Paeonia suffruticosa 'Bai Yu'

  • Dr Henry Oakeley
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Paeonia suffruticosa 'Bai Yu'. Dr Henry Oakeley. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews 'Bai Yu' Distribution: China. The peony commemorates Paeon physician to the Gods of ancient Greece (Homer’s Iliad v. 401 and 899, circa 800 BC). Paeon, came to be associated as being Apollo, Greek god of healing, poetry, the sun and much else, and father of Aesculapius/Asclepias. Paeonia suffruticosa was introduced to horticulture by Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820). A root extract in 25% alcohol has recently been licensed for use for the relief of menopausal hot flushing as an across-the-counter medication in Britain, despite inhibiting clotting mechanisms and causing uterine contractions lack of toxicity, genotoxicity or genotoxicity trials, and the absence of proof that it works (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.


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