Introduction of Bai Shao:White Peony Root or Radix Paeoniae Alba.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb White Peony Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Paeonia lactiflora Pall., ②.Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa(Bunge) Stern., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb White Peony Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Radix Paeoniae Alba(White Peony Root).

Radix Paeoniae Alba:herb photo Pin Yin Name: Bái Sháo.
 English Name: White Peony Root.
 Latin Name: Radix Paeoniae Alba.
 Property and flavor: cool in nature, tastes bitter, sour.

 Brief introduction: The Herb Radix Paeoniae Alba is the peeled and dried root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall.(family Ranunculaceae), used (1).to nourish the blood and regulate menstruation for treating menstrual disorders, (2).to pacify the liver and alleviate pain for relieving headache, hypochondriac pain, and spastic pain of the limbs, and (3).to arrest excessive sweating. The herb is commonly known as Radix Paeoniae Alba, White Peony Root, Bái Sháo.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb White Peony Root(Bai Shao) as the root of the plant species (1).Paeonia lactiflora Pall(cultivated species)., other famous herbal classics defined the herb White Peony Root(Bai Shao) as the root of the plant species (1). Paeonia lactiflora Pall(cultivated species)., or (2). Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa(Bunge) Stern. They are plants of the Paeonia L. genus, the Ranunculaceae family of the Ranales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced as:

(1).Paeonia lactiflora Pall.


 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Paeonia lactiflora Pall., is a plant of the Ranunculaceae family and Paeonia genus, it is commonly known as "Paeonia lactiflora", "White Peony", or "Sháo Yào", or "Shao Yao". Perennial herb flower. Its main root is succulent, stout, spindle-shaped and long-barreled, 0.6~3.5 cm thick, light yellow-brown or gray-purple.

 The buds of the peony herb are mixed buds, clustered on the neck, fleshy, reddish to purple, and yellow, with scales outside. The length and size of buds gradually increase from buds to buds. Clustered on the root neck, fleshy, winter in the ground in the winter, with the temperature rise in the early spring, sprouting unearthed, when the primary water red to light purple, but also yellow, grow out of the ground, the color deepens, generally become dark purple, outside Scales protection. The buds of the peony herb are mixed buds that develop into genital organs(flowers) and vegetative organs(stems and leaves). Before budding, the buds grow 2.5 to 4 cm. The color and shape of buds after they emerge from the ground will also vary from variety to variety. The color ranges from dark purple to yellow-brown. The bud shape can be divided into 3 types: short round type, bamboo shoot type, and pen point type. Short round type, short buds, round blunt ends; bamboo shoot type, longer buds, sharp tips at the ends, bamboo shoots; pen point type, longer buds, tapered ends, shaped like a pen tip. Peony sprouting is one of the most spectacular scenes because it embodies the germination and vitality of life and therefore has a high appreciation value.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:drawing of plant parts The peony stems are clustered by the roots and are about 50~110 cm tall. The herbs are cylindrical at the base of the stems. The upper ends are more angular, some are twisted, some are straight, and the sunny part is mostly purple. The stem is clustered by roots and is about 50 to 110 cm tall. The herbs are cylindrical at the base of the stem. The upper ends are angular, some are twisted, and some are straight. The sunny part is mostly purple.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:flowers The leaves of the peony herb are two to three pinnate leaves, 20~24 cm long. The leaflets are oval, narrowly ovate, needle-shaped, etc. The leaves are long and pointed. The entire microwave is used. The leaves are yellow-green and green. And dark green, etc., the back of the leaves are pinkish green, hairy or hairless. The lower part of the pinnate compound leaves, which is composed of three leaflets at the end of the leaf, and one leaf on both sides. Each leaf on both sides is usually composed of four leaflets. Leaves, the end of the three leaflets unchanged, the number of small leaves on both sides began to decrease, from the original four gradually reduced to three, two or one, or even disappear, when disappeared, the end is only three leaflets, This time it is called three pinnate compound leaves, the upper leaves are single. Leaf length 20 to 24 cm, leaflets are elliptic, narrowly ovate, needle-shaped, etc., leaf tip long and pointed, whole microwave, leaf margin densely dense white bone fine teeth, leaves with yellow-green, green and dark green, etc., The back of the leaf is pinkish green, hairy or glabrous. The leaves of the peony herb also have ornamental value. The “green dish dragon” in the “red light sparkling green dish dragon” is the praise of the leaf, and therefore it can also be used as a foliage plant.

