Want to learn about the health benefits of peonies, how to harvest peonies and how to use peonies as medicine? Continue reading this article and find out.
Peonies (Paeonia officinalis) are not just one of the most gorgeous Spring flowers, but also an ancient medicine for various ailments. The medicinal parts of the gorgeous peony flower are its root, stems, and petals, which you can use to make infusions, decoctions, and tinctures, as you will see below. There are very many unexpected health benefits of peonies, namely the common peony variety (Paeonia officinalis), and it would be a pity for the world to forget about the powerful medicinal properties of peony. So, here goes.
The Health Benefits of Peonies
The chemical composition of peony includes tannins, alkaloids, minerals and trace elements (iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium), organic acids, flavonoids, and vitamin C. Due to its rich composition, peony has very many and varied health benefits, namely:
- balances and normalize metabolism
- fights gastric ulcers and stomach pain
- fights insomnia
- relieves stress and anxiety
- helps boost endorphin production
- improves mood
- has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties
- soothes cough
- alleviates respiratory diseases
- good for women’s health
- skin conditions
Now that you know the main health benefits of peonies, let’s see how you can use peony petals, stems, and roots to prepare simple and natural medicine at home.
How to Use Peonies in Remedies – 4 Medicinal Recipes
1. How to Make Peony Petals Infusion
Pour 2 cups of hot water over 1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped peony petals. Turn the heat off, cover, and steep for 15-20 minutes. The peony petals infusion is ready to drink.
2. How to Make Peony Root Decoction
To 1 cup of boiling water, add 5 grams of chopped peony root. Bring to the boil, set aside, cover, and allow to cool. The peony root decoction is drunk at room temperature.
3. How to Make Peony Root Tincture
Harvest the stems and roots of the plant (the best time is autumn), and cut them into very small pieces. Fill an amber jar halfway up with peony roots and stems and fill the rest of the jar with 40 degrees alcohol. Seal the jar and leave to macerate for 2 weeks, at room temperature, or in a cool place stirring often to homogenize. Strain and pour the peony tincture into a smaller amber bottle, and seal. Keep in the refrigerator.
4. How to Make Peony Petals Tincture
Pour half a liter of vodka over three tablespoons of crushed peony petals in a jar. Seal the jar and leave to soak for 20-30 days, shaking periodically. Keep in the refrigerator.
Beware! Peonies preparations are not recommended to children!
9 Natural Remedies with Peonies and How to Use
1. Skin Conditions
Peony infusion fights dermatitis, acne, skin inflammation, bedsores, and even skin tuberculosis. For skin conditions, you can drink peony petals infusion and also apply peony root decoction on the affected areas concomitantly. The recipe for the peony petals infusion you can find above, but for this cure, you need to double the recipe (4 cups water/1 tablespoon peony petals). Drink the entire quantity leisurely throughout the day. Do not continue for more than 10 days every three months. Peony petals tea fights dermatitis, acne, and skin inflammation.
Externally, pad the affected areas with peony root decoction, prepared as follows. Pour 200 ml of boiling water over a tablespoon of chopped peony root. Put the cup in a steam bath for 15 minutes to continue boiling. Pull aside and leave for another 45 minutes. Using sterile cotton pads, dab the wounds or affected areas three to four times a day until you see signs of relief. This is one of the top health benefits of peonies.
2. Gastritis and Stomach Pain
Peony root decoction (recipe above) is effective against gastritis and gastric ulcer, it alleviates anal fissures and relieves stomach pain. Due to its bactericidal properties, peony root decoction is also used in the treatment of dysentery. Prepare 1 and a half cups of the decoction (400 ml hot water/1 teaspoon peony root). Boil for 5 minutes, cover, and leave to cool down completely. Strain and drink 1/4 of the quantity (100 ml) at room temperature three times a day, 20 minutes before main meals. Do not follow this cure for more than 2 weeks.
Red peony petals infusion is also effective in gastric conditions, combined with red rose and red dahlia petals. Put one tablespoon of each in a cup and pour a cup of boiling water over. Leave to infuse for half an hour. Drink 30 minutes before main meals, three times a day for two weeks. Break for three days and resume if needed. This is one of the most important health benefits of peonies.
3. Bronchitis and Cough
For this simple remedy, you need a tablespoon of chopped peony petals, a tablespoon of chopped marjoram, a tablespoon of raspberries, and a tablespoon of honey. Pour two cups of boiling water over and allow to infuse covered for two hours. Sweeten with honey and drink half a cup of the reheated infusion three times a day, until complete recovery. As simple as it sounds, peony petals infusion actually works for bronchitis and cough.
