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Bái Sháo 白芍

Pharmaceutical name Paeoniae Radix alba white peony root, peony “white peony”
Category Tonify Blood
Key Properties Tonifies LV Blood
Extinguishes Wind
Stops Pain
Nourishes LV & SP Yin
Properties Bitter
Mildly cold
Tropism LV, SP
Actions & Indications 1) Nourishes the Blood & Regulates the Menses
2) Calms & Curbs Liver Yang & Alleviates Pain (spasm)
3) Preserves Yin, Adjusts the Nutritive & Protective Levels
(with help of Gui Zhi)
Dosages 6-15g
Contraindications (TCM) Middle jiao Yang Def with Cold
Eczema or rashes from exterior Wind with incomplete expression due to astringent nature
Postpartum with Blood stagnation or when there is still bleeding
Contraindications (Western) May cause drowsiness and sedation
Chemical Composition Paeoniflorin, albiflorin, oxypaeoniflorin, benzoylpaeoniflorin, paeonin, hydroxypaeoniflorin
Pharmacological Effects • CNS suppressant: subcutaneous injection demonstrated marked sedative and suppressant effects on CNS in mice; prolonged sleeping time induced by barbiturates, and has protective effect against seizures induced by cardiazol
• Gastrointestinal: inhibitory influence on smooth muscles of intestines and uterus; inhibits secretion of gastric acid to treat peptic ulcers in mice
• Antibiotic: decoction shown to have inhibitory action against Bacillus dysenteriae, E. coli, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, S. aureus, β-hemolytic streptococcus, Diplococcus pneumoniae, and some dermatophytes
• Antipyretic and anti-inflammatory: paeoniflorin demonstrated marked antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects
• Antiplatelet: paeoniflorin has mild influence to inhibit emboli formation through delayed aggregation of platelets
• Cardiovascular: demonstrated marked action to relax blood vessels, dilate peripheral blood vessels, and cause slight decrease in blood pressure
Herb-Drug Interactions • Anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs: shown to have mild inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation and prevention of emboli formation; therefore, should be taken with caution by patients who are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs
• Antidiabetics: prudent to use with caution with insulin, sulfonylureas, and other antidiabetic medications as combination may have synergistic effects, leading to hypoglycemia
• Sedatives: has sedative and analgesic effects on CNS; prolonged sleeping time induced by barbiturates, and has protective effect against seizures induced by cardiazol
• Incompatible with Li Lu (Veratri nigri Radix et Rhizoma)
Classical Formula(s)

San Jia Fu Mai Tang (Three-Shell Decoction to Restore the Pulse) 三甲復脈湯

Da Ding Feng Zhu (Major Arrest Wind Pearl) 大定風珠

Da Qin Jiao Tang (Major Large Gentian Decoction) 大秦艽湯

Gu Chong Tang (Stabilize Gushing Decoction) 固冲湯

Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang (Angelica Pubescens and Sang-Ji-Sheng Decoction)獨活寄生湯

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (Cinnamon Twig and Poria Pill) 桂枝茯苓丸

Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang (Cinnamon Twig, Peony, and Anemarrhena Decoction) 桂枝芍藥知母湯

Guo Qi Yin (Delayed Menstruation Decoction) 過期飲

Huang Lian E Jiao Tang (Coptis and Ass-Hide Gelatin Decoction) 黃蓮阿膠湯

Huang Qi Gui Zhi Wu Wu Tang (Astragalus and Cinnamon Twig Five-Substance Decoction) 黃芪桂枝五物湯

Huang Qin Tang (Scutellaria Decoction) 黃芩湯

Jiao Ai Tang (Ass-Hide Gelatin and Mugwort Decoction) 膠艾湯

Jing Jie Lian Qiao Tang (Schizonepeta and Forsythia Decoction) 荊芥連翹湯

Ren Shen Yang Rong Tang (Ginseng decoction to nourish luxuriance) 人參養榮湯 (人参养荣汤)

