Dong quai is an herb with green-yellow flowers. The root has been used to treat symptoms of menopause and ease pain caused by menstrual cramps. Dong quai can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea or applied to the skin as a cream.
There are no advised doses for dong quai.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
- Menopause —may ease mild hot flashes 1, 2
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe for most adults to use dong quai on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. Dong quai may not be safe for pregnant women. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period or by women who are breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
- People taking medicine for anxiety should talk to their doctor before taking dong quai. It may interact with the medicine.
- People with high blood pressure should talk to their doctors before taking dong quai. It may interact with their medicine.
1. Nedrow A, Miller J, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for the management of menopause-related symptoms: a systematic evidence review. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(14):1453-1465.
2. Haines CJ, Lam PM, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of a Chinese herbal medicine preparation (Dang Gui Buxue Tang) on menopausal symptoms in Hong Kong Chinese women. Climacteric. 2008 Jun;11(3):244-251.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/27/2020