 The buds of Paeonia lactiflora have a variety of shapes, including round peach, flat round peach, oblate peach, pointed round peach, long round peach, pointed peach, pointed peach, long pointed peach and almond. The outer rims are leaf-shaped, with 3 internal cul-de-sacs (sometimes increased to 7), green or yellow-green, sometimes with yellowish-white stripes or purple-red stripes, obovate, elliptical, or pod-shaped.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:drawing of plant parts Flower bud: The buds of peony are mixed buds and belong to the type of underground buds. After germination, they stick out of the ground, and they are both long-leaved and long-leaved, and they also show buds and flowers. The mixed bud is a complex of multiple primordial origins, from the apical growth point, bud scale, axillary bud primordia in the bud scales, leaf primordia, axillary bud urogenin in the leaf primordium, sepal primordium, sepal primordium, petal original Base, stamen primordial, pistil primordium, and other components. The bud is called the mother-bud, and the axillary bud base in the bud scale and the leaf primordium is the original body of the offspring bud. The primordium in the leaf primordium and its axillary bud primordia do not produce budding scales as naked buds; whereas the axillary bud primordia in the scale lamellae have bud scales and form scale buds. In the spring, the scale buds germinate, and the bare buds of the offspring extend from the internodes of the mixed buds of the mother's generation and extend out of the ground to form flowering branches or branches on the trunk; their offspring scale buds do not appear on the ground. When the upper part of the ground is withered after the fall, the offspring at the top of the neck of the peony root is the "tip bud." There is only one end bud of peony, which is the top bud of the seedling after germination. In the following year, the offspring of this offspring scale sprouted, stretched, expanded, and flowered. Therefore, the life cycle of naked buds is 2 years, and that of scale buds is 3 years.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:flowering plant The axillary buds of the underground scale buds of Paeonia lactiflora appear in about August, and the top growth point gradually produces the bud scale primordium from the outside to the inside. By May of the next year, there are four growing spots of bud scales and the buds in late June. Squamous differentiation is completed. Then, the apical growth point begins to produce a leaf primordium. The leaf primordium has a plurality of finger-like protrusions, whereas the bud primordium has only 1 to 3. The differentiation of leaf primordia ends from early August to early September.

 There are several kinds of shapes such as round peach, flat round peach, oblate peach, pointed round peach, long round peach, pointed peach, pointed peach, long pointed peach and almond. 5 external rims, leaf-shaped, lanceolate, green, reduced in order from bottom to top; internal ridges 3 (not including variants), green or yellow-green, sometimes with yellow and white stripes or purple stripes, inverted ovate, broadly ovate, round, oval or irregular shape.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:drawing of plant and flower The flowers of the peony herb are generally opened at the top of the stem or the tip of the leafhopper. There are also some rare species. They are 2 flowers or 3 flowers. The flowers are large and the diameter can reach 10-20 cm. The original flower and the outer ring sequin 5 Green, 5~10 petals, white or pink; Most stamens, 4~5 carpels, glabrous; colors are white, yellow, green, red, purple, purple, black, mixed colors and many others. Usually, grow alone at the top of the stem or near the tip of the leafhopper, there are also some rare species, which are 2 flowers or 3 flowers. Native flowers white, flower path 8~11 cm, petals 5 to 13, obovate, stamens numerous, filaments yellow, disk shallow cup, wrapped carpel base, apically rounded, carpel 3 to 5 hairless or hairy, The garden has a variety of flowers, including white, pink, red, purple, yellow, green, black, and polychromatic colors. The flower diameter ranges from 10 to 30 centimeters. The number of petals is up to hundreds, and some species even have 880. Variety of flowers. Flowering from May to June and fruiting from August.

 The fruit of peony, 2~8 pieces are free, spindle-shaped, oval, bottle-shaped, smooth, with small tips.

 Peony seeds, black or dark brown. Each has 1~5 capsules. Seeds are round, oblong or pointed round.

