Peony is used for menstrual cramps, a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS), autoimmune disorders, healing cracked skin, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Insufficient Evidence for
- Aging skin. Peony contains a chemical called paeoniflorin. Early research shows that applying a specific cosmetic product containing 0.5% paeoniflorin for 8 weeks might reduce facial wrinkles.
- Kidney damage in people with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy). Early research shows that taking peony by mouth together with the medication losartan for 6 months does not improve kidney function in Chinese adults with kidney damage due to type 2 diabetes.
- High levels of a hormone called prolactin in the blood (hyperprolactinemia). Some people who take antipsychotic medications can develop hyperprolactinemia. The effect of peony in these people is not clear. Although early research shows that taking a combination of peony and licorice daily for 4 weeks can reduce prolactin levels, not all research agrees.
- Arthritis in children (juvenile idiopathic arthritis). Some evidence shows that taking peony with the drug methotrexate for 9 weeks or more might improve symptoms in children with JIA better than taking methotrexate alone. However, most of this research is flawed. More evidence is needed to determine the benefit of peony for RA.
- Muscle cramps. Early research shows that taking a specific combination of peony and licorice (shakuyaku-kanzo-to) might ease muscle cramps in people with liver cirrhosis and in people undergoing hemodialysis.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Early research shows that administering red peony granules mixed with water as an enema can help improve symptoms of sudden pancreatitis. It may also shorten hospital stays.
- Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Early research shows that taking peony for 12 weeks does not appear to improve the size or severity of skin lesions caused by psoriasis. Some people might have an improvement in skin problems caused by psoriasis, but it is unclear who might benefit the most.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some evidence in adults with RA shows that taking peony with the drug leflunomide or with the drug methotrexate might improve some blood markers of RA better than taking leflunomide or methotrexate taken alone. However, most of this research is flawed. More evidence is needed to determine the benefit of peony for RA.
- An autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are damaged (Sjogren syndrome). Taking peony for 24 weeks might improve symptoms, including dry eye and fatigue, in some people with Sjogren syndrome. But not all research agrees. More studies are needed to see if peony can help with other symptoms, such as dry mouth and dry throat, in people with this disorder.
- A disorder that causes leg discomfort and an irresistible urge to move the legs (restless legs syndrome or RLS).
- A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS).
- Breast pain (mastalgia).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Indigestion (dyspepsia).
- Infection of the airways.
- Liver scarring (cirrhosis).
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Nerve pain (neuralgia).
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Seizure disorder (epilepsy).
- Swelling (inflammation) of the liver (hepatitis).
- Whooping cough (pertussis).
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if peony is safe. It can cause rash in some people.
When given as an enema (rectally): Peony is POSSIBLY SAFE when administered by a healthcare professional twice daily for up to 7 days. There isn't enough reliable information to know if peony is safe or what the side effects might be when used for longer than 7 days.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: Peony is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in children for up to 12 months.
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.
Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Peony extract might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use peony.
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.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
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