Moutan bark (Mudanpi)-Paeonia suffruticosa-Cortex Moutan

Moutan bark (Mudanpi)

Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. (Fam. Ranunculaceae).
Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. (Fam. Ranunculaceae).

Pharmaceutical Name: Cortex Moutan
Botanical Name: Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. (Fam. Ranunculaceae).
Common Name: Moutan bark, Tree peony bark.
Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing.
Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: The roots are dug and gathered in autumn. After the fibrous roots have been removed, the roots are dried in the sun.
Properties & Taste: Bitter, pungent and slightly cold.
Meridians: Heart, liver and kidney.
Functions: 1. To clear heat and cool blood; 2. To invigorate blood and resolve blood stagnation.
Indications & Combinations:
1. Febrile disease in which pathogenic heat enters the blood level manifested as fever, vomiting with blood, epistaxis, blood in the urine, maculopapule and deep red tongue proper. Moutan bark (Mudanpi) is used with Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang), Rhinoceros horn (Xijiao) and Red peony (Chishao).
2. Late stage of febrile diseases with exhaustion of body fluids or yin deficiency manifested as fever at night, and subsiding in the morning, without presence of sweating, red tongue proper with scanty coating and thready, rapid pulse. Moutan bark (Mudanpi) is used with Anemarrhena rhizome (Zhimu), Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang), Turtle shell (Biejia) and Sweet wormwood (Qinghao).
3. Blood stagnation manifested as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, hard masses, lumps, tumors and modules. Moutan bark (Mudanpi) is used with Peach seed (Taoren), Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi), Red peony (Chishao) and Poria (Fuling) in the formula Guizhi Fuling Wan.
4. Boil, carbuncles and furuncles. Moutan bark (Mudanpi) is used with Honeysuckle flower (Jinyinhua) and Forsythia fruit (Lianqiao).
5. For acute appendicitis with abdominal pain and constipation, it is used with Radix et Rhizoma Rhei (Da Huang) and Semen Persicae (Tao Ren). For suppurative infections on the body surface, it is used with Flos Lonicerae ( Jin Ying Hua), Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae (Lian Qiao), and Radix Angelicae Dahuricae (Bai Zhi).
Dosage: 6-12 g, decocted in water for oral use, or made into a bolus or powder. For clearing Blood Heat, it is used unprepared; for promoting Blood circulation and removing Blood Stasis, it is stir-baked with wine; for hemostasis, it is stir-baked until charred.
Cautions & Contraindications: This herb is contraindicated in Cold conditions due to Blood Deficiency. Not to be used in cases of menorrhagia and in pregnant women.

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