Bai Shao Yao (Radix Paeoniae Alba)

Bai Shao Yao

Bai Shao Yao (Radix Paeoniae Alba) is from the root of Paeonia Lactiflora Pall., family Ranunculaceae. The roots are dug in the summer and autumn. They are cleaned and the head, thin root and external peel are removed. The clean root is then boiled slightly in water and sun-dried. Finally it is cut into pieces or slices for use. It is used in this crude form or after being stir-baked with wine.

Category: Tonifying – Blood Tonifying.

Common Name: White Peony Root.

Channels Entered: Liver and Spleen.

Properties and Functions: Bai Shao Yao is bitter and sour in flavour, and slightly cold in nature. It has the functions of:

  • Nourishing the Blood and regulating menstruation.
  • Calming Liver-Yang and softening the Liver.
  • Astringes Yin and stops sweating by adjusting the Wei Qi (Protective) and Ying Qi (Nutrtritive) levels.
  • Alleviates pain.

Indications: Clinical applications for of Bai Shao Yao use are:

  • Blood deficiency manifesting as irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhoea, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis.
  • Liver-Yin deficiency and disharmony of Liver Qi manifesting as pain in the chest and hypchondrium, muscular spasms and pain of the extremitites.
  • Spontaneous sweating due to an imbalance between Ying Qi and Wei Qi and also night sweating due to Yin deficiency.
  • Dizziness due to hyperactivity of Liver-Yang.

Dosage: 6 – 15g. The crude form is usually used for astringing Yin and calming the Liver, whilst the stir-baked for is used for smoothing the Liver and alleviating pain, nourishing the Blood and regulating menstruation.

Cautions and Contra-Indications: It is incompatible with Lilu.