Gynaecomastia and the herbal tonic "Dong Quai"

Singapore Med J. 2001 Mar;42(3):115-6.


We present a case of a man who developed gynaecomastia after ingestion of "Dong Quai" pills. "Dong Quai" is the Chinese name for the herb Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis which is widely used as a panacea for gynaecological problems, and it is also proclaimed as an invigorating tonic for both women and men. The pharmacological effects of "Dong Quai" are likely related to the phytoestrogen that it contains. This report highlights the potential adverse effects associated with its consumption in the male, especially for the processed "Dong Quai" pills which may contain significantly higher levels of phytoestrogen than its original herbal product.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Gynecomastia / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • dong quai