Angelica (Radix Angelicae sinensis; Dang Gui)

TCM Herbal Story


Angelica (Radix Angelicae sinensis; Dang Gui)


Long ago, there was a diligent and kind young man named Wang Fu who made his living by picking herbs.  According to legend, just a few hundred miles away from Wang Fu’s house, was a mountain filled with mysterious herbs.  However, since the path to the mountain was roaming with poisonous snake and fierce beasts, only a few people was daring to go, and those who had gone were never returned.


Interest by the legend, Wang Fu was determined to travel to the mountain.  When he asked his mother for permission, his mother suggested him to get married first before leaving, and hope that his son would settle down afterwards.  Although Wang Fu got married as his mother suggested, he was still eager to go to the mountain.  He told his wife to marry somebody else if he didn’t return in three years, and left for the next day.


After his departure, Wang Fu’s mother prayed for his safe return everyday.  Yet, three years passed and there was still no sign of him.  Wang Fu’s mother believed that something unfortunate must have happened to his son, and asked her daughter in law to remarry.


Surprisingly, Wang Fu returned with a full load of precious herbs shortly after his wife got remarried.  Knowing that his wife was already married to somebody else, he regret about his decision on going to the mountain.  He told his wife that he was meaning to sell those herbs he brought back from the journey and exchange for new clothing and jewelry.  He then gave the herbs to his wife as a wedding gift for her new marriage.


Filled with sorrow and depression, the newly wed bride began to grow thinner and thinner each day, and her menstruation period also became irregular.  She started to take the herb Wang Fu brought back and hope that the herb would inflict some kind of poison to end her life.  Instead of being poisoned, she found that her menstruation was back to normal and that her health was recovered as well.


This herb was then name as “Dang Gui”, meaning “should have returned” from the poetry, and had become a widely used herb for gynecological symptoms.



Angelica is the root of Angelica sinensis (Olive.) Diels  Its properties are sweet, acrid, bitter, and warm.  It enters through the heart, liver, and spleen.


Actions & Indications:

  • Tonifies the blood and regulates the menses
  • Invigorates and harmonizes the blood and disperses cold
  • Reduces swelling, expels pus, generates flesh, and alleviates pain


Caution & Contradiction

  • Use with caution in cases of diarrhea or abdominal distention due to damp obstruction
  • Contraindicated for yin deficiency with heat signs


The original article is from Brion Research Institute, translated by Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

For Chinese/original version, please go to:

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