The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
Dong quai has been taken by mouth three times daily in the following doses: 520 milligrams per dose in people under 100 pounds; 1,040 milligrams per dose in people 100-175 pounds; and 1,560 milligrams per dose in people over 175 pounds. Dong quai has been taken by mouth in the following forms: a decoction (a teaspoon or tablespoon of cut root simmered in one cup of hot water); dried leaf (taken in an infusion); dried root (taken directly by mouth or in an infusion); a fluid extract; a leaf liquid extract; a leaf tincture; dong quai tea (root steeped in hot water); candied dong quai stems; whole root or root slices (boiled or soaked in wine); and a root tincture. Dong quai has been injected into the vein or artery in doses of 20-40 milliliters, and has been injected into acupuncture points in doses of 0.5-1.0 milliliters. There is a lack of evidence in support of these and the following doses.
For reproductive conditions (including menstrual cramps and menopause), dong quai has been taken by mouth in the following doses and forms: 1-15 grams of dong quai root 1-3 times daily; 4-6 fluid extract tablets 2-3 times daily; 1-8 milliliters or 10-40 drops of tincture up to three times daily; 1-2 grams of powdered root three times daily; and 1-2 grams of dong quai in tea three times daily.
For symptoms of menopause, dong quai has been taken by mouth in the following doses and forms: three capsules containing 4.5 grams of dong quai, three times daily for 24 weeks without benefit; 1-4 grams of powdered root as an extract, capsules, tablets, or tea, for up to three times daily; and 1 milliliter of fluid extract three times daily.
For menstrual cramps, a teaspoon of dong quai tincture has been taken by mouth twice daily, one day after the end of menstruation, and discontinued when menstrual bleeding begins. With a light menstrual flow, one teaspoon of tincture has been taken every two hours.
For premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dong quai has been taken by mouth in the following doses and forms: 0.5 grams of extract twice daily; 2-3 grams of dong quai capsules or tablets daily; 4-8 milliliters of a fluid extract daily; 1-2 grams as a tea three times daily; 2-4 milliliters of tincture up to three times daily; and one-half teaspoon of dong quai mixed with water up to four times daily.
For poor circulation, one teaspoon of dong quai mixed with one cup of water has been taken by mouth 1-2 times daily.
For inflammation, 10-15 drops of diluted dong quai essential oil have been applied to the skin.
For reduced blood flow to the brain, 200 milliliters of dong quai has been injected into the veins daily for 20 days.
For lichen planus (itchy skin rash), 1.5-2 milliliters of dong quai have been injected into acupuncture points once weekly for eight weeks.
For high blood pressure in the lungs, dong quai has been injected into the vein with glucose (250 milliliters daily) for 10 days.
For ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), 40 milliliters of dong quai added to 250 milliliters of glucose have been injected into the vein once daily for three weeks.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for dong quai in children.
This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration