Red Peony Root

Source Root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall., or several other species of the same genus, family Ranunculaceae.

Producing Areas Inner Mongolia and Hebei, etc. Chuan Chishao is mainly produced in Sichuan.

Properties Bitter, Slightly Cold

Channels Liver


  • Clears heat and cools the blood
    For heat in the blood level causing fever, red-purple tongue, skin blotches, and bleeding. Also treats gynaecological disorders from hot blood (dysmenorrhoea or menorrhagia).
  • Invigorates the blood, removes stagnation and swelling
    For amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, acute inflammations, abdominal pain and masses. Also used for swelling and stagnation from internal or external injury, rashes, and abscesses.
  • Clears liver fire
    For ascending liver fire affecting the eyes, causing redness and swelling.

Usage and Dosage
6 – 15g is used in decoction for oral use.
The crude is for clearing away heat and cooling the blood.
The stir-baked one is for circulating the blood to remove blood stasis.

Notes Contraindicated for the patient with amenorrhoea. It is incompatible with Lilu (Rhizoma et Radix Veratri).

Keep in a dry place.

Description of Quality Herb
The good one has a stout root, white and powdery broken surface.

Professional AdviceChishao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra) has a brown or blackish brown surface which is rough. The outer covering is easy to exfoliate. The broken surface is powdery.

Chuan Chishao (Paeonia veitchii Lynch) has smaller root, lighter colour, brown or dark brown surface, less powdery broken surface. The outer covering is less easy to exfoliate.