Health Guide

Dong quai

What is it?

Dong quai is an herbal medicine used mostly as a female tonic and elixir. It is used to treat menstrual problems, for premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and to strengthen the uterus to prepare for pregnancy.

Other names for Dong quai include: Angelica sinensis, Angelica atropurpurea, and Chinese Angelica.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Dong quai you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Dong quai. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Dong quai without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R)); clopidogrel (Plavix(R)); aspirin; enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)); dalteparin (Fragmin(R))) (3)
  • Medicine for gout (examples: sulfinpyrazone (Anturane(R))) (3)


  • Before taking Dong quai, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use Dong quai if you have diarrhea (loose bowel movements) from weak digestion, a bleeding disorder, heavy menstrual periods, have had a miscarriage, or have a cold or the flu

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Excessive bleeding when you get a cut
  • Sensitivity to sunlight, sunburn more easily


1. Tyler VE: Rejuvex for postmenopausal symptoms. JAMA 1994; 271(15): 1210.

2. Zhu DPQ: Dong Quai. Amer J Chin Med 1987; 15(3-4):117-125.

3. Page RL & Lawrence JD: Potentiation of warfarin by dong quai. Pharmacotherapy 1999; 19(7):870-876.

4. Tyler VE: The Honest Herbal. A Sensible Guide to Herbs and Related Remedies. George F. Stickley Company, Philadelphia, PA, 1982.

5. Junjie T & Huaijun H: Effects of Radix Angelicae Sinensis on hemorrheology in patients with acute ischemic stroke. J Tradit Chin Med 1984; 4:225-228.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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