White Peony Root Modulates Immune Response

You may have seen some varieties of the peony flower offered in abundance at your local farmers’ market during the spring. However, there is reason to