Bai Shao - White Peony Root

TCM Materia Medica

Bai Shao TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "bai shao" which in english is Bai Shao herb"white peony root", is categorized within the "herbs that tonify blood" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the liver and spleen channels and exhibits bitter (ku), cool and sour (suan) taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 6-15g

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Nourishes the blood and regulates menstrual problems due to blood deficiency (pale, lusterless complexion and nails) - menstrual dysfunction, vaginal discharge, uterine bleeding - very common herb for gynecological disorders (Si Wu Tang).
  • Calms liver yang, alleviates pain from constrained liver qi or disharmony between the liver and the spleen due to liver yang rising - cramping and spasms (limbs and abdomen), abdominal pain from dysentery, headache and dizziness.
  • Preserves yin, adjusts ying and wei levels - vaginal discharge and spermatorrhea, exterior wind-cold from deficiency with continuous sweating, spontaneous sweating, night sweats.

Bai Shao has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Incompatible with Li Lu
  • Avoid in cases of yang deficiency and cold in the middle jiao - diarrhea, cold sensation in the stomach.

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding bai shao:

  • Less cold, but bitter - clears liver heat or blood heat but weaker than Chi Shao Yao.

Bai Shao may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: uterine bleeding

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, bai shao is generally included in the following 39 formulas:

ViewBai He Gu Jin Wan (Lily Bulb to Preserve the Metal)

General yin deficiency signs may present as night sweats, heat in the soles and palms, and flusing. Cough/wheezing, possible blood in the sputum, dry and sore throat may present from lung yin and qi…

ViewBan Xia Xie Xin Wan (Pinellia Drain Epigastrium Pills)

Distension and fullness of the epigastrium usually without pain. Borborygmus (gurgling sounds), and diarrhea if spleen qi is affected. Vomiting with possible dry heaves due to rebellious stomach qi…

ViewBa Zhen Wan (Eight Treasure Combination)

For recovery of qi and blood after acute trauma or accident For frequent heavy menstrual cycles Pale complexion, fatigue, dizziness from qi deficiency Vertigo, palpitations, anxiety from blood def…

ViewChai Hu Gui Zhi Tang Wan (Bupleurum and Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

A combination of gui zhi tang and xiao chai hu tang - together they work with both taiyang and shaoyang syndromes - common colds and flu, fever, chills, joint pain, nausea, abdominal/epigastric diste…

ViewChai Hu Shu Gan Wan (Bupleurum Powder to Spread the Liver)

Liver qi stagnation signs - hypochondriac tension, abdominal pain, IBS symptoms Alternating chills and fever.

ViewDang Gui Wan (Tangkuei Powder)

For recovery of qi and blood after acute trauma or accident, similar in usage to ba zhen wan. A range of menstrual issues when they arise from qi and blood deficiency - amenorrhea, menorrhagia, irre…

ViewDan Gui Shao Yao Wan (Dang Gui And Peony Powder)

Blood deficiency with poor water circulation - generally used for abdominal pain during pregnancy - mild to moderate possibly with cramps, lower body edema and difficult urination. Above issues wi…

ViewDan Gui Yin Zi (Tangkuei Decoction)

Exterior wind skin conditions with underlying blood deficiency - eczema (particularly dry and flaky), hives  (urticaria), neurodermatitis, psoriasis, dry skin, itchy skin that is generally worse at…

ViewDu Huo Ji Sheng Wan (Solitary Hermit Teapills)

For chronic pain due to obstruction (bi zheng) with liver and kidney deficiency. For lower back pain often with weakness and/or pain in the knees. For arthritis, especially the type affected by col…

ViewFang Feng Tong Sheng Wan (Ledebouriella Pills to Sagely Unblock)

High fever with aversion to cold. Thick phlegm that may be both in sinus and chest. Vertigo or dizziness that is caused by excess heat. Rashes, carbuncles, and other types of skin disorders that…

ViewGan Bing Zhi Ben Wan (Liver Disease Recovery Pills)

Irritibility or easily prone to outburts or anger. Liver disease such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver. Jaundice - yellowing of the skin, brittle nails, pale complexion.

ViewGe Gen Wan (Kudzu Decoction)

Wind-cold invasion with upper neck and back pain - cold or flu, mild fever, no sweating, stiffness.

ViewGui Zhi Tang Wan (Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

Gan Mao (wind-cold) - Common cold or flu (or related illnesses, asthma, rhinitis, etc.) presenting with fever and chills (unrelieved by sweating), headache, aversion to wind, no desire for fluids, dr…

ViewGu Zhi Shu Song Wan (Osteoporosis Tablets)

For bone disorders includeing osteoporosis and osteopenia. May help reduce or prevent further bone loss.

ViewHuang Qi Gui Zhi Wu Wu Wan (Astragalus and Cinnamon Twig Five Herb Decoction)

Common with blood deficient patterns for dispersing interior cold, xue bi, (blood painful obstruction), generally manifesting as numbness of the extremities.  With the appropriate underlying patterns…

ViewJiao Ai Wan (Ass-Hide Gelatin and Mugwort Formula)

Uterine bleeding/spotting. Abdominal/Uterine/Ovarian cramping. Irregular menstruation, history of miscarriage - due to spleen failing to regulate the blood.

