If you’re a gardener and plant perennials in the fall to come up in spring, the Paeonia lactiflora is the same showy plant you see in gardens everywhere as a beautiful perennial flower.
The blooms are shades of red, pink and white.
But there’s another benefit to this beautiful bloomer. This native plant from China is also known as peony root and is prized for its medicinal properties.
The plant got its name from Greek legend that centered around a pair of divine healers [Paeon] but it’s the Asian history of healing and calming that endures today. The root is cultivated when the peony is at least two years old and the root bark is then boiled and dried. The taste is very bitter which is why many prefer it in a supplement.
Traditional Chinese Medicine says that peony root helps alleviate the pain and swelling of injuries and clear away bruising. Other research calls peony root a “woman’s herb” that helps balance the menstrual cycle and promote a healthy reproductive system. In fact, an old Chinese adage says that “woman who takes Peony root daily will become as beautiful as the flower itself’.
Before we get into how this root helps keep you healthy and well, let’s discuss the two types of peony root and what they can do for you:
White Peony Root
The color comes from the color of the blossom but the health benefit isn’t found above ground. It’s all in the root.
For centuries, this root has helped a multitude of men and women but it’s chiefly the women who have found the most healing from the white peony root. It is particularly helpful when suffering from menstrual cramps and the headaches and bloating that go along with them.
For men, white peony root can help alleviate the pain caused by muscle spasms and cramping as well as soothe the effects of repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Red Peony Root
While the white peony root is extremely helpful in calming and soothing tight and cramped muscles, the red peony root is best known in traditional Chinese medicine as a blood cooler. The red peony root helps remove heat from your blood and soothes discomfort from things like swollen eyes, nosebleeds and injuries that cause inflammation like sprains, bone breaks and bruising.
Peony Root and Your Endocannabinoid System
Your endocannabinoid system or ECS is the chief architect of your body’s homeostasis. That’s a fancy term for balance and you know how you feel when your body is out of balance as well as when it is in balance.
Your ECS works this way: You are chock full of cannabinoid receptor sites including cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). These receptors keep your brain and body hormones in balance and can be also be found throughout your central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, your immune cells themselves and your peripheral nervous system.
Your cannabinoid receptors perch on your cells and receive signals and information from your body. Any time you experience inflammation … and muscle spasms and cramping are included here … your ECS goes to work.
Inflammation is a protective response to an attack on your body. You want that response. Your ECS helps your cells return to their previous homeostasis. Research from the University of South Carolina shows that supporting your endocannabinoid system may be the best defense against inflammatory diseases.
But when the inflammation hangs around far longer than it should? That’s when there could be a problem.
Peony contains cannabinoids that help balance your immune system and relieve as a natural way to relieve inflammation and pain. The PhytoCann complex that Emerald Health uses in their bioceutical supplements includes peony root, so you can rest assured that your body will experience the relief and balance you you enjoy.