4. Immunity and Metabolism
One of the less-known health benefits of peonies is that they can help boost immunity and regulate metabolism. For this, you can drink at least three half cups of peony root decoction a day, after meals (recipe above). Do not exceed five half cups (2 cups and a half in total) a day. For best results, the decoction cure should continue for a month. Break for three weeks and resume if needed.
Careful! Overdose can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and general weakness. If you experience these reactions, discontinue the treatment immediately and consult a general practitioner.
5. Nervous System Conditions
Peony root tincture (recipe above) is recommended for nervous system disorders, hysteria, convulsions, and insomnia, but it is also beneficial against incipient impotence and diabetes. The recommended dose is 30-40 drops of peony root tincture, three times a day, after meals. The duration of treatment varies between 25-30 days.
6. Neurasthenia & Epilepsy
Peony petals tincture is effective in alleviating neurasthenia and epilepsy. Prepare the tincture following the recipe above. You can take one teaspoon of the peony petals tincture, two or three times a day, before meals. Do not continue this cure for more than a month. Indeed, this is one of the most important health benefits of peonies.
7. Spine Surgery Recovery
One of the most effective ways to recover after spine surgery is peony root tincture. Peel and grate the peony roots and put them in a one-liter glass bottle. Pour vodka over until the bottle is full. Leave for two weeks in the heat (20°C/68°F) or in the sun. Strain and squeeze very well. Put 5-6 tablespoons of peony root tincture in the hot bathwater. Your back (spine) should be submerged in warm water all the time.
The water in the tub should be sufficient only to cover your body when laying horizontally on your back, with the head slightly upwards. For the best results, take the peony tincture baths daily for 3 weeks. To fasten your recovery, you can have 3-4 cups of combined yarrow and lady’s mantle tea daily.
8. Hip Arthritis
One of the less-known health benefits of peonies is in alleviating hip arthritis, as a tincture that can be added to the bathwater or used in massages. You can use the peonies root tincture (recipe above) to massage the spine and the places affected by arthritis twice a day. Baths with peony tincture are also recommended. Add 6-7 tablespoons of tincture to a bathtub, and enjoy a relaxing bath for at least 30 minutes. The water must be at body temperature.
9. Brain Tumors
One of the most important health benefits of peonies is in brain and thyroid tumors as well as other brain conditions, such as brainstem cavernoma. Greater celandine, sage, peony, lavender, mint, etc, are especially recommended for patients with low-grade tumors (mild forms), to improve their prognosis. One cup a day of peony and mistletoe cold maceration (soaked for 24h) can be beneficial in case of brainstem cavernoma alongside a healthy diet and other herbs. In the case of thyroid tumors, Chinese medicine uses a decoction of 30 g of red peony root in a liter of water (1 cup daily).
The Legend of The Peony
Legend has it that thousands of years ago, in the ancient city of Epidaurus, a god was born destined to rule the secrets of medicine. His name was Aesculapius, the son of Apollo, the god of light, and he was endowed with the magical power of healing. Impressed by the fate of people who died at random, sickened by diseases, Aesculapius put all his science and power into their service. And so the city of Epidaurus became the “city of healings,” for only here did Aesculapius impart to men his divine grace of healing.
His healing powers were so great that he could cure every suffering and even raise the dead from the grave. In his goodness, the god decided not only to heal the battered bodies of men but also to share with them the mysteries of medicine.
Hundreds of disciples gathered around him, struggling to learn this magical science of treating disease, and restoring health. Of them all, Paeon, an ordinary mortal, proved so worthy that in a short time he came to surpass his master. His fame had grown so great that people no longer reached out to Aesculapius, but to his pupil. One day, the gods Hades and Ares, wounded in battle, turned to Paeon, asking him to obliterate their crippled bodies. Paeon snatched a few peonies from his garden and prepared a healing cure with the beautiful flower with which he washed their wounds and healed them.
Finding all this, Aesculapius, bittered by envy, became terribly angry and decided to kill Paeon by poisoning him. But Zeus, the supreme god, learned of the plans of the zealous Aesculapius and stopped him. But the only way to save him was to turn him into a flower. Thus, Zeus turned Paeon into the same flower with which he had healed the two gods: the peony. This is the legend of the peony and its scientific name – Paeonia.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about the health benefits of peonies and how to prepare medicinal recipes with peonies, please share this article so more people can use this information. Stay healthy, naturally!
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