Benefits Of Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) For Health

Benefits Of Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) For Health

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) is known as other names: Bai Shao, Chi Shao, Chinese Peony, Common Peony, Coral Peony, Cortex Moutan, European Peony, Jiu Chao Bai Shao, Moutan, Mu Dan Pi, Paeonia, Paeonia alba, Paeonia albiflora, Paeonia anomala, Paeonia arborea, Paeonia arietina, Paeonia beresowskii,...

Another species of peony that has been slow in rising to popularity in America is the tree peony. This Chinese native, also commonly referred to as Moutan, is thought to have been first discovered in an eastern province in the sixth century. Peony was used for medicinal purposes originally, long before it became a popular ornamental plant. It is a larger and woody relative of the much cherished herbaceous peony that graces many flower gardens.

Benefits Of Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) For Health
Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) Picture

The tree peony is distinguished most noticeably from a herbaceous peony by the fact that it retains a viable above-ground woody stem that remains after the flowers and branches have shriveled and dropped off the plant in preparation for winter: it is actually a medium-sized shrub. This woody stem should not be cut back in fall and should be pruned only if its shape is to be modified. The flower buds are much larger and flatter than those on the herbaceous peony, and are the same color as the leaves. They do not secrete honey on the bud tip. They bloom in late spring and early summer and make an excellent cutflower.

Peony, a highly efficient herb, is used nowadays like a sole medicine or together with other medicinal herbs for easing emotional nervous ailments. Peony tea or extract has various other benefits that have all been proven by modern research. Some of peony benefits include helping to protect against liver damage caused by chemical toxins and also normalizing blood pressure. Here are more peony benefits. Peony is also used for gout, osteoarthritis, fever, respiratory tract illnesses, and cough. Women use peony for menstrual cramps, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and for starting menstruation or causing an abortion. Peony is also used for viral hepatitis, livercirrhosis, upset stomach, muscle cramps, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and to cause vomiting. Peony is also used for spasms, whooping cough (pertussis), epilepsy, nerve pain (neuralgia), migraine headache, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Here are more peony benefits.

Benefits Of Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) For Health

Peony is an ancient, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, was considered useful for hypertension, chest pain, muscle cramping and spasms, and fever. Peony was an important remedy for female reproductive conditions ranging from dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) to irregular menses. Chi shao or red peony was used for bleeding or lack of blood movement, depending on how it was prepared. Moutan was also considered helpful for problems characterized by bleeding, such as nosebleeds, bleeding wounds, or menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding).

Dilates blood vessels

The active elements of peony herb may assist in dilating blood vessels. Peony has the capability of relaxing the aorta extensively by about 9%. Paenol, which is the active compound in peony, also marked increased nitric oxide in the body. This action further assists to relax the blood vessels. Furthermore, researchers also found that peony regulates calcium flow, which works like the signal for promoting muscle contraction.

Hay Fever

The Japanese herbal formula known as sho-seiryu-to has been shown to reduce symptom, such as sneezing, for people with hay fever. Sho-seiryu-to contains licorice, cassia bark, schisandra, ma huang, ginger, peony root, pinellia, and asiasarum root.

Benefit on diabetes and weight loss

Researchers supplied extracts of peony root (paeonia suffruticosa) to obese mice. They found mice, especially the male, declined in food intake and increased in glucose tolerance. Thus, peony root extracts may benefit diabetes and weight loss.


A crude extract of red peony root was shown in a small, preliminary trial to reduce cirrhosis in some people with chronic viral hepatitis. Other preliminary trials published in Chinese demonstrated that red peony root was helpful (by reducing liver enzyme levels or symptoms or both) for people with viral hepatitis.

Thins blood

Peony intake is believed to help in impeding blood coagulation or platelet aggregation. The active peony constituents were discovered to improve blood flow through preventing platelet aggregation. This ensures blood smoothly travels all over the body, reaching the necessary organs and tissues quickly.

Protects the liver

The primary bioactive constituent of peony was examined for its useful effects it displayed on a person’s liver. The researchers examined peony’s ability of preventing oxidative stress linked to an antigen that promotes tissue damage and inflammation. The antioxidants effects of peony are also thought to offer liver protection through lowering the levels of inflammatory chemicals in the liver.

Benefits Of Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) For Health
Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) Flower Picture

Heart benefits

Peony intake also portrays a reducing effect on an individual’s cholesterol levels. Cholesterol reduction helps boost heart health and may have useful effects in certain cardiovascular ailments. In fact, consumption of peony could impede thrombosis.

Anti-oxidant activities

Ethanol extract of the peony root and its ingredients-gallic acid and methyl gallate showed protective effects against free radical generation, i.e. free radical scavenging effect against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazine, and lipid peroxidation.


Red peony root and moutan bark have both shown antioxidant activity in test tubes, likely due to the presence of paeoniflorin, proanthocyanidins, and flavonoids. Polysaccharides found in peony bark and root have shown an ability to stimulate immune cells in the test tube.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Peony shows some weak estrogen-like effects, acting like a very weak anti-estrogen, particularly as part of the formula shakuyaku-kanzo-to. In a preliminary study, this formula was shown to improve fertility in women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome.

Premenstrual Syndrome

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dong quai is rarely used alone and is typically used in combination with herbs such as peony (Paeonia officinalis) and osha (Ligusticum porteri) for menopausal symptoms as well as for menstrual cramps. However, no clinical trials have been completed to determine the effectiveness of dong quai for PMS.

Potential benefit for dementia

Paeoniflorin and peony extracts also enhance mental function in animal studies, suggesting a potential benefit for dementia. Human studies have not yet been conducted to confirm this theory.

Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) with Special Precautions & Warnings:

Peony is POSSIBLY SAFE when used by mouth, short-term. Peony has been used safely for up to 4 weeks. It can cause stomach upset. It can cause rash when it comes in contact with the skin of sensitive people.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Peony is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Some developing research suggests that peony can cause uterine contractions. However, other research suggests a combination of peony and angelica might be safe. Until more is known, don’t use peony if you are pregnant. Also avoid peony if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of using peony if you are nursing.

Bleeding disorders: Because peony might slow blood clotting, there is a concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Don’t use Peony if you have a bleeding disorder.

Surgery: Peony might slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it could increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using peony at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Do not use Peony for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.