Angelica omeiensis C.Q.Yuan & R.H.Shan
Angelica polymorpha sinensis Oliv.
Angelica wilsonii H.Wolff
Common Name: Dang Gui
Angelica sinensis is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing a branched stem 40 - 100cm tall[
The roots are frequently used in the important traditional Chinese medicine 'dang gui', and are commonly harvested from the wild and also cultivated[
All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis[
E. Asia - central and southwest China.
High ground in cool and damp areas of western and north-western China[
]. Forests and shrubby thickets at elevations from 2,500 - 3,000 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
This species is not fully hardy in the colder areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to at least -5°c[
Species in this genus generally grow best in a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun[
Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed[
The root has a sweet pungent aroma that is very distinctive and it is often used in cooking, which is the best way to take it as a blood tonic[
Dang Gui is a well-known Chinese herb that has been used in the treatment of female ailments for thousands of years. Its reputation is perhaps second only to ginseng (Panax ginseng) and it is particularly noted for its 'blood tonic' effects on women[
]. The root has a sweet pungent aroma that is very distinctive and it is often used in cooking, which is the best way to take it as a blood tonic[
]. One report says that the root contains vitamin B12 and can be used in the treatment of pernicious anaemia[
The root is alterative, analgesic, anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, deobstruent, emmenagogue, emollient, hepatic, laxative, sedative and peripheral vasodilator[
]. It is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of women's complaints where it regulates the menstrual cycle and relieves period pain[
] and also to ensure a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery[
]. It is an ideal tonic for women with heavy menstruation who risk becoming anaemic[
]. The water-soluble and non-volatile elements of the root increase the contraction of the uterus whilst the volatile elements can relax the muscle of the uterus[
]. Its use prevents the decrease of liver glycogen and protects the liver[
]. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus typhi, B. comma, B. cholerae and haemolytic streptococci[
The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China[
]. The other species used are Rehmannia glutinosa, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora[
The root is harvested in the autumn or winter and dried for later use[
This plant is said to contain vitamin B12[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability[
]. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring.
The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.