Suffering from bad PMS? Or having hot flashes? Dong quai tea benefits include easing menopause and gynecological issues.
Going through “the changes”? Are hot flashes making life miserable for you? Clearly, you’re not alone.
As this research paper shows, by the year 2030, the World Health Organization estimates 1.2 billion women will be age 50 or over. This almost triples the number of women in that age bracket in 1990.
Doing nothing about your symptoms and riding out menopause is one option. But menopause symptoms can last several years.
One proactive option is hormone replacement therapy. But there might be a link between HRT and cancer. A much safer and possibly effective option is drinking a cup of “female ginseng.”
What’s female ginseng? Otherwise known as black cohosh and angelica sinensis, female ginseng is a herb that’s indigenous to China and other cool, mountainous areas in southeast Asia. But female ginseng isn’t the real name of the herb.
In China, it’s known as dong quai. And one of the biggest dong quai tea benefits is easing hot flashes as well as other symptoms of menopause. It can also help ease PMS symptoms as well. In fact, according to the research black cohosh appears to be one of the most effective plants for hot flashes and inflammation.
What is dong quai?
Black cohosh is a herb that contains several beneficial compounds. However, up until recently it really hasn’t been known exactly how it works.
Researchers previously thought that it contains estrogen-like activity. But studies show that it doesn’t have any effect on the blood level of hormones.
More recent studies conclude black cohosh acts on serotonin receptors. Serotonin is one of the “feel-good” chemicals. For this reason, one of the dong quai tea benefits may be relief of hot flashes. In addition, it may help improve your mood.
So how much of it should you drink? A cup or two a day may do the trick.
Unfortunately, most countries do not regulate herbal remedies. However, there is one country that studies and regulates botanicals: Germany.
This extensive research article on black cohosh says much of the research on this plant has been conducted in Germany since the 1940’s.
If you want relief for PMS or menopause, perhaps it’s a good idea to follow the guidelines set forth by Commission E. Commission E is Germany’s equivalent of the FDA in the U.S. Commission E health authorities recommend the use of 40 mg/day of black cohosh for 6 months for relief of menopausal symptoms.
Will you get these dong quai tea benefits if you drink it? Of course, everybody is different.
However, there are several clinical trials related to “vasomotor” symptoms. The most common vasomotor symptom are hot flashes. The good news is that if you suffer from them, most of these studies show positive results for reduction of hot flashes.
Dong quai herb
The herb known in latin as angelica sinensis has been used for at least a few thousand years. It’s one of the most commonly-used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
In addition to providing relief for hot flashes, dong quai tea benefits may include preventing osteoporosis.
Menopause results in lower levels of estrogen. Although you might think testosterone (the male muscle-building hormone) plays a role in strong bone formation, estrogen is actually critical for healthy bones.
Drinking the tea or taking black cohosh extract may help prevent bone loss. Moreover, this plant may help prevent hot flashes because of its role in increasing resistance to the blood sugar hormone, insulin.
What’s the relationship between hot flashes and blood sugar?
In 2012, researchers determined hot flashes and night sweats appear to be linked to higher blood glucose levels and indicators of insulin resistance. [SOURCE] And when your blood sugar levels are normal, it’s better for your heart.
Speaking of which, another of the many dong quai tea benefits is it’s good for your heart in other ways. For example, it helps normalize cholesterol levels. It also helps regulate blood pressure.
Heart disease is caused by inflammation. Black cohosh seems to possess properties that reduce inflammation; another impressive benefit.
Dong quai side effects
But are there any negatives about taking it?
German studies suggest taking it for six months is safe. Women who take it for longer in Germany often do so under the supervision of a physician. (Wouldn’t that be nice if your doctor prescribed natural medicine?)
However, there may be some side effects.
Common side effects are most often mild. But high doses may result in headaches, vomiting, and dizziness.
More seriously, there are some cases of liver failure in women taking this herb. Of recent concern are a few case reports of liver failure in women using black cohosh.
Before you pour out the cup of tea, though, keep in mind, it’s not exactly clear if black cohosh is to blame. Perhaps the women were heavy alcohol drinkers? Or prescription pill abusers?
If you want to be extra safe, have a liver enzyme test before you start using it. This can be done with a simple blood test.
After a few months of using black cohosh, get another blood test. If your liver enzyme levels are much higher, you can stop taking it.
Dong quai tea benefits
In addition to helping ease hot flashes and night sweats, black cohosh may also help ease PMS pain. The reason why is it benefits the uterus by helping it relax. Do you have additional PMS negative side effects?
If you experience nausea, depression, mood changes, headaches and acne, black cohosh may help.
According to this natural health article, it may also ease vaginal dryness and help regulate your adrenal glands. When your adrenal glands are working overdrive because of stress, PMS symptoms may worsen.
Native Americans and other traditional societies also experienced dong quai tea benefits, including easing sore throats, snake bites and joint discomfort. Speaking of joint discomfort, early American settlers also used the herb to treat joint inflammation.
But let’s get back to how black cohosh can help women with hot flashes. It may even help women with breast cancer who are on the drug, tamoxifen.
As mentioned above, researchers used to think it was because it increased estrogen levels. However, the theory now is that it works because it boosts the feel-good chemical, serotonin.
Two recent studies of black cohosh for women on tamoxifen show a significant reduction in number and severity of hot flashes. In the studies, sleep quality improved. Fatigue and abnormal sweating decreased.
As you can see, there are many dong quai tea benefits. Especially if you are going through hormonal changes.