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White Peony - Like a knight in white armor, this herb helps distressed damsels

Primarily cultivated in China and Japan, White Peony can also be found growing in Manchuria and Siberia. The word “peony” is derived from the name Paeon, the mythologocal student of Asclepiusthe, the Greek god of medicine and healing.
Unlike the whole root of Red Peony, white peony is peeled back. The bark is stripped off to reveal the powdery white layer underneath. According to the Advanced Textbook on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, "The root of the three or four year old plant is dug and collected in summer and autumn, washed clean with the rhizome and fibrous roots removed, and the rough epidermis scraped off, cooked slightly in boiling water, and finally dried in the sun."
White Peony is classified a medicinal herb and is widely used to purify the blood and regulate a woman’s hormonal cycle. It has therapeutic effects in that it is antipyretic, hemostatic and antiseptic. Other biological characteristics of it are antioxidant, antitumor, and antipathogenic. It is also believed to modulate activites of the immune system, protective cardiovascular system and the central nervous system.
The simple rigid stem of the Peony plant only grows to just under three feet tall, but it has alternate compound leaves. Large flowers of either white or pink color protrude from long stout peduncles. The medicinal roots are reddish brown and contain asparagines and benzoic acid. To date, over 262 compounds have been obtained from the Peony family. These include monoterpenoid glucosides, flavonoids, tannins, stilbenoids, triterpenoids and steroids, paeonols, and phenols.
White Peony is particularly best used in the treatment of female ailments relating to menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth. It promotes blood flow and relieves the pain associated with menstrual disorders. Though it should not be taken solely during pregnancy (or even during the first two months after childbirth) it is recommended for use in the context of herbal formulas.

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