Peony is an herbal plant that has been named after the Greek God Paeon. The flowers of Peony are very attractive and are of many colors – white, pink, red and purple. Peony flowers are considered to be an indispensable part of the ancient Chinese Art. Peony root is used for making medicines and are of two types – red peony and white peony.
What is Peony Root?
The scientific names of this herbal plant include the following – Paeonia suffruticosa and Paeonia lactiflora. There are many other species of this flowering plant and they all belong to the Paeoniaceae family.
Peony can be seen in the southern parts of Europe, Asia and in North America. In USA, Peony is the state flower of Indiana. As a plant, Peony is perennial in nature and can reach up to a height of 3 meters. The plant is resilient and can grow in almost all types of soil conditions.
For preparing herbal medicine, the root barks of the herb (atleast four years old) is boiled and later dried for use.
How does it work?
The herb contains the following chemicals – flavonoids, Sitosterol and Monoterpene Glycosides, tannins, asparagi and Proanthocyanidins. The following properties are associated with the roots of Peony – sedative, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, blood purifier, analgesic and anti-coagulant.
The following are the health benefits of Peony Roots:
Peony roots are used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome and premenstrual syndrome in women. Some also use this herb to induce an abortion or to start menstruation.
The roots of the herb are widely used to reduce muscle cramps due to its powerful anti-spasmodic properties. Due to this, Peony is also used to treat gout, abdominal cramps, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis and cramps in the calf.
Liver & kidney
Peony roots can also be used for treating liver problems like liver cirrhosis, jaundice and viral hepatitis. Some say, the herb is beneficial for those undergoing hemodialysis.
In addition to the above, Peony roots are associated with the treatment of the following conditions – fever, whooping cough, atherosclerosis, neuralgia, migraine and headache, chronic fatigue syndrome, anal fissures, cracked skin and gastrointestinal infections.
Peony root is usually taken in tea form. To make tea, use an ounce of the herbal extract for a pint of water. In Chinese medicine, peony root is always mixed with other important herbs.
Peony root is considered to be safe when used for a short duration of time. Side effects of the herb include the following – stomach upset and skin rashes. The herb should not be used for more than four weeks at a time.
Avoid the herb in the following categories of people – pregnant women, new mothers, those with bleeding disorders and those scheduled for a surgical procedure in the near future.
This herbal plant grows mainly in China and Japan where it is widely recognized for its health benefits and its use in folk medicine. Peony is safe but is beneficial only when it is used in combination with other important herbs.
Peony may interact with the following – Anticoagulant, Dilantin, BP lowering and Antiplatelet drugs.