Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretty Peonies

Peonies are my absolute favorite flowers. My definition of a 'heaven' is a place that is filled with Peonies of all different colors, shapes and sizes. According to European plant lore, Peonies are known for their protective qualities. When planted near the entrance of a home they are said to protect the inhabitants from any negative forces.
Peonies are one of the national flowers in China and are used in Chinese herbal medicine.
Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae) which is called 'white peony' is bitter, sour and cold and goes to the Liver and Spleen channels. In the Materia Medica it is in the category of Herbs that Tonify the Blood.  When used in a formula, it regulates the menses, calms the Liver and preserves Yin.
Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubrae) or 'red Peony' is another type that Invigorates the Blood. It is sour, bitter and slightly cold in flavor and enters the Spleen and Liver channels. Chi Shao is used in herbal formulas to invigorate the blood when there is stasis, masses, and a need to cool the blood.
The photographs above were taken this week in my garden, they are tree Peonies. 

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