White Peony Root (Baishao)

White Peony Root (Baishao)

Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Paeoniae Alba
Botanical Name: Paeonia Lactiflora pall.
Common Name:White Peony Root
Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing
Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: The white peony roots are dug in summer. The fibrous roots are cleaned and their bark is removed. The roots are then soaked in hot boiled water and dried in the sun. They are soaked again before being cut into slices.
Properties and Taste: Bitter, sour and slightly cold
Meridian: Liver and spleen
Functions: To nourish blood and consolidate the yin
To pacify the liver and stop pain
To soothe liver yang
Indications and Combinations: 1.     Deficiency of blood manifested as irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea and uterine bleeding.
*Use with Chinese angelica root (Danggui), Prepared rehmannia root (Shudihuang) and Chuanxiong rhizome (Chuanxiong) in the formula Siwu Tang.

2. Deficient blood and yin leading to the yang floating to the surface manifested as night sweating and spontaneous sweating.
*Use with Dragon’s bone (Longgu), Oyster shell (Muli) and Light wheat (Fuxiaomai).

3.   Weakness of the body due to invasion by exogenous pathogenic wind and cold manifested as spontaneous sweating and aversion to wind.
*Use with Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) in the formula Guizhi Tang.

4.     Liver qi stagnation manifested as hypochondriac pain, breast distension and irregular menstruation.
*Use with Bupleurum root (Chaihu) and Chinese angelica root (Danggui) in the formula Xiaoyao San.

5.     Muscle spasms and pain of hands and feet or abdominal pain.
*Use with Licorice root (Gancao).

6.      Abdominal pain and tenesmus in dysentery.
*Use with Coptis root (Huanglian), Costus root (Muxiang) and Bitter orange (Zhiqiao).

7.     Headache and dizziness caused by hyperactivity of liver yang.
*Use with Cyathula root (Niuxi), Uncaria stem (Gouteng) and Chrysanthemum flower (Juhua).
Dosage: 5-10 g
Cautions: This herb is contraindicated in cases with cold or deficiency of yang syndromes. It counteracts the herb Black false bellebore (Lilu).