Herb Dong Quai, (Dang gui ,Chinese angelica)
Angelica polymorpha sinensis
Organic perennial. Hardy in zones 5-9
KEEP REFRIGERATED UNTIL READY TO PLANT
(Dang gui; Chinese angelica) This is the most important herb in China, used more often and in larger quantities then even ginseng or licorice. The thick root lowers blood pressure, strengthens the heart, increases coronary flow, moderates arythmia and improves circulation. It is strongly antibacterial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and it is used widely to regulate menstruation, to treat hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, shingles and to relieve the pain of rheumatism. No herb has so many documented medicinal uses! Bittersweet, aromatic relative of the European angelica (A. archangelica) reaching 3ft high.
All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis. High doses over 500 mg a day may cause abdominal bloating and menstrual timing/flow changes. Unproven information suggests it can affect heart rhythm and lower blood pressure. Caution is needed for diabetics, acute viral infections, (e.g. influenza) and with treatments with anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin)
Native to the high ground in cool and damp areas of western and north-western China forests
A PERENNIAL growing to 3ft and 2ft in width and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. This species is not fully hardy in the colder areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to at least -5°C. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed
Seed – best sown in a cold frame to winter over (stratify). 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.
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. However conflicting information suggests it should not be used during pregnancy and should not be used if menstrual flow is heavy or during menstration . 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. Used for menopausal symptoms (hot flushes) . 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. It has been used to treat pulmonary hypertension in combination with the allopathic medication nifedipine . Other uses include: constipation (a laxative), trauma injuries, ulcers, rheumatism and malaria.
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Pack. 30+ seeds $7.00