July 24, 2016

Peony

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What other names is Peony known by?

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, Paeonia caucasica, Paeonia corallina, Paeonia coriacea, Paeonia daurica, Paeonia japonica, Paeonia kavachensis, Paeonia lactiflora, Paeonia mascula, Paeonia microcarpa, Paeonia moutan, Paeonia obovata, Paeonia officinalis, Paeonia paradoxa, Paeonia suffruticosa, Paeonia triternata, Paeonia veitchii, Paeonia willmottiae, Paeonia woodwardii, Paeoniae Flos, Paeoniae Radix, Peonía, Peony Flower, Peony Root, Piney, Pivoine, Pivoine Arbustive, Pivoine Blanche, Pivoine Commune, Pivoine de Chine, Pivoine des Jardins, Pivoine en Arbre, Pivoine Moutan, Pivoine Officinale, Pivoine Rouge, Racine de Pivoine, Radix Paeoniae, Radix Paeoniae Alba, Radix Paeoniae Rubra, Radix Peony, Red Peony, Shakuyaku, Shao Yao, Tree Peony, Ud Saleeb, Udsalam, Udsalap, White Peony.

What is Peony?

Peony is a plant. The root and, less commonly, the flower and seed are used to make medicine. Peony is sometimes called red peony and white peony. This does not refer to the color of the flowers, which are pink, red, purple, or white, but to the color of the processed root.

Peony is 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. It is also used for viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, 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).

People apply peony to the skin for healing cracked skin, especially cracks around the anus (anal fissures) that sometimes occur with hemorrhoids.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Skin wrinkles. Peony contains a chemical called paeoniflorin. Early research suggests that applying a specific cosmetic product containing 0.5% paeoniflorin for 8 weeks might reduce facial wrinkles.
  • Muscle cramps.Early research suggests that taking a specific combination of peony and licorice (Shakuyaku-kanzoh-to) might ease muscle cramps in people with liver cirrhosis and in people undergoing hemodialysis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that taking a product containing peony along with the drug methotrexate for 3 months might reduce test markers of swelling in people with RA better than taking methotrexate alone. However, taking this peony product with methotrexate does not appear to improve symptoms of RA better than methotrexate alone.
  • Gout.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Cough.
  • Skin diseases.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Heart trouble.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Spasms.
  • Nerve problems.
  • Migraine headache.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of peony for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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