atherosclerosis, inhibit platelet aggregation, antithrombotic effect, affect the hematopoietic system, there is a very significant hemopoietic function, immune enhancement effect, hepatoprotective effect (liver protective effect); ③.anti-tumor effect; ④.anti-radiation effect; ⑤.anti-inflammatory effect; ⑥.inhibition of the central nervous system; ⑦.antibacterial effect (Chinese Angelica Root has antibacterial effect on in vitro Shigella dysenteriae, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus paratyphosus, escherichia coli, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Vibrio cholerae and hemolytic streptococcus A, B, etc); ⑧.anti-asthmatic effect, has certain protective effect to the kidney, effect on substance metabolism (angelica root has the function of lowering blood lipid in hyperlipidemia, reducing the affinity of hemoglobin and oxygen, promoting the release of oxygen in the tissue of oxygenated hemoglobin, thus increasing the function of transporting oxygen in red blood cells); ⑨.antioxidant and scavenging free radicals, etc.
Medicinal efficacy: Replenishing blood and invigorate the circulation of blood, replenishing blood and harmonizing blood, regulating menstruation and relieving pain, moisturizing dryness syndrome and laxative, relaxing bowel. It is indicated for syndromes of blood deficiency, blood deficiency and sallow complexion (blood deficiency and looks yellowing), blood deficiency and cephalea (blood deficiency and headache), dizziness, dizziness and palpitation, menoxenia(irregular menstruation), menischesis, dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain after menstruation), menischesis and abdominal pain, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis (uterine bleeding), asthenia cold abdominalgia (deficiency cold and abdominal pain), abdominal mass and accumulation, Wei Bi (limb can not move or numbness and lose sensation), rheumatic arthralgia pain, skin and muscle numbness, constipation due to intestinal dryness, red dysentery and tneesmus (dysentery characterized by blood in the stool), carbuncle, gangrene and sore, injury from falling down. Yellow rice wine prepare Angelica root functions invigorate the circulation of blood, restoring menstrual flow, indicated for menischesis, dysmenorrhea (abdominal pain after menstruation), rheumatic arthralgia pain, injury from falling down.
Administration of Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Dānɡ Guī):
Administration Guide of Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Dānɡ Guī)
①.Internally:6~12 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction, 1.5~3 qian (about 4.5~9 grams);infusing in wine, prepare ointment, or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,6~12 grams;or prepared to pill, powder;or infusing in wine;or prepare to ointment and apply stick.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Radix Angelicae Sinensis should not be combined with sweet sedge, seaweed, fresh ginger.
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1.Introduction of Dang Gui:Dong Quai, Chinese Angelica Root or Radix Angelicae Sinensis.