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.
Natural Properties & Taste: Bitter, sour and slightly cold
Meridians : Liver and spleen
1. To nourish blood and consolidate the yin.
2. To pacify the liver and stop pain.
3. To soothe liver yang.
Indications & Combinations:
1. Deficiency of blood manifested as irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea and uterine bleeding. White peony root (Baishao) is used 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. White peony root (Baishao) is used 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. White peony root (Baishao) is used with Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) in the formula Guizhi Tang.
4. Liver qi stagnation manifested as hypochondriac pain, breast distension and irregular menstruation. White peony root (Baishao) is used 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. White peony root (Baishao) is used with Licorice root (Gancao).
6. Abdominal pain and tenesmus in dysentery. White peony root (Baishao) is used with Coptis root (Huanglian), Costus root (Muxiang) and Bitter orange (Zhiqiao).
7. Headache and dizziness caused by hyperactivity of liver yang. White peony root (Baishao) is used with Cyathula root (Niuxi), Uncaria stem (Gouteng) and Chrysanthemum flower (Juhua).
Dosage: 5-10 g
Cautions & Contraindications: This herb is contraindicated in cases with cold or deficiency of yang syndromes. It counteracts the herb Black false bellebore (Lilu).