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Mu Dan Pi

Mu Dan Pi

Mu Dan Pi, known scientifically as Cortex Moutan and commonly as Tree Peony Root Bark or Moutan Root Bark, is a vital herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It falls under the category of herbs that clear heat and purge fire, specifically those that clear heat and cool blood. The powerful medicinal properties of this herb make it an essential part of many treatments in TCM.

Understanding the Properties of Mu Dan Pi

Mu Dan Pi has an acrid and bitter taste, and it is slightly cold or cool in nature. It enters the Heart, Liver, and Kidney meridians, according to TCM theory. The recommended dosage is 6-12g, with a maximum dose of 30g. It can also be consumed as a tincture in a dosage of 2-4ml.

Actions and Indications of Mu Dan Pi

The unique properties of Mu Dan Pi allow it to perform a variety of functions. It clears heat and cools the blood, making it an effective treatment for Xue Stage Heat, a condition that results in epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematemesis, or subcutaneous bleeding. It also alleviates menorrhagia due to blood heat.

The herb also effectively clears deficiency fire, helping to manage Yin Deficiency Heat signs, which may occur after a warm febrile disease. Symptoms of this condition include fever at night and coolness in the morning, especially when there is no sweating, and a sensation of steaming bones.

Moreover, Mu Dan Pi is known to invigorate the blood and dispel blood stasis. This property makes it useful in treating blood stasis that results in amenorrhea, abdominal masses, lumps, bruises due to trauma, menstrual cramping, and liver blood stagnation.

Another significant benefit of Mu Dan Pi is its ability to clear Liver Fire, effectively treating liver fire symptoms such as headache, eye pain, flank pain, flushing, and dysmenorrhea. Furthermore, it can be used to drain pus and reduce swelling in non-draining sores (when applied topically) and intestinal abscesses (when taken internally).

Precautions and Contraindications

Like all herbs and treatments, Mu Dan Pi should be used cautiously. It is contraindicated in those with cold blood or cold disorders, those with excessive menstruation not due to blood heat combined with blood stasis, and during pregnancy. Additionally, it should not be used by those with a weak stomach or cold from stomach deficiency.

In terms of incompatibilities, Mu Dan Pi counteracts Semen Cuscutae (Tu Si Zi), Bulbus Fritillariae (Chuan Bei Mu and Zhe Bei Mu), Rhizoma et Radix Rhei (Da Huang), and should be avoided in combination with garlic.


Mu Dan Pi is a potent herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine, offering a variety of benefits in treating various health conditions. However, as with all medicinal herbs, it should be used wisely and under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner. In doing so, you can fully harness the power of this remarkable herb for your health and well-being.

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