Dong Quai

Botanical Name: Angelica sinensis (syn. A. polymorpha) Family: Umbelliferae (syn. Apiaceae)

Common name(s): Dong quai, Chinese angelica, Dong qui, Dang gui, Tang quei, Female ginseng

Related: Angelica, which can be substituted in some cases


  • Perennial | Zones 6-9 | 3 feet | White, umbrella-shaped flowers August-September and seeds ripen September-October
  • Full sun to partial shade | Moist, well-drained soil | Woodland garden plant
  • Sow seeds directly in spring or fall (better germination rate in the fall, keep in cold frame for first winter). Does not transplant well because the taproots go very deep. Not frost-hardy.


Harvest the root/rhizome in Autumn. Plants take 3 years to mature. Slice the roots before drying for easier use.


Decoction: Put 1 tsp of the dried root into 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drink 1-2x/day.

Tincture: 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) with water up to 4x/day

Dried root: 4-7 grams

Culinary: All parts of the plants can be used in cooking – leaves, stems, roots.


Constituents: Coumarins, essential oils, ferulic acid, phytosterols, polyacetylenes

Actions: Alterative, antispasmodic, uterine tonic

Uses: Female gynecological ailments, especially cramping, irregularity, menopausal symptoms; insomnia, hypertension, constipation

Cautions: Promotes bleeding, do not take when pregnant, on blood thinners, or with heavy menstrual flow. The oil in the plant can cause sensitivity to sunlight if used externally.


Warm energy, bitter and acrid taste


Sometimes doing a materia medica is very difficult. This was one of those. Information all over the place, trying to find all the pieces I needed, including a photo of the plant. Couldn’t find one that I could use, but found one of the roots. There are also multiple spellings of the common name (Dong Quai appears to be the most used) and synonyms for the botanical names!