Imagine entering a floral shop and attending to the task of selecting only those flowers that are beautiful to the eye, enchantingly fragrant to the sense of smell and endowed with sufficient potency to manage a wide spectrum of ailments. Such a list would surely be short, and such a list would surely include the white peony.
What does it do?
Above ground, white peony stands like the proverbial blushing bride, modest in both her natural beauty and subtle perfume. Her riches, however, lie beneath the surface, with her root brimming with the promise of a myriad of cures. White peony root—while offering relief to both genders—has long been considered primarily a woman’s herb. Summoned by countless Asian women over the course of the past 1,500 years to ease menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, hot flashes and headaches, it is easy to see how this botanical earned more praise from its feminine patrons. A brew concocted from the root is also savored to prevent miscarriage. Men and women alike find white peony root valuable when confronting high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, anemia-induced dizziness and muscular cramping. This herb is gentle when aiding stomach functions and when moving the bowels as a laxative. It is even employed to reduce pain encountered by persons suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
About the herb
The peony genus of flowering plants received its name from a Greek legend involving a pair of divine healers. Paeon was a student of Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. When this deity became jealous of his pupil, Zeus protected Paeon by transforming him into the peony flower, both lovely and teeming with cures. Peonies brighten the landscape with blooms that come in the colors pink, red, yellow and white. Native to Asia, white peony has been cultivated for countless generations as an ornamental flower as well as one of the richest sources of green medicine. This floral work of art can live for 50 years. In 1957, the peony replaced the zinnia as Indiana’s state flower.
White peony root works well when combined with licorice root. In herbal medicine roots are often boiled for 10-15 minutes to assure the extraction of the plant’s medicine. A simple method of reaping the benefit of white peony root is to use the commercial products like tinctures and encapsulated powders, following the correct dosing directions. Avoid using white peony root during pregnancy.