Cortex moutan is a plant. The root and, less commonly, the flower and seed are used to make medicine. Cortex moutan 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.
Cortex moutan 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. Cortex moutan is also used for spasms, whooping cough (pertussis), epilepsy, nerve pain (neuralgia), migraineheadache, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
People apply Cortex moutan to the skin for healing cracked skin, especially cracks around the anus (anal fissures) that sometimes occur with hemorrhoids.
Blood Thinning Properties
A study published in the August 2010 edition of “Die Pharmazie” reports that peony contains 18 active constituents responible for inhibiting blood coagulation or platelet aggregation. The active constituents include paeoniflorin, catechin, galloylpaeoniflorin and paeonol. The anti-coagulant effect of peony supports healthy blood circulation, which prevents against certain cardiovascular diseases.
The effect of peony root extract on the kidneys of rats was reported in a study published in the March 2010 edition of “Phytomedicine.” The study concluded that peony root extract had an antioxidant effect on the diabetes-induced oxidative stress of the kidneys as the subjects exhibited a significant decrease in urinary albumin. Urinary albumin is an indicator of poor kidney health. Furthermore, the subjects exhibited reduced symptoms of kidney tubule injury when provided a treatment of between 100 mg and 200 mg of peony root extract per kg of body weight.
Blood Vessel Dilation
The September-October 2010 edition of “Vascular Pharmacology” published a study that researched the effects of paeonol on blood vessel dilation in rats. Paeonol is an active constituent derived from the root bark of the peony herb. According to the test results, paeonol relaxed the aorta by 95.6 percent by significantly elevating the production of nitric acid and regulating the flow of calcium. Nitric acid is a compound that relaxes blood vessels while calcium functions to promote muscle contraction. Blood vessel dilation may help to reduce blood pressure and control symptoms associated with high blood pressure, such as cholesterol.
A study published in the June 2010 edition of “Archives of Pharmacal Research” researched the antioxidant effect of paeoniflorin, a component of peony, on the liver. The study concluded that peony extract protects against liver inflammation as it prevents against the oxidative stress caused by an antigen known as lipopolysaccharide. The University of Michigan Health System notes that peony may also be utilized to treat certain liver conditions, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis; however, further research is needed to validate the efficacy of white peony on liver disease.
Cortex moutan is POSSIBLY SAFE when used by mouth, short-term. Cortex moutan has been used safely for 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: Cortex moutan 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 Cortex moutan and angelica might be safe. Until more is known, don’t use Cortex moutan if you are pregnant. Also avoid Cortex moutan if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of using Cortex moutan if you are nursing.
Bleeding disorders: Because Cortex moutan 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: Cortex moutan might slow blood clotting, so there is a concern that it could increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using Cortex moutan at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with Cortex moutan
Cortex moutan might slow blood clotting. Taking Cortex moutan 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 Cortex moutan
Cortex moutan root might decrease the amount of phenytoin in the body. Taking Cortex moutan root along with phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the risk of seizures.
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