Angelica herb & Warfarin

Publication Date: 
Mon, 12/02/2013
By: Alere Staff

With more than 60 different medicinal plants belonging to the Angelica genus, the various uses of the angelica plant can be confusing. The root, seed, and fruit of the various angelica plants are used to make medicine for a variety of conditions: heartburn, gas, loss of appetite, arthritis, circulation problems, "runny nose", nervousness, and trouble sleeping are just a few.1

In food use, angelica is used in candied products to decorate cakes and pastries. People will also use 1 teaspoon of powdered seeds or leaves in 1 cup boiling water and drink as a tea twice a day.

Angelica may potentially increase the risk of bleeding or increase the effects of warfarin, especially a few types of angelica root, like dong quai, which contains coumarin. 2, 3 Coumarin, an enzyme related to warfarin, the prescription medication used to prevent clot development. Coumarin increases the bleeding risk and can inhibit platelet aggregation.2

Increasing testing frequency is recommended when starting or stopping any new medication or dietary supplement including vitamins. Home INR monitoring with weekly testing may help improve your control of warfarin. Patient self-testing is a valuable tool for detecting rises and falls in INR values and enable you to work with your doctor to make any adjustments to diet or medication dosing.4 Go to the Getting Started page or call Alere at 1.800.504.4032 for more information about testing your INR at home.

References: 

  1. Sarker S.D.; Nahar L. Natural Medicine: The Genus Angelica. Current Medicinal Chemistry. Volume 11, Number 11, June 2004 , pp. 1479-1500(22).
  2. Ackman, M.L., Bungard, T.J., Stenton, S.B. Interactions between Warfarin and Herbal Products, Minerals, and Vitamins: A Pharmacist's Guide. Can J Hosp Pharm. Vol 54, No 3. 2001;54:186–92.
  3. Heck, A.M., DeWitt, B.A., Lukes, A.L. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy July 1, 2000 Vol. 57 No. 13 1221-1227.
  4. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Decision Memo for Prothrombin Time (INR) Monitor for Home Anticoagulation Management (CAG-00087R) [Memorandum]. 2008. Baltimore, MD.