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A preparation containing polysaccharides extracted from dong quai has been shown to have a radioprotective effect in mice (Mei 1988, Sun et al 2005), as well as an analgesic action in rats (Yue et al 2002).

An in vivo study has shown that dong quai in conjunction with astragalus reduced the deterioration of renal function and histologic damage in an animal model of nephrotic syndrome (Wang et al 2004). Dong quai has also been found to alleviate bleomycin-induded pulmonary fibrosis in rats (Chai et al 2003).

Dong quai promotes melanocyte proliferation, melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity, suggesting a use in the treatment of skin pigmentation (Deng &Yang 2003).

An aqueous extract of dong quai has also been found to directly stimulate the proliferation and activity of human osteoprecursor cells in a dose-dependent manner in vitro (Yang et al 2002).

The essential oil of dong quai has been found to have an anxiolytic action similar to diazepam in a mouse model of anxiety (Chen et al 2004).

Various other in vitro and in vivo studies provide some evidence for antispasmodic, anti-allergic and anti-anaemic effects (Micromedex 2003).

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