|Pharmaceutical Name:||Radix Paeoniae Alba|
|Botanical Name:||Paeonia Lactiflora pall.|
|Common Name:||White Peony Root|
|Source of Earliest Record:||Shennong Bencao Jing|
|Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations:||The white peony roots are dug in summer. The fibrous roots are cleaned and their bark is removed. The roots are then soaked in hot boiled water and dried in the sun. They are soaked again before being cut into slices.|
|Properties and Taste:||Bitter, sour and slightly cold|
|Meridian:||Liver and spleen|
|Functions:||To nourish blood and consolidate the yin
To pacify the liver and stop pain
To soothe liver yang
|Indications and Combinations:||1. Deficiency of blood manifested as irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea and uterine bleeding.
*Use with Chinese angelica root (Danggui), Prepared rehmannia root (Shudihuang) and Chuanxiong rhizome (Chuanxiong) in the formula Siwu Tang.
2. Deficient blood and yin leading to the yang floating to the surface manifested as night sweating and spontaneous sweating.
*Use with Dragon’s bone (Longgu), Oyster shell (Muli) and Light wheat (Fuxiaomai).
3. Weakness of the body due to invasion by exogenous pathogenic wind and cold manifested as spontaneous sweating and aversion to wind.
*Use with Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) in the formula Guizhi Tang.
4. Liver qi stagnation manifested as hypochondriac pain, breast distension and irregular menstruation.
*Use with Bupleurum root (Chaihu) and Chinese angelica root (Danggui) in the formula Xiaoyao San.
5. Muscle spasms and pain of hands and feet or abdominal pain.
*Use with Licorice root (Gancao).
6. Abdominal pain and tenesmus in dysentery.
*Use with Coptis root (Huanglian), Costus root (Muxiang) and Bitter orange (Zhiqiao).
7. Headache and dizziness caused by hyperactivity of liver yang.
*Use with Cyathula root (Niuxi), Uncaria stem (Gouteng) and Chrysanthemum flower (Juhua).
|Cautions:||This herb is contraindicated in cases with cold or deficiency of yang syndromes. It counteracts the herb Black false bellebore (Lilu).|
Anti-Inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Effects of Paeonia Lactiflora Pall., a Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine
Paeoniae Radix is one of the most well-known herbs in China, Korea, and Japan for more than 1200 years. Paeonies are divided into two groups: the tree Peony (also named Paeonia Moutan) and the herbaceous kinds. Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (also named Chinese Peony) is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Paeoniaceae with fleshy roots and annual stems. It is about 60–100 cm tall with large compound leaves 20–40 cm long. The flower buds are large and round, opening into large flowers 8–16 cm diameter, with 5–10 white, pink, or crimson petals and yellow stamens (Figure (Figure1).1). It is native to east Asia, and is grown on dry open stony slopes, riverbanks and sparse woodland edges.
In China, Korea, and Japan, a decoction of the dried root without bark of Paeonia lactiflora Pall. has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hepatitis, dysmenorrhea, muscle cramping and spasms, and fever for more than 1200 years. A water/ethanol extract of the root is now known as total glucosides of peony (TGP), which contains more than 15 components. Paeoniflorin is the most abundant ingredient and accounts for the pharmacological effects observed with TGP in both in vitro and in vivo studies. The analgesic effect of TGP was confirmed in various animal models of pain, which may be mediated partly by adenosine A1 receptor. The direct anti-inflammatory effects of TGP were observed in animal models of both acute and subacute inflammation, by inhibiting the production of prostaglandin E2, leukotriene B4, and nitric oxide, and by suppressing the increase of intracellular calcium ion concentration. TGP was also reported to have protective effects of cells against oxidative stress. In vitro, dual effects of TGP were noted on the proliferation of lymphocytes, differentiation of Th/Ts lymphocytes, and the production of proinflammatory cytokines and antibodies. In vivo, TGP inhibited the delayed-type hypersensitivity in immuno-activated mice, and enhanced the delayed-type hypersensitivity in immuno-suppressed mice. In adjuvant arthritis rats, paeoniflorin exerted immunosuppressive effects. The beneficial effects of TGP in treating rheumatoid arthritis were verified by randomized controlled trials. The adverse events of TGP were mainly gastrointestinal tract disturbances, mostly mild diarrhea.
The dried root without bark of P. lactiflora Pall., namely Radix Paeoniae Alba, has been used as a medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, where it is called Bái Sháo (literally: “White Peony”). The root is dug in summer or autumn from cultivated plants that are 4–5 years old, and cleaned with water. After removal of the bark and rootlets, it is boiled in water for a short while, dried in the sun, and then sliced. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hepatitis, dysmenorrhea, muscle cramping and spasms, and fever with a long history.
A water/ethanol extract of Radix Paeoniae Alba is known as total glucosides of peony (TGP), which contains more than 15 components, including paeoniflorin, albiflorin, oxypaeoniflorin, benzoylpaeoniflorin, oxybenzoyl-paeoniflorin, paeoniflorigenone, lactiflorin, galloylpaeoniflorin, paeonin, paeonolide, and paeonol (Zhang et al., 2001; Tan et al., 2010). Most of them are monoterpene glucosides, and their structures are shown in Figure Figure2.2. Among them, paeoniflorin (C23H28O11, with a molecular weight of 480.45), a water-soluble compound, is the most abundant (>90%) and accounts for the pharmacological effects observed with TGP in both in vitro and in vivo studies. So the content of paeoniflorin is used for the standardization of the dosage of TGP. A preparation of TGP was approved by State Food and Drug Administration of China to enter market as a disease-modifying drug for rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. In recent years, a lot of studies describing the chemistry and the pharmacology of TGP have been published, but often in Chinese. Here, we briefly reviewed the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of TGP.
白芍, BAI SHAO, PAEONIAE ALBA RADIX, White Peony Root
本品為毛茛科多年生草本植物芍藥 (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) 的根。主產浙江、安徽、西川等地。夏、秋二季採挖，洗淨，除去頭尾及細根，置沸水中煮後除去外皮，或去皮後再煮至無硬心，撈起曬乾。切薄片，生用或炒用、酒炒用。