Chinese Angelica (Angelica sinsensis) Against Anxiety

Chinese angelica (Angelica sinensis) is one variety of Asian angelica species. Common names for the plant include Dong Quai. Chinese angelia contains a volatile oil called ligustilide, which is believed to have sedative properties. This sedative activity suggests that ligustilide is able to affect the central nervous system. Other evidence suggests that ligustilide is able to relax smooth muscle, which may contribute to its sedative properties. Chinese angelia has been researched for its relaxing effects by testing it on animal models of anxious behaviour. Administration of Chinese angelica to mice reduced stress induced hypothermia, and reduced the display of anxious behaviour in the animals. In comparison to diazepam, a mainstream pharmaceutical anxiolytic drug, Chinese angela showed similar anxiolytic properties on the mice. Chinese angelica may therefore be a possible treatment for anxiety. 

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Chen, S. W., Min, L., Li, W. J., Kong, W. X., Li, J. F. and Zhang, Y. J. 2004. The effects of angelica essential oil in three murine tests of anxiety. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 79(2): 377-382

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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