Tang kuei, also known as dong quai, archangel root, female ginseng, Angelica sinensis or the Chinese angelica, is a perennial plant found along ravine streams, marshy meadows, river banks and sea coasts. It has long been used in traditional Asian herbal remedies and in homeopathic medicine. The plant extracts are rich in calcium, essential oils, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin B, with the yellowish root considered to be of particular medicinal value.
The root is generally dried and ground into powder, which can be brewed as a tea, often taken with chamomile, or can be added as a nutritional, strength-building element to soups. The herb remedy is also available in tincture solutions and capsule forms, and can be purchased from online and regular health shops.
While modern scientific research and studies still have to prove many of the plant's medicinal uses, traditional medicine and homeopathy practitioners hold this herb remedy in a very high regard. According to them, tang kuei can be used to successfully treat a host of human ailments and health conditions. In the main, it has been found very effective in balancing female hormones and treating menstrual and menopausal problems. Women suffering from menstrual cramps or menopausal hot flashes can take the plant extracts to alleviate their symptoms.
As a pain reliever, the plant is also used to relieve muscular aches, abdominal pains and toothaches. It has been used to treat respiratory problems, and liver and kidney conditions. Tang kuei is thought to promote red blood cell formation, improve blood circulation, and keep blood pressure in order. It has a moisturizing effect on skin and is used to treat skin disorders like acne and psoriasis.
Herbal remedies made from this plant are usually low on toxicity, but it is best for people considering taking it to consult an experienced herbalist about the correct dosage before embarking on any kind of treatment. This is particularly important if a person is prone to have allergic reactions or is already on other types of medications. There is a chance that an herbal remedy may produce some undesirable side effects, like causing light sensitivity problems in people with very fair complexions. Individuals taking diuretic or lithium drugs should also be careful, as herbal remedies may interact in a negative way with these medicines. Generally, pregnant and lactating women should take tang kuei in very small, prescribed dosages, or avoid it altogether.