San Zhong Kui Jian Tang (Decoction to Disperse Swelling and Ulcerate What is Hard) 散腫潰堅湯

Shao Yao Tang (Peony Decoction) 芍藥湯

Shu Gan Tang (Dredge the Liver Decoction) 疏肝湯

Si Ni San (Frigid Extremities Powder) 四逆散

Tai shan pan shi san (Taishan bedrock powder) 泰山盤石散 (泰山盘石散)

Tuo Li Xiao Du Yin (Support the Interior and Eliminate Toxin Drink) 托裡消毒飲

Wen Jing Tang (Flow-Warming Decoction) 溫經湯

Yi Qi Cong Ming Tang (Augment the Qi and Increase Acuity Decoction) 益氣聰明湯

Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang (Sedate the Liver and Extinquish Wind Decoction) 鎮肝熄風湯

Zhen Wu Tang (Black Turtle Decoction; True Warrior Decoction) 真武湯 (真武汤)

Xiao Yao San (Rambling Powder) 逍遙散 (逍遥散)

Jia Wei Xiao Yao San (Modified Rambling Powder)加味逍遙散

Ba Zhen Tang (Eight-Treasure decoction) 八珍湯

Bai He Gu Jin Tang (Lily bulb decoction to preserve the metal) 百合固金湯

Bie Jia Jian Wan (delete Qiang Lang) (Soft-Shelled Turtle Dec) 鳖甲煎丸 (减蜣螂)

Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang (Buplerum and Kudzu Decoction to Release the Muscle Layer) 柴葛解肌汤

Chai Hu Shu Gan San (Bupleurum Powder to Dredge the Liver) 柴胡疏肝散

Da Chai Hu Tang (Major bupleurum decoction) 大柴胡湯

Da Huang Zhe Chong Wan (Rhubarb and Ground Beetle Pill) (delete gan qi, qi cao, meng chong) 大黃蛰虫丸 (減乾漆,蠐螬,虻虫)

Da Yuan Yin (Reach the Source Drink) 達原飲

Dang Gui Shao Yao San (Tangkuei and Peony Powder) 當歸芍藥散

Dang Gui Si Ni Tang (Tangkuei Decoction for Frigid Extremities) 當歸四逆湯

E Jiao Ji Zi Huang Tang (Ass-Hide Gelatin and Egg Yolk Decoction) 阿膠雞子黃湯

Fang Feng Tong Sheng San (Saposhnikovia powder that sagely unblocks) 防風通聖散

Ge Gen Tang (Kudzu Decoction) 葛根湯

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang (Cinnamon Twig Decoction plus Dragon Bone and Oyster Shell) 桂枝加龍骨牡蠣湯

Hu Qian Wan (Hidden Tiger Pill) (deleted hu gu) 虎潛丸 (減虎骨)

Shi Liu Wei Liu Qi Yin (Sixteen Ingredient Drink for Qi Flow) 十六味流氣飲

Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang (Ling Yang Jiao substituted with Shui Niu Jiao (Antelope Horn and Unicaria Decoction)羚角鉤藤湯 (羚角钩藤汤)

Ma Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Pill) 麻子仁丸

Sheng Yang Yi Wei Tang (Raise the Yang and Augment the Stomach Decoction) 升陽益胃湯

Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (All-inclusive great tonifying decoction) 十全大補湯 (十全大补汤)

Wu Ji San (Five-accumula-tion powder) 五积散

Xiao Jian Zhong Tang (Minor construct the middle decoction) 小建中湯

Xiao Qing Long Tang (Minor Bluegreen Dragon Decoction) 小青龍湯 (小青龙汤)

Xiao Xu Ming Tang (Minor Prolong Life Decoction) 小續命湯

Zhen Ren Yang Zang Tang (True Man's Decoction to Nourish the Organs) 真人養臟湯


This information is a reference tool for Chinese herbal studies. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Please consult a primary health professional if you require health advisory.