PEONY Overview Information
Peony is a plant. The root and, less commonly, the flower and seed are used to make medicine. Peony is sometimes called red peony and white peony. This does not refer to the color of the flowers, which are pink, red, purple, or white, but to the color of the processed root.
Peony is used for gout, osteoarthritis, fever, respiratory tract illnesses, and cough. Women use peony for menstrual cramps, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and for starting menstruation or causing an abortion. It is also used for viral hepatitis, livercirrhosis, upset stomach, muscle cramps, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and to cause vomiting. Peony is also used for spasms, whooping cough (pertussis), epilepsy, nerve pain (neuralgia), migraineheadache, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
People apply peony to the skin for healing cracked skin, especially cracks around the anus (anal fissures) that sometimes occur with hemorrhoids.
How does it work?
Peony might block chemicals produced by the body that can cause muscle cramps. It may also prevent blood clotting and act as an antioxidant.
- Muscle cramps. Developing research suggests that taking a specific combination of peony and licorice (Shakuyaku-kanzoh-to) might ease muscle cramps in people with liver cirrhosis and in people undergoing hemodialysis.
- Breathing problems.
- Skin diseases.
- Heart trouble.
- Stomach upset.
- Nerve problems.
- Migraine headache.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Other conditions.
PEONY Side Effects & Safety
Peony appears to be POSSIBLY SAFE for short-term use, up to 4 weeks. It can cause stomach upset. It can cause rash when it comes in contact with the skin of sensitive people.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Peony is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Some developing research suggests that peony can cause uterine contractions. However, other research suggests a combination of peony and angelica might be safe. Until more is known, don’t use peony if you are pregnant. Also avoid peony if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of using peony if you are nursing.
Bleeding disorders: Because peony might slow blood clotting, there is a concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Don’t use it if you have a bleeding disorder.
Surgery: Peony might slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it could increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using peony at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with PEONY
Peony might slow blood clotting. Taking peony along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with PEONY
Peony root might decrease the amount of phenytoin in the body. Taking peony root along with phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the risk of seizures.
The appropriate dose of peony depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for peony. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.