What is dong quai? Also known as Chinese angelica, dong quai (Angelica sinensis) belongs to the same botanical family as vegetables and herbs such as celery, carrots, dill, and parsley. Native to China, Japan and Korea, dong quai grass is known for its clusters of small, sweet-smelling flowers in the summer months that are highly attractive to bees and other beneficial insects–such as Garden Angelica. Read on for more interesting information about the Chinese angelica plant, including the uses of this ancient herb.
Information about Dong Quai Plant
Although Chinese angelica plants are attractive and showy, they are grown primarily for the roots, which are dug up in fall and winter, and then dried for later use. Dong quai herbs have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and are still widely used today, primarily as capsules, powders, pills, and tinctures.
Traditionally, dong koi herbs have been used to treat gynecological ailments such as menstrual irregularities and pain, as well as hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Research on the effectiveness of dong quai for gynecology is mixed. However, many experts recommend against using the herb during pregnancy, as it may cause the uterus to contract, increasing the likelihood of a miscarriage.
In addition, boiled dong quai root has been used as a blood tonic. Again, the research is mixed, but it’s not a good idea to use dong quai in the two weeks prior to elective surgery, as it can act as a blood thinner.
Dong Qui has also been used to treat headaches, nerve pain, high blood pressure, and infections.
In addition to its medicinal properties, the root can also be added to stews and soups, just like sweet potatoes. The leaves, which taste similar to celery, are also edible, as are the stems, which are reminiscent of licorice.
Growing Dong Quai Angelica
Dong Qui grows in almost any moist, well-drained soil. It prefers full sun or partial shade, and is often planted in semi-shaded sites or woodland gardens. Dong Qui is hardy in zones 5 through 9.
Sow Dong Qui Angelica seeds directly into the garden in spring or fall. Plant the seeds in a permanent location, as the plant has very long roots which makes transplanting very difficult.
Chinese angelica plants take three years to reach maturity.