White Peony Root
White peony root, Chinese peony, Bai shao yao, Paeonia lactiflora
Traditional Chinese Name:
白芍 (Bái sháo)
This ingredient is neutral in nature and bitter and slightly sour to taste, targeting the liver and spleen.
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This root is moderately common in making Chinese soups and herbal teas in Traditional Chinese medicine. It has strong tonifying effects, particularly on the blood and is a neutral ingredient that has slightly sweet tastes.
How do I prepare it?
- White peony roots are the roots of the white peony flower. They are typically harvested when the flowers are 3-4 years in maturity and cut, boiled, dried and cut into 3-4 inch lengths as part of the processing. These roots are typically white to beige in colour.
- To prepare white peony root for soup or herbal tonic usage, you just have to soak and rinse under cool water to wash it or any preservatives. I tend to soak in cool water for at least 30 minutes and allow anything to seep out and then drop directly into your pot of soup.
Where can I buy it?
In most wet marts in Hong Kong
- Available in your Chinese herbalist or Chinese medicine store
- I’ve also seen this readily available in bulk packages as Chinese supermarkets
What is the cost?
Relatively affordable and common Chinese medicinal ingredient
As pictured above, 5-6 sticks cost around $5-8 HKD
- As the blood is stored in the liver, this Chinese herb supports Qi and blood tonification
- Ideal in treating pain associated with menstruation and cramps
- Often treated with hot flashes when mixed with calcium (so ideal for menopause)
- Nourishes the “yin” of the body
Be sure you are buying this ingredient from a reputable source