Before I go into my experience with Yunnan Baiyao for my dog. I spent the time and did loads of research, so I will first share some of its history with everyone. I hope this information can be helpful to you as it has been helpful for me.
Literally translated from Chinese, Yunnan Baiyao means “White powder from Yunnan” (a province in Southwest China). According to lore, it was developed in 1902 by a practitioner of traditional medicine and was then known as “Baibaodan”, which can be loosely translated to “A medication that cures numerous diseases.”
Qu Huanzhang, a pharmacist registered a trademark for it, using his image in the 1930s, and two decades later, his wife donated it to the Chinese government. The medicine was used during World War II by the Chinese soldiers to effectively stop bleeding and stop infection. It came into prominence during the Vietnam War, when it was discovered it was part of the medical kit that the Vietcong carried with them. Large-scale production of the medicine had already begun around 1956.
Yunnan Baiyao’s formula is a mixture of all herbal ingredients — has been kept a secret — is now well-known throughout China and some parts of the world, and enjoys a status equivalent to that of penicillin. It has been used in many kinds of surgeries and is non-interfering with Western treatments. It has been known to be used on the same day of surgery to help with the recovery. It mends blood vessels and resolves swelling, bleeding and pain.
And yet, in the modern world, it has been increasingly utilized for prolonging the survival time and used in the treatment of cancer and tumors in dogs.
How Does Yunnan Baiyao Work?
If you have had pets or have them, you must be aware of the fact that a lot of dogs suffer from types of cancer that are associated with bleeding, such as hemangiosarcomas of the liver, which is fairly common. And some treatments, such as the ones used in chemotherapy, which may aggravate the bleeding. So naturally, it would make sense if you could find a medicine that would ease the pain of your beloved best buddy.
Yunnan Baiyao contains several herbs, the formula of which is not known but only speculated and can be used internally and externally. No side effects of taking Yunnan Baiyao have been noted yet, barring the fact that it is prohibited to be taken by pregnant women, which is a moot point here. It activates the platelets (the blood components that help make the blood clot), that lead to scabbing. In some trials, Yunnan Baiyao has reduced the clotting time by nearly 50%.
It also activates blood circulation, clears the toxins away and disperses blood stasis. Like western drugs, it does not shut off pain centers in the brain and expedites blood circulation. Yunnan Baiyao has been known to treat small cuts that otherwise may need stitches.
And most importantly, Yunnan Baiyao does not contain any gluten. This is especially important if your dog is allergic to it because in that case, it could lead to weight loss, intermittent diarrhea and a poor hair coat among other things. And this is a very common condition in dogs.
Is Yunnan Baiyao Safe for Your Dog?
I have been using Yunnan Baiyao for my pets for many years, and I can tell you that my experience with the “white medicine from Yunnan province” has been quite positive. After my veterinary doctor made a complete prognosis, which included him taking note of my retriever Lucy’s complete medical history and present condition — including a complete list of what medicines she was on and ingredients of the medicines.
My vet advised me to administer Yunnan Baiyao on Lucy when she developed liver problems at the ripe age of 9. The vet was careful to chart out the correct dosage, which, given her delicate condition, was no more than 2 capsules a day. Though the dosage varies from animal to animal and I will discuss it further in the article.
The vet told me that the medicine is equally effective on open wounds as well and pointed at an animal that was brought in bleeding after a motorcycle accident. The animal was in shock and bleeding profusely and clearly in a lot of pain. The doctor administered Yunnan Baiyao directly on the wound after cleaning it thoroughly and explained that the medicine has been used this way for decades for treating open wounds, even bullet wounds.
I was told that having Yunnan Baiyao was like having an emergency medicine at hand. It is very effective for any kind of injury or ailment that causes hemorrhage.
I Had Heard It Smells Bad
Well, it is a medicine and a very effective one at that. So naturally, all medicines cannot smell like roses, though it would be nice if they did. I had heard about the absolutely horrible smell that the medicine gives out and had some misgivings about it since my friend Marcus could not stop complaining about it over the phone, so I decided to try it out myself.
I broke open one of the capsules and was amazed at first at the very strong smell that hit my nostrils. But soon I was accustomed to it and realized it was no different to the smell of common mold that you find in your dusty attic. That was it, just a dusty, moldy smell. What was surprising was that Lucy did not seem to mind it one bit and lapped up her food when I mixed the contents of the capsule with it. She seemed to like it!
So naturally I consulted my vet about it and he laughed and said that the reaction differed from animal to animal; some animals absolutely loved it, and some of them had to be cajoled to have it.
I tipped some of it on my forefinger and had a taste, and was surprised to find out that it was not all that bad! Sure, it had that earthy, musty smell, but it also had a hint of honey and the tongue felt numb afterward. Not something I expected from a Chinese herb. Overall, I was of the opinion that if mixed with food, one could hardly taste it.
