Above-ground, the Chinese Peony is a beautiful, shrub-like perennial sporting fragrant blooms in late spring and early summer.
Referred to by some as the Common Peony, Chinese Peonies are anything but: these plants require patience, taking several years to reach maturity and bloom. Some varieties can survive for over 100 years, and these hardy plants require freezing winter temperatures to keep healthy.
While the Chinese Peony makes a lovely addition to any garden or bouquet, we would argue that the most interesting (and impressive) part of this plant exists below-ground: their roots.
The roots of the Chinese Peony plant have been found to help naturally treat and prevent some of the modern world’s most common medicinal needs. Need liver support? Check. Feeling stressed out? Check. Have period cramping? It can help with that, too.
For these reasons and many more, the Chinese Peony Root is regarded as a powerful herbal remedy. But before we dive into its medicinal properties, let’s first get down to the roots.
What is Chinese Peony Root?
The Chinese Peony Root is one of the most commonly used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been used in the practice of natural medicine for over 1000 years.
Referred to as ‘Bai Shao’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine, these roots are native to central and eastern Asia. The Chinese Peony Root is predominantly cultivated in the Zheijang, Anhui, and Sichuan provinces of China.
To cultivate Chinese peony roots, the roots of 3-4 year old peonies are dug up from the ground, washed, and cooked in warm water. After they have been cooked, the roots are then laid out to dry in the sun.
Once cultivated, Chinese Peony root can be sliced, used in soups, added into teas, or ground into powder. Chinese Peony root is bitter in taste and said to have a “cooling” effect. When consumed, the Chinese Peony Root has been shown to have powerful healing properties within the human body.
The Benefits of Chinese Peony Root
With the advent of the pharmaceutical industry, many herbal medicines came to be regarded as crude or unrefined by western society. Today, more scientists have begun to study natural remedies to measure efficacy and identify how they interact in our bodies.
In many cases, scientists have found traditional herbal medicines to be grounded in science due to naturally occurring compounds, vitamins, and minerals that can be found in nature.
A few of the health benefits of Chinese Peony root include:
- - Detoxification of the liver
- - Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits
- - Regulation of stress
- - Blood tonification
- - Gut health support
- - Memory and cognition support
- - …and more.
The uses and applications of Chinese Peony Root are wide-ranging, which is why Chinese Peony has been regarded as a powerful herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 1,000 years.
Today, there is scientific evidence to support the long-known benefits of peony roots for our health - it has been found that peony roots contain powerful chemical components such as paeoniflorin, proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, tannins, and paeoniflorin.
Let’s break down how all of these benefits can be derived from the roots of one plant:
Chinese Peony Roots Are Adaptogenic
Adaptogens are a class of non-toxic herbs and mushrooms that support how our bodies regulate and manage stress. Containing chemicals that benefit the body’s adrenal glands, adaptogens can help us to better regulate our release of stress hormones, balance blood sugar, and restore immune system function.
As an adaptogenic herb, Chinese Peony Roots can have an antioxidant effect on the body, making the frenzy of our daily lives easier to manage and helping to mitigate the effects of chronic stress on the body.
The Chinese Peony Root Can Reduce Inflammation
Research conducted on Chinese Peony Root has found that the compound paeoniflorin may help to suppress inflammation, which can help aid in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. This includes arthritis, kidney disease, and liver disease (among others).
For those suffering with chronic inflammation, Chinese Peony Root may help to inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators in the body, helping to provide relief from inflammation-related discomfort.
Chinese Peony Roots Can Help Detoxify the Liver
As much as we hate to admit it, modern life can wreak havoc on our poor livers.
Our bodies absorb impurities from the food we eat, the drinks we consume, and even from our surrounding environment, and our livers shoulder much of the burden of cleansing our systems from these toxins.
The good news is that Chinese Peony Root may help detoxify the liver and improve lipid metabolism in the body.
Pathology results in another study indicated that white peony polyphenols could also help to reduce alcohol-induced liver damage.
Because of this, we include Chinese Peony Root in our Come Clean formula, which is designed to help support liver health, improve mood, and aid the body’s natural detoxification processes.
Chinese Peony Roots Could Help Prevent Blood Clotting
Known as a blood tonic, the white peony root has been recognized in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its ability to tonify the blood stream and improve blood flow.
Used to prevent thrombosis (blood clotting), studies have shown that the active compound in white peony root, paeoniflorin, helps to increase the enzymes in the body that fight and prevent thrombosis.
White peony roots can also help to thin the blood and improve overall blood flow.
Chinese Peony Root Supports Healthy Menstrual Cycles
If you suffer from strong cramps during that time of the month, Chinese Peony Root could help to provide you with much-needed relief.
Peony root may help to relax the uterus, relieving dysmenorrhea (period pain and cramping) by reducing eicosanoid production in the uterus - this, in turn, can reduce inflammation. Peony root is also believed to help regulate women’s menstrual cycles and improve overall mood, helping to ease the more nefarious side effects of premenstrual syndrome.
Instead of using painkillers as a quick fix to menstruation woes, Chinese Peony Root is a great natural remedy to actually help to tackle the imbalances that cause pain and cramping, getting to the root of the problem instead of covering up the symptoms.
Chinese Peony Root Can Help to Improve Gut Health
Increasing research supports the amazing benefits of a healthy gut on our overall health and well-being. The human gut is responsible for breaking down the food we eat, absorbing nutrients, removing toxins from the body, and supporting bodily functions by helping to regulate our energy and hormonal balance.
Research has shown that paeoniflorin can help to increase probiotic activity in the gut, which can help balance gut bacteria in the body. Good gut bacteria is a part of a healthy microbiome, and supporting healthy bacteria in the gut can prevent intestinal inflammation and support overall health.
The study also argues that maintaining gut health could have a beneficial effect on those suffering with anxiety and/or depression.
Chinese Peony Root May Improve Cognition
Studies have shown that paeoniflorin, the primary chemical compound in peony roots, may act as a nootropic: in one animal study conducted on rats, the rats consuming this compound showed improved cognition in navigating a maze.
Using Peony Root Supplements
Chinese Peony Root supplements are an excellent way to reap the benefits of Chinese Peony Root without uprooting your favorite garden plants.
Peony root supplements are available as tonics, capsules, and in powder form. At The Hao Life, we use Chinese Peony Root in our Come Clean formula, where this herbal medicine goes to work with other powerful superfoods in helping to cleanse the liver and regulate emotions.
The cooling effect of the peony root can help to clear the body of toxic heat and improve overall health.
Taking peony root supplements from The Hao Life is as simple as consuming two easy-to-swallow capsules twice daily to reap the benefits of our natural, science-based formula.
Drugs affecting blood clotting can interact with peony root, so it is important to consult with your doctor before taking peony root with anticoagulant medications. Using peony root supplements is also contraindicated for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The Power of the Chinese Peony Root
Peonies are just as powerful as they are beautiful: while peonies are famed across the globe for their beautiful flowers, the root of the peony plant has been shown to have many benefits backed in Eastern and Western medicine.
Chinese Peony Root can help to detoxify the liver, improve gut health, reduce inflammation, and help to ease women’s menstrual pain. Powerful chemical compounds in the Chinese Peony Root help to support our overall health and make for an excellent natural remedy to help bring the body’s Yin energies and Qi energy into balance.
By incorporating Chinese Peony Root into our modern plant remedies, we are tapping into the power of ancient Chinese medicine backed by modern science.
To reap the benefits of peony roots, check out our Come Clean detox support superblend formula to see how this powerful root can provide results you can feel from the inside out.