Paeony Herbal Musings -

Paeony Herbal Musings

Peony Rose (Paeonia lactiflora) is possibly the most beautiful herb in my dispensary (passionflower, black cohosh and a hawthorn tree in full bloom come pretty close!). And one of my 18 indispensable herbs – a.k.a would be lost without in my herbal practice.

This herb was thought to be named after Paeon, Greek physician to the gods. It’s also used in traditional Chinese medicine and goes under the name of by “Bai Shao” and one translation suggests this means “The Beautiful and Delicate Medicine Plant”.

We use the root in herbal medicine, which tastes bitter + sweet and has a cooling, nourishing and moistening effect on the body (I always find this really fascinating, as its flowers unfurl around the Summer Solstice). It has a restorative affinity for the female reproductive system, muscles, nervous system and blood.

So when we put that all together into context, us herbalists use Paeony to:

  • modulate estrogen
  • cool inflammation
  • relieve spasms
  • cleanse the blood and,
  • support both the womb and ovaries to function smoothly.


I prescribe it for folks who tend towards a hot and dry constitution who are experiencing menstrual cycle challenges. Especially if there’s a pattern of high estrogen and low progesterone and/or high testosterone or prolactin.

This hormone profile can manifest as irregular cycles, heavy periods with clots, painful periods, fibroids, tender breasts before your period and PCOS. I’ll always formulate it for perimenopausaln folks who are experiencing any of these alongside hot flashes or night sweats.

I have also found it to be wonderful specific for hormonal acne on the chin that is deep and cystic.

While it can be safe in pregnancy I wouldn’t advise it unless you’re in the care of a trained herbalist. Sose is 20 drops of tincture in the morning and evening.

Have you used Peony before? How did you find it?

Paeony Rose Herbal Medicine by Clara Bailey

Herbal Medicine

August 4, 2020

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