What Are the Medical Uses of Chi Shao?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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Chi shao, or red peony root, is a traditional Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years. In fact, chi shao used to be the national flower of China during the Qing dynasty. Due to the therapeutic qualities of this herb, it has several medicinal uses. Some common ailments that can be treated include liver problems, cramps and skin blotches. In addition, chi shao is often consumed in order to boost the immune system and fight off illness. Usually, this herb is taken orally by making a tea with hot water and the dried root of the herb.

From the perspective of Chinese medical practitioners, individuals experiencing liver problems can usually benefit from chi shao. Since this herb helps to cool and circulate the blood, it ultimately ends up reducing inflammation in the liver. This is thought to be particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, and can help ease symptoms. The best part about cleansing the liver is that the functioning of other organs in the body is also believed to improve.

Cramps are another common ailment that can be treated through the consumption of chi shao. The pain from menstrual cramps in particular can be effectively soothed and reduced with this herb. This is mainly due to the calming effect that it has on the body. It is thought to make the menstruation process less difficult and reduce the irritability levels that women may experience.


Skin irritations, such as blotches, can usually be alleviated with chi shao as well. Since skin blotches are often the result of concentrated heat on a bodily area, the cooling effect of this herb can be quite soothing. As a result, this herb helps to reduce redness and heal skin blotches relatively quickly.

Additionally, routinely consuming chi shao also helps to maximize the functioning of the immune system. Due to the numerous antioxidants this herb possesses, chi shao is thought to expel many of the harmful toxins from the body. In turn, the body is better able to fight off illness and disease. Since it provides the body with free radical fighting nutrients, this herb is often taken as a dietary supplement.

Before considering taking this herb as an alternative medicine, potential users should be aware that it has been known to cause some complications in certain people. These complications usually involve individuals with heart conditions, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. Therefore, it's advisable to consult a doctor before consuming this herb.


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