Ultrafine Angelica gigas powder normalizes ovarian hormone levels and has antiosteoporosis properties in ovariectomized rats: particle size effect

J Med Food. 2012 Oct;15(10):863-72. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.2047.


The root of Angelica gigas (Korean angelica) is traditionally used to treat women's ailments that are caused by an impairment of menstrual blood flow and cycle irregularities. This study evaluated the effect particle size of Korean angelica powder on its efficacy for treating estrogen-related symptoms of menopause. Initially, Korean angelica roots were pulverized into ultrafine powder, and orally administered to the rats at a concentration of 500 mg/kg body weight for 8 weeks. The effects of Korean angelica powder particle size on extraction yield, contents of bioactive compounds (decursin and decursinol angelate), levels of serum ovarian hormones (estradiol and progesterone), reproductive hormones (luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone), and experimental osteoporosis parameters (mineral density, strength, and histological features) were determined. A significant increase (fivefold) in the contents of decursin and decursinol angelate in the extract of the ultrafine Korean angelica powder was observed compared to coarse Korean angelica powder. Rats were divided into sham-operated or ovariectomized (OVX) groups that were fed coarse (CRS) or ultrafine (UF) ground Korean angelica root. The serum levels of estradiol in the OVX_UF group were 19.2% and 54.1% higher than that of OVX_CRS group. Serum bone-alkaline phosphatase/total-alkaline phosphatase index in the OVX_UF group was half that of the OVX_CRS group. In addition, less trabecular bone loss and thick cortical areas were observed in rats administered ultrafine powder. Therefore, ultrafine grinding may enhance the bioactivity of herbal medicines and be especially useful when their extracted forms lose bioactivity during processing, storage, and oral intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angelica / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Benzopyrans / analysis
  • Benzopyrans / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Butyrates / analysis
  • Butyrates / metabolism
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogens / analysis
  • Estrogens / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Particle Size*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Powders / chemistry
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Benzopyrans
  • Butyrates
  • Estrogens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Powders
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • decursin