Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for female issues, such as menopausal symptoms, premenstrual syndrome, and lack of sexual drive. Though it is widely known with female tonic, the root contains phytoestrogens that can help balance your estrogen levels and elevate your mood.
The name dong quai means "proper order", which is fitting considering this herb's traditional to restore hormonal balance in women. The phytoestrogens in dong quai help regulate estrogen levels, both restraining and supplementing the body's production of estrogen as needed. As side benefits, dong quai root may stimulate breast growth while treating menstrual syndrome (cramps and painful periods) due to antispasmodic benefits and relieve from menopausal symptoms (migraine, mood swings, and hot flashes).
It is also to help speed recovery post childbirth and symptoms of low energy. Some scientists also found it promotes the synthesis of natural progesterone whose secretion declines at menopause.
Dong Quai usage is traditionally individualized and combined with other ingredients. It has been used in Asia for thousands of years as a tonic for the female reproductive system. In fact, it ranks just below ginseng as the most popular herb in China and Japan, although its effectiveness has yet to be substantiated by conventional Western standards.
Some researchers contend that active ingredients called coumarins are responsible for its effectiveness. Coumarins dilate blood vessels (including those in the breasts), stimulating the central nervous system and increase blood flow throughout the body. They may also relax the smooth muscles of the uterus, which would help to explain the herb's traditional use for menstrual cramps.
Other experts claim that dong quai's powers should be attributed to its phytoestrogens, which are weaker than the estrogen produced by the body but do manage to bind to estrogen sites on human cells. Potentially negative effects of a women's own estrogens - such as breast cancer risk - may be offset in this way.
Women taking dong quai for breast enhancement may want to consider using products that combine dong quai with other potent herbs, such as fenugreek, fennel, silymarin, and some others like Breast Actives™ to get the most out of supplementation. However, if you take an anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medication or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen), check with your doctor before trying this product.