 Paeonia lactiflora Pall.:flowering plants The root consists of 3 parts: root neck, root tuber, and fibrous root. The root neck (distinguished from the "root", the root neck is the root, the root is the stem) is the uppermost part of the root, the color is darker, and the buds are born; the root of the tuber is produced from below the root neck, and is fleshy, stout, spindle-shaped or long Cylindrical, 0.6~3.5 cm thick, light yellowish-brown or gray-purple appearance, white inside, rich in nutrients, tuberous roots generally do not direct buds, but after the break can sprout smaller buds, so the autumn harvest more than 5 cm of root can also reproduce; The fibrous roots are mainly produced from the roots of the roots and are the main organs that absorb water and nutrients, and can gradually evolve into tuberous roots. The roots of peony are different in appearance and shape, and they can generally be divided into three types: rough roots, slope roots, and even roots. Thick root type, the root is sparse, thick and straight; slope root type, the root extends to the surrounding, uneven thickness; even root type, suitable for root density, uniform thickness and so on. The root can be used as medicine.

 Ecological Environment: The Paeonia lactiflora Pall., grows on hillside grasslands and forests. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the westnorth area, upper reaches area of the Yellow River, the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, China. In the north, it distributes on hillside meadows and forests at elevations of 480~700 meters above sea level, in other areas it grows on hillside meadows at elevations of 1,000~2,300 meters above sea level. In cities and parks of China, the peony is also planted, with a variety of petals.

 drawing of plant flower and root This herb is the root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (family Ranunculaceae)which is chiefly produced in Zhejiang, Anhui and Sichuan provinces and all white peony is cultivated. The root is dug in summer or autumn and washed clean. After removal of the lateral roots and skin, it is boiled for a short while and then dried in the sun, sliced and used unprepared, stir-baked or stir-baked with wine.

 When the whole root is harvested, it is called Chi Shao Yao(red peony root), if the bark skin is removed during preparation and boiled then dried in sun, it is called Bai Shao Yao(white peony root). Also called Chinese Peony Root.

 White Peony Root:slice of cultivated herb Characteristics:Root terete, flattened at both ends, 5~18 cm long, 1~2 cm in diameter. Surface reddish brown when the cork removed, with knife-cutting marks. Prepared as transverse cutting pieces, cut surface even, nearly white or slightly brown, with marked annular lines and radial vascular bundles. Bitter and sour in taste, slightly cold in nature, and attributive to the liver channel.

 The Paeollia lactiflora Pallas is a perennial herb, 50~80 cm high, with a stout branched root. Leaves alternate and biternately compound, the ultimate segments red-veined, oblong-elliptical. The leaflets are narrow-ovate or elliptical, 8~12 cm long and 2~4 cm wide. The petioles are 6~10 cm long. Flowers large (5~10 cm in diameter), solitary, and red, white, or purple. 4 sepals, herbaceous, persistent. 5~10 petals, larger than sepals. Stamens numerous and anthers yellow; 3~5 carpels, many-seeded. Fruit, 3-5 coriaceous few-seeded follicles. Seeds large, subglobose; testa thick.

 White Peony Root:cultivated root Growth characteristics: The Paeonia lactiflora Pall prefers a warm and humid climate, resistant to cold, drought, afraid of waterlogging. It is advisable to choose the sunny, deep soil layer, good drainage, fertile, loose, humus-containing loam, or sandy loam for cultivation. Saline-alkali land and waterlogging low land are not suitable for planting. Avoid continuous cropping, rotate with safflower, chrysanthemum, legumes crop.

