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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 483286, 10 pages
Research Article

Chemical and Biological Assessment of Angelica Roots from Different Cultivated Regions in a Chinese Herbal Decoction Danggui Buxue Tang

1Division of Life Science and Center for Chinese Medicine, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2Department of Biology, Hanshan Normal University, Chaozhou, Guangdong 521041, China

Received 19 September 2012; Accepted 26 December 2012

Academic Editor: Mee-Ra Rhyu

Copyright © 2013 Wendy L. Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Roots of Angelica sinensis (Danggui) have been used in promoting blood circulation as herbal medicine for over 2000 years in China. Another species of Angelica roots called A. gigas is being used in Korea. To reveal the efficiency of different Angelica roots, the chemical and biological properties of Angelica roots from different cultivated regions were compared. Roots of A. sinensis contained higher levels of ferulic acid, Z-ligustilide, and senkyunolide A, while high amounts of butylphthalide and Z-butylenephthalide were found in A. gigas roots. The extracts deriving from A. gigas roots showed better effects in osteogenic and estrogenic properties than that of A. sinensis from China. However, this difference was markedly reduced when the Angelica roots were being prepared in a Chinese herbal decoction together with Astragali Radix as Danggui Buxue Tang. In contrast, the herbal decoction prepared from A. sinensis roots showed better responses in cell cultures. In addition, the extracts of A. gigas roots showed strong cell toxicity both as single herb and as Danggui Buxue Tang. This result revealed the distinct properties of Angelica roots from China and Korea suggesting the specific usage of herb in preparing a unique herbal decoction.