Paeonia lactiflora is commonly known as White Peony/bai shao.
White peony is an herbaceous perennial, growing between 60-90 cm tall. The leaves are ternate or biternate and have large, lanceolate leaflets.
The plant has solitary white/grainy pink flowers. The roots have a reddish brown surface and a pinksh white semitranslucent interior.
Uses by Herbalists
Peony has a number of actions:
It 'removes stagnant blood'/emmenogogue and may be used by herbalists alongside other herbs when treating PCOD, fibroadenoma; 'to clear heat and cool blood' and is thereby useful in hot conditions such as menopause and hot ezcema; it is a progesteronic, and may be used to increase progesterone levels if appropriate; and anti-spasmodic, astringent, hemastitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and to enhance cognition.
Gerard used Paeonia to treat melancholic dreams and nightmares; the seeds were worn as a necklace to guard against evil spirits.