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Moutan Bark (牡丹皮, mu dan pi/dan pi)

Moutan Bark (牡丹皮, mu dan pi:dan pi)Name: Moutan Bark

Chinese Name: 牡丹皮 (mu dan pi)

Latin Name: Cortex moutan radicis


This herb is the dried root bark of Moutan Radicis or Paeonia suffruticosa Andr. of the family Ranunculaceae. It is mainly grown in the Anhui and Shandong region and is also cultivated in Europe and North America. The root bark is collected in Autumn, washed, skinned, sliced and dried in the sun and use unprocessed or stir baked with wine (processed moutan).

Use of Moutan Bark in TCM

Bitter and pungent in taste, and cold, it acts on the heart, liver and kidney meridians.

Effects and Medicinal Uses

  1. Invigorates blood circulation and eliminates blood stasis. To treat amenorrhea and menorrhalgia and abdominal masses due to blood stasis, moutan bark is used with cinnamon twig and peach kernel.
  2. Removes excess heat in the blood.
  3. Relives ascending liver Fire: to treat symptoms such as headaches, red eyes, eye pain, flank pain flushing and dysmenorrhea, moutan bark is dispensed with white peony, Chinese angelica, bupleurum and gardenia.


In a decoction of 6 to 12 g.


People with deficiency and diarrhea due to Cold in the stomach and spleen should avoid moutan bark.

Side Effects and Toxicity

As the suggested dose, the herb is safe. Some patients may experience nausea and dizziness at large doses. This symptoms disappear after discontinuing the herb.

Chemical Constituents

Moutan bark contains paeoniflorin, apiopaeonoside, paenoside, paeonol, paeonolide, oxypaeoniflorin, benzoylpaeoniflorine and campesterol. Paeonol is the most important constituent of the herb.

Pharmacological Findings

  1. Moutan bark is a sedative, analgesic, hypnotic, anticonvulsive, anti-inflammatory and antiallergic herb.
  2. As an antimicrobial, moutan is inhibitory in vitro against many pathogenic bacteria
  3. Moutan is a cardiovascular agent and lowers blood pressure