Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai Extract)
Dong quai (also called dang gui, which means "proper order") is considered by the Chinese to be the empress of herbs. For more than 5,000 years it has been used to naturally balance and normalize the natural rhythms and cycles of the hormone system of the human body.

This herb is widely used for all gynecological conditions including menstruation cycle regulation, infertility, postpartum weakness, menopause imbalances and anemia. It has been proven to be beneficial to the entire hormonal system.

Relation to Migraines: In order for a cell to respond to estrogens or androgens, it must contain the appropriate hormone receptors. In some cases there are more than one receptor subtype for the same hormone. For example, we know that there are two hormone receptors for estrogens: estrogen alpha (ER-a) and estrogen beta (ER-b). In order to be able to respond to estrogen, a cell must have at least one of these receptors.

A unique study on cells that contain an estrogen responsive receptor gene indicated that phytoalexin glyceollin (defined as a defensive compound) acts to prevent estrogen from activating certain gene responses. In other words, it acts as an anti-estrogen or antagonist to estrogen activity. These results were confirmed using a second bioassay developed to measure the growth of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells. These results indicate that phytoestrogens block the harmful effects of estrogen. This is in contrast to drugs which are semi-synthetic human estrogenic hormones used to treat menopausal symptoms and act as replacements to bind to the human estrogen receptor.

Additionally, the ability of isoflavonoids to prevent carcinogen-induced mammary tumorigenesis further demonstrates the potential anti-estrogenic effects of these compounds. Consistent with this information, certain phytochemicals have been reported to exert anti-estrogenic effects at higher concentrations. These studies suggest that many flavonoids may function as both ER agonists and antagonists in a dose and cell type-specific manner. The recent identification of the second estrogen receptor ß (ERß) with different affinity for and trans-activation by phytoestrogens represents another mechanism by which flavonoids may function to regulate estrogen signaling.

By regulating specific estrogen receptors through the use of the compounds found in the Migraine Defense formula appears to be an inhibiting factor in formation of migraines.

Dong quai is also a source of special acids including ferulic acid as well as various polysaccharides and coumarins. These properties may be responsible for the reported action of Migraine Defense acting as a mild ergotamine to abort a migraine that is trying to start. Since ferulic acid is an organic acid which contributes to the effectiveness of pycnogenol, your body's immune system benefits from ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is also a natural source for the ultraviolet light UV protection.

Notice: Dong quai is not recommended during pregnancy, lactation, or by persons taking prescription blood thinning agents (aspirin is okay).