Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis)

The name Dang Gui means “shall return”. This name was derived from a story: Once upon a time, there was a young man named Wang Fu. He was very strong and brave. He collected herbal medicine for a living. There was a huge mountain which was known to grow magical herbs. Being that the mountain was extremely high, with dangerous cliffs, poisonous snakes and beast of prey, only a few people dared to venture forth. Wang Fu had planned to go up the mountain, however with the strong disapproval from his mother he decided to wait. Shortly after, Wang Fu married a beautiful bride and they fell deeply in love, he promptly forgot about the mountain he had wished to climb.

One day Wang Fu overheard neighbors saying that he was afraid and scared to climb the mountain because of his beautiful bride. At that point Wang Fu decided to climb the mountain. His wife was very sad and afraid he would never come back. Wang Fu said if he was not back in three years she may marry someone else. Three years went by, his mother and wife waited for him to come home. Wang Fu’s mother believed he had died and insisted that her daughter-in-law move on.

Unfortunately, Wang Fu did return with a large amount of a particularly valuable and rare herb just after his wife had married another man. He was very sad and told his ex-wife in tears, “I was planning to sell the herb to buy new clothes for you. It is not necessary anymore, so let me leave them for you.” His ex-wife was devastated and depressed. She became very weak and started to suffer from a serious menstrual disorder. She attempted to kill herself and ate a large quantity of the herb Wang Fu left her. However, to her surprise, she completely recovered from her illness and became healthier.

So the people named this herb Dang Gui (shall return) and it became a very commonly used herb for gynecology.