Mu Dan Pi – Cortex of Tree Peony root – Moutan – Paeonia suffruticosa

Nature: bitter, acrid, slightly cold

Enters: Heart, Liver, Kidney

Actions: Promotes blood circulation; dispels blood stasis; clears heat, including deficiency heat; cools the blood; drains pus, reduces swelling; clears liver fire.

• Heat in the blood or Xue level heat: skin eruptions, hematemesis, epistaxis, hemoptysis, subcutaneous bleeding, frequent and profuse menstruation.
• Blood stasis: dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, uterine masses, lumps, bruises, swelling, pain due to traumatic injury. Often combined with Gui zhi.
• Yin deficiency heat: fever (especially low grade, evening), steaming bone disorder. Particularly used in the aftermath of febrile disease. Most suitable in the absence of sweating.
• Heat-toxicity in the blood: yang-type carbuncles, boils, abscesses – including intestinal abscess. Also used topically for firm, non-draining sores.
• Liver fire: headache, eye pain, flank pain, flushing, dysmenorrhea.
• Appendicitis: with Yi yi ren, Da huang.
• Lowers blood pressure. In one study using Mu dan pi to treat 20 cases of hypertension, all diastolic readings dropped 10-20 mm Hg within 33 days, and symptoms improved.
• Use it in its raw form to cool the blood.
• Dry-fry it to promote blood circulation.
• Char it to stop bleeding.
MLT: Mu dan pi’s blood circulating properties are similar to Gui zhi.
• For trauma, bruises with ecchymotic blood
• Strong downward action: not for wind-heat or Qi level heat – can drive exterior pathogens deeper into the body.
DY: Stops bleeding.
With Dan shen to quicken the blood and dispel stasis, cool the blood, and eliminate deficiency heat. For indications such as:
– 1. Hematemesis, epistaxis, metrorrhagia, purpura, and also rubella and pruritis due to heat in the blood division.
– 2. Menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, dark purple menstrual blood with clots, and postpartum abdominal pain due to heat in the blood which causes blood stasis.
– 3. Continuous, low-grade fever due to Yin deficiency heat. In this case, if there are night sweats, use Di gu pi instead of Mu dan pi.
– 4. Hot, red, swollen, painful joints due to hot Bi or impediment.
Mu dan pi is incompatible with garlic and coriander.
Hsu: Hypotensive, antibacterial, tranquilizing effects.

Dose: 6-12g

2 comments on “Mu Dan Pi – Cortex of Tree Peony root – Moutan – Paeonia suffruticosa

  1. Dr. Abi Abiodun says:


    Thanks for your information about this medicine, very helpful.
    Can a 3 year old toddler use Mu Dan Pi ?

    Many thanks for your answer in advance.


    • Peter Borten says:

      But almost always this herb would be combined with others to make a comprehensive formula. One of the great strengths of Chinese herbal medicine is formula composition.
      The other great strength is the seamlessness between diagnostic and therapeutic terminology – that is, the herbs have functions that match the diagnosis – but this depends, of course, on the ability to make a Chinese medical diagnosis.

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