White Peony Root: An Introduction
White peonies are native to Asia, where it has been cultivated for use by Chinese and Japanese cultures for hundreds of years. The cultivation of this plant is primarily to obtain the root from the white peony plant.
Chinese and Japanese cultures used white peony root as a natural herbal treatment of specific conditions involving the digestive and reproductive systems. These ancient cultures in Asia often associated white peony root as providing a balance to natural energies produced by the body.
Organs and conditions all had emotional as well as physical conditions. White peony root was correlated with correction of imbalances of both.
White Peony Root: The Description
The white peony is a tall flowering plant, ranging in height from 1-5 feet. The stems are known to branch and are covered in shiny deep green leaves. The branches are also noted to have flowers that are large and showy (up to 10 inches in diameter), typically white in color, accompanied by the presence of a strong sweet scent. The root is brown in color, generally oblong and in the shape of a tube. The peony requires moist soil and abundant amounts of sunlight. The buds of the white peony are associated with the secretion of a sticky sweet substance that is known to attract ants and other wildlife.
White Peony Root and Menstruation
Ancient Chinese cultures often used white peony root for ailments of menstruation and dysmenorrhea, especially muscle cramping and discomfort. It is also associated with decreased feelings of irritability, decreased night sweating, decrease of excessive menstrual flow rates, and decreased vaginal discharge. It has also been utilized for other vaginal treatments and is known as an herb associated with decreased miscarriage rates. It was also used in menopausal women, and was commonly associated with decreased signs and symptoms, including hot flashes. White peony root is claimed to have these effects as it is a blood balancing agent, associated with blood toning capabilities and activating proper circulation by providing extra nourishment.
White Peony Root and the Digestive System
Preliminary studies have linked white peony root to an overall improvement in digestive system health. It has been correlated with normal digestive system functioning. White peony root is used as a laxative, to relieve digestive pains, to reduce/prevent seizures/spasms of the digestive tract, and is associated with blood pressure lowering capabilities, as it dilates arteries.
White Peony Root: Preparation
The root of the white peony is most often utilized for herbal remedies. It can be cooked, dried, and crushed to a powder for formation of tablets and teas. It is necessary to let the plant mature to a specific age, usually a minimum of three years before use. White peony root is commonly found in many herbal medications for treatment of various conditions. This herb can be toxic to specific systems of the body if misused or taken in excess of recommended amounts. As this is a natural herb, side effects, if taken normally/correctly, are minimal.
Photo Credit: bill barber