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Yunnan Baiyao Facts for Patients and Caregivers

Yunnan Baiyao is a popular traditional Chinese medicine, which is used to heal wounds, help relieve pain, and stop bleeding. Indeed, this herbal supplement has been used valued for almost a century for its hemostatic properties.

Knowledge of the specific properties of Yunnan Baiyao is still limited, but that hasn’t stopped many physicians and veterinarians from using this herbal medicine to treat various hemorrhagic and pathological ailments and disorders. In fact, the use of this medicine in veterinary practice is widespread.

yunnan baiyao for arthritis

Facts for Patients

What Does It Do?

The original formula contains notoginseng, which is the medication’s major ingredient. It is heavily promoted as a dietary supplement, which can be used both internally and externally to stop any bleeding and treat various disorders.  It offers relief from aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, strains, bruises, backaches, and sprains.

Not surprisingly, it has become a household name in China as a first-aid kit. In traditional medicine, this medicine is believed to disperse blood stasis, activate blood circulation, and support normal blood clotting. It is so prized in China that the exact ingredients of this medication remain to be a state secret.

What Does It Contain?

Although the formula for Yunnan Baiyao is a government secret, the original labels from the original batches exported to the United States revealed that it contained the following ingredients:

  • 500 mg of proprietary blend
  • 200 mg of Radix Notoginseng
  • 85 mg of Ajuga Forrestii Diels
  • 66.5 mg of Rhizoma Dioscoreae57.5 mg of Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae
  • 36 mg of Herba Geranii & Herba Erodii
  • 30 mg of Dioscoreae Parviflora Ting
  • 25 mg of Herba Inulae Cappae

However, you can no longer find this information in today’s current packages for this herbal product. This was the last known published data

What Is It Used For?

Studies done show that Yunnan Baiyo’s ingredients, particularly the notoginseng, demonstrated hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-coagulant properties. Clinical studies have shown that it can treat bleeding in the uterus as well as skin and colon ulcers. It is also beneficial in surgeries as it helps reduce the risk of bleeding or blood loss. There are case reports to indicate that it helped reduced bleeding in cancer patients, but no formal study has yet been conducted on the effects of Yunnan Baiyo on cancer treatment.

Generally, however, this medication is used for the following purposes:

  • Stop bleeding. Studies have shown that Yunnan Baiyao helps in minimizing blood loss resulting from surgical procedures. It also helps decrease the risk of blood loss in cancer patients. This medication, however, may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Relieve pains and bruises.
  • Eliminate swelling and inflammation. This herbal medication has shown to help relieve inflammation related to arthritis.
  • Promote oral health. Studies showed that Yunnan Baiyo can help reduce the breakdown of bone tissues.
  • Relieve pain from frostbite. Yunnan Baiyo helps relieve the pain from frostbite, and it also helped promote healing.

Facts for Healthcare Professionals

Yunnan Baiyao is a popular traditional Chinese herbal medicine. It was created almost a century ago and has become a household remedy for pains, bleeding, and wounds especially during the Vietnam War.

In the last few years, the trade name Yunnan Baiyo has expanded into various products including tincture and toothpaste. The original formula contains various herbs, but the main component is the notoginseng.

It is promoted as a dietary supplement that can be taken internally or used internally to help stop bleeding, treat cancer, relieve minor pains, eliminates swelling, as well as relieve backache, arthritis, strains, bruises, sprains, and frostbite.

The primary ingredient notoginseng has hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. The ingredient also demonstrated antiplatelet, anticoagulant as well as fibrinolytic effects. The hemostatic effect is observed when the herbal medicine is applied to open wounds.

The Mechanism of Yunnan Baiyao

yunnan baiyao ingredients

The microscopic examination of the nanofiber components of this herbal medication helps activate blood clotting. The same components also act as a scaffolding to repair tissues and prevent infections. A study of the wound-healing effects of this medication suggests that it suppresses lymphocyte growth and expresses pro-inflammatory cytokines. The herbal medication is also useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It stimulates intracellular prostaglandin E(2) and thromboxane B(2).

Once taken internally, Yunnan Baiyao also helps improve circulation. It can also help reduce inflammation or swelling. This may be attributed to the anticoagulant and antiplatelet effects of notoginseng. The same ingredient is also found to promote normal endothelial function and vascular integrity.

The same ingredient also plays a role in the treatment of periodontal disease. It suppresses the breakdown of bone tissue. It can also reduce atherosclerosis. Yunnan Baiyao can inhibit LDL uptake and prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in macrophages.

Some studies showed that the ingredients notoginseng and ginsenosides mimic estrogen, which can bind or activate the body’s estrogen receptors. The same ingredient is also shown to make tumor cells sensitive to radiation.


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