 White Peony Root:wild rootWhite Peony Root:slices of wild root Characters of herbs: The root is cylindrical, uniform in thickness, mostly straight or slightly curved, 5~20 cm long, and 1~2.5 cm in diameter. The surface of peony root produced in Bozhou is pink-white or off-white, which is smooth. The surface of peony root produced in Hangzhou is brown or light brown, coarse and rough, with obvious longitudinal wrinkles and fine root marks. The texture of the herb is solid and firm, heavy, not easy to break, the fracture surface is gray-white or slightly brown, keratinous, there is radial texture on the wood part. The herb has a slight odor, it tastes slightly bitter and sour. The herb of better grade has thick root, long and even, the bark color is bright and clean, the texture of the herb is solid and firm, the fracture surface is pink-white, rich in powder, there is no white core or crack mark.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.central inhibition effects, obvious analgesic action; ②.Radix Paeoniae Alba and its component paeoniflorin show spasmolysis effects; ③.weaker anti-inflammatory effect; ④.antiulcer effect; ⑤.affect the body's immune function; ⑥.promote the phagocytosis of macrophage; ⑦.effects on the cardiovascular system and anti-hypoxia; ⑧.antibacterial activity antibacterial effect of Radix Paeoniae Alba is stronger; ⑨.wide antimicrobial spectrum; ⑩.protecting liver and detoxification; ⑾.antimutagenesis and anti-tumor effect, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Nourishing blood for regulating menstruation, nourishing blood and harmonizing nutrients, nourishing blood and softening liver, warming middle energizer to relieve pain, retaining yin and hidroschesis(collecting Yin and relieve perspiration), retaining Yin and calm the liver(collecting Yin and calm the liver), softening liver and relieve pain, calm the liver-yang. It is indicated for blood deficiency and sallow complexion(blood deficiency, looks yellowing), Yin deficiency and fever, spontaneous perspiration(spontaneous sweating), night sweat(perspire during sleep), menoxenia(irregular menstruation), dysmenorrhea(abdominal pain after menstruation), metrorrhagia and metrostaxis(uterine bleeding), morbid leukorrhea, hypochondriac pain, abdominal pain, pain in chest abdomen and lateral thorax, diarrhea dysentery and abdominal pain, pain in four limbs, cephalea(headache), dizziness, etc.

 Administration of Radix Paeoniae Alba(Bái Sháo): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Radix Paeoniae Alba(Bái Sháo)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:6~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,2~4 qian(about 6~12 grams), or prepare to pill, powder; ③.Internally:water decoction,5~12 grams;or prepared to pill, powder. Big dosage could be up to 15~30 grams.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Radix Paeoniae Alba should not be combined with Dendrobe, Niter, Turtle Shell, Herba Cirsii, Black False Hellebore. The herb should be avoid using in conditions exanthem.

(2).Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa(Bunge) Stern.


 Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa Bunge Stern.:flowering plant Botanical description: The Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa(Bunge) Stern., is a plant of the Ranunculaceae family and Paeonia genus, it is commonly known as "Hairy Fruit Peony", "Máo Guǒ Sháo Yào", Perennial. The roots are thick and the branches are dark brown. Stems 40~70 cm tall, glabrous. The lower cauline leaves are two to three compound leaves, the upper stem leaves are three compound leaves; leaflets narrowly ovate, elliptic or lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate or oblique, margin with white bone fineness Teeth, glabrous on both surfaces, abaxially sparsely pubescent along veins. Flowers a few, raw stems and leaf axils, sometimes only the top one open, and near the top leaf buds are not well-developed flower buds, diameter 8~11.5 cm; 4~5 sepals, lanceolate, sizes; 4 sepals, broadly ovate or suborbicular, 1~1.5 cm long, 1~1.7 cm wide; 9~13 petals, obovate, 3.5~6 cm long, 1.5~4.5 cm wide, white, sometimes dark purple at base; Filament length 0.7~1.2 cm, yellow; disk shallow cup, wrapped carpel base, apical lobe blunt; 2~5 carpels, glabrous. The dragonfly is 2.5~3 cm long and 1.2~1.5 cm in diameter, with a beak at the top. Its flowering period is from May to June, fruiting in August.

 The main difference of this species from the Paeonia lactiflora Pall is: the carpels and young fruits are densely pilose, and the mature pods are sparsely pilose.

 Ecological Environment: The Paconia lactiflora Pall.var.trichocarpa(Bunge) Stern., grows in mountain bushes. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the north, and southern Gansu, Shaanxi, Tianshan, the Altai Mountains of west China. In the northeast, it grows on hillside meadows and forests at elevations of 480~700 meters above sea level, and in other provinces, it grows on hillside meadows at elevations of 1,000~2,300 meters above sea level.
 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Bai Shao:White Peony Root or Radix Paeoniae Alba.

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