ViewJia Wei Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer Pills)

Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat. Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, br…

ViewJin Gu Die Da Wan (Tendon and Bone Injury Healing)

Bruising, sprains, swelling from soft tissue injuries. Broken or bruised bones. For post surgery recovery. For any other type of acute trauma to the body.

ViewJuan Bi Wan (Remove Painful Obstruction Decoction)

Wind-cold-damp bi syndromes in qi deficient patients - joint pain possibly with heaviness of the limbs that generally improves with movement.  Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis.  …

ViewLi Dan Wan (Benefit The Gallbladder Pills)

A range of gallbladder, liver and related digestive/obstructive issues - clears damp heat from the liver and gall bladder in TCM terms.  Symptoms may include gallstones and/or a range of digestive is…

ViewMa Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Formula)

Constipation with dry/difficult to expel stools along with frequent urination. Pulse will be submerged and rapid or floating and choppy and the Tongue will have a dry, yellow coating.

ViewPing Gan Liu Qi Yin Wan (Dang Gui And Pinellia Combination)

Liver qi stagnation with blood deficiency heat - signs of heat, red eyes, possibly anxiety and/or irritability, etc. along with digestive issues such as gastritis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis, hernia.…

ViewQing Bi Wan (Clear The Nose Decoction)

Sinus issues arising from damp-heat pattern in Chinese Medicine - yellow and sticky discharge, sinusitis, rhinitis acute or chronic. Sinus headache, decreased olfactory sense.  

ViewQi Xue Da Bu Wan (Nourish Qi & Blood Pills)

Fatigue, lethargy, sensation of feeling heavy or cold. Low appetite, bloating, borborygmus, loose bowels. Impotence, infertility, low libedo. Insomnia, night sweats, vivid dreams, nightmares.

ViewRen Shen Yang Rong Wan (Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi)

Tonifies both qi and blood and nourishes the heart and calms the spirit - generally used for weakness from longer term or deep diseases such as cancer and for a host of other conditions affecting a b…

ViewShao Yao Gan Cao Wan (Peony and Licorice Decoction)

Cramping and/or muscle spasms that are due to fluid deficiency. Frozen shoulder, trigger finger. General tightness or cramps especially along the tendons or ligaments. Restless leg syndrome for pa…

ViewShi Quan Da Bu Wan (Ten Tonics Nourishment Pills)

Coming Soon...

ViewShu Gan Wan (Liver Comfort Pills)

Abdominal and/or Hypochondriac pain, cramps or spasms resulting from liver qi stagnation. Alternating chills and fever. Nausea, bloating, acid reflux, alternating stools, or IBS like symptoms cause…

ViewShu Jing Huo Xue Wan (Relax The Channels and Invigorate The Blood Decoction)

Primarily used for blood stasis with wind-damp in the channels and collaterals characterized by internal deficiency with external excesses - joint pain, muscle aches, numbness and/or pain in the lowe…

ViewSi Ni San Wan (Frigid Extremities Powder Pills)

Important formula for liver qi stagnation - manifesting as moodiness, depression, cold in the extremities (particularly hands and/or feet), possibly along with other stress signs - mild headaches, te…

ViewSi Wu Tang Wan (Four Substances Pills)

The primary base formula for tonifying the blood and regulating menstruation in Chinese Medicine terms - irregular cycles, amenorrhea or long cycles. Postpartum issues such as uterine bleeding when …

ViewTao Hong Si Wu Wan (Four Substances Pills With Safflower And Peach Pit)

A modified version of si wu tang with the inclusion of tao ren and hong hua which make it slightly more moving for the blood - for blood deficiency with blood stagnation with particular emphasis on t…

ViewTong Xie Yao Fang Wan (Important Pills for Painful Diarrhea / Calm Wind Pills)

Diarrhea, particularly with abdominal cramping. Diarrhea with alternating constipation.

ViewWen Jing Wan (Warm the Menses Formula)

Irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, excessive uterine bleeding or spotting between cycles.  Infertility, history of miscarriage. 

ViewWu Ji Bai Feng Wan (Black Chicken White Phoenix Pills)

Coming Soon...

ViewXiao Qing Long Wan (Minor Blue Dragon Pills)

Cold/flu like symptoms such as aversion to cold, cough, clear watery phlegm -from exterior wind cold invasion. Wheezing, heavy sensation, edema due to interior water accumulation.

ViewXiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer)

Depression, anxiety, loss of motivation - resulting from liver qi stagnation. Fatigue, bloating, changes in appetite from the combination of spleen qi deficiency with liver qi stagnation. PMS, brea…

ViewXi Guan Jie Bi Tong Wan (Knee Joint Pain Relief)

Arthritis from damp heat in Chinese Medicine terms. Knee issues with kidney and liver systems involvement. Lower body pain and/or inflammation - hips, knees, ankles, toes especially when the pain m…

ViewYu Dai Wan (Cure Discharge Leucorrhea Pill)

Abnormal vaginal discharge - yellow or green colour, cottage-cheese like texture and foul smelling. Painful urination, burning, increased urgency/frequency.  Yeast infection.

As noted above, bai shao is within the herbs that tonify blood functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... symptoms of blood deficiency - pallid face and lips, dizziness, vertigo, diminished vision, lethargy, palpitations, dry skin, menstrual irregularities, pale tongue, fine pulse. heart and liver are the most affected. biomedicine - not alwa…)".

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