My Other Experience with Yunnan Baiyao
After Lucy’s first brush with liver trouble, she was fine for many months and as frisky as ever. In fact, after the initial few months, I was actually beginning to forget that there had been such an incident. She was a picture of health and as playful as ever, her appetite was as ravenous as a 1-year old pup. Never in my wildest dreams would have I thought that she would be suffering internally.
But gradually, over a period of weeks, I noticed changes in her, such as a general lack of energy and weakness, and one day she collapsed while chasing a frisbee. Scared to death, I rushed her to the vet, and after a thorough check-up, he told me with a lot of regret that Lucy was suffering from hemangiosarcoma.
I just could not believe it, so I took her to another vet who confirmed the first vet’s fears. Then he suggested something that I just could not bear to hear. The vet suggested that we “put her down”. And this was despite the fact that her blood report had come out perfectly. Crestfallen, I just took Lucy home that day. I wasn’t letting go this easy. So, in the coming weeks, I took her for a third and a fourth and a fifth opinion, and I started to hear different opinions and stories from other dog owners after I started doing a little research on my own. A few of them, who had also been told to “put their dogs down”, had, after many consultations and research, come to the same conclusion as me; to remove his spleen and mass, because that seemed to suggest that it would prevent the hemorrhaging complications.
My first vet seconded the idea and also suggested that I start herbal and dietary supplements for her well-being and to prevent the cancer from spreading. I was determined that she should receive the utmost care and nourishment, and wondered about how easily the other vets had written her off once they discovered she had cancer. It was as if they did not care at all about a life and presented a judgment without even bothering to go towards the root issue. The second vet who I had consulted, had made a prognosis of fewer than 3 months, and I was determined to prove him wrong.
I was lucky to have found a holistic streak in my original veterinarian who had a consolidative approach to Lucy’s needs who seemed to be responding positively to this. It was during this course of treatment, that the vet re-suggested the use of Yunnan Baiyao, which surprised me. But he was persistent and rattled off a few case studies — that gave me a lot of hope.
He told me about this couple from Montana who had brought in a Border Collie who had been diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma. His owners, refusing the vet’s suggestion to put him down, had decided to opt for a more holistic approach and had decided to treat him with Yunnan Baiyao. To everyone’s surprise and delight, 3 weeks after the treatment, there was no sign of metastases and the dog showed no signs of distress. He also seemed to recover from splenectomy pretty quickly.
In another such case, the dog, a rottweiler, was diagnosed with a rather aggressive tumor, and the vet had only given him a couple of months to live. But within two months of starting the Yunnan Baiyao treatment, the sickness all but disappeared, and the owners claimed that all that remained of the disease was the scar from where the tumor was cut out from. The dog had retained the earlier appetite, and was recuperating very well.
These and some other stories convinced me that I was on the right path and that I had found an incredible veterinarian who was open to a holistic approach who had an extensive knowledge base! He told me all about the benefits of Yunnan Baiyao, this time in detail — how to use it safely and how it is extremely beneficial when internal bleeding is at its worst.
We started off with 4 capsules, mixed in Lucy’s food daily, and encouraged by her response, increased it to about 6 a day, waiting to see if there were any side effects, but there were none, except that it made her gas occasionally. So we spaced out the dosage around her meal times and that helped her immensely.
The vet told me about the tiny red pill that had to be used in case of an emergency (any off chance that there was any bleeding after the treatment started) which would stop the hemorrhaging. This was in case things got out of hand after the surgery, but luckily for us, it never came to that.
Some immediate changes we noticed were the reduction of swelling, and Lucy seemed to be in no pain at all. At this point, I was paying special attention to her food, researching, consulting with my vet, whether it was a raw diet, or a rotating menu (fish and chicken or vegetables) or broth made of organic lean meats. Also, we keenly observed Lucy’s behavior, and we were happy to note that her natural playfulness was back and she was enjoying sauntering or running around in the park as much as before.
The beach seemed to especially invigorate her, and it was a joy watching her chase the waves and playing with other pups. She was back to being the bundle of boundless love and joy, and it was like she was never diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in the first place!
I am happy to report that it has been 4 months since she was diagnosed and the vets had given her only 3, largely thanks to the magical and miraculous qualities of Yunnan Baiyao. I couldn’t have asked for more, and I count each day spent with her as a blessing. I can only hope that Lucy is with us for many more years and I’m grateful for this time with her.
In conclusion, I would say that don’t lose hope when the vets have given up and they suggest that “eternal rest” is the only option. Be open to medicines such as Yunnan Baiyao which has helped generations, and continues to do so. After all, it got us out of that grim prognosis, and I hope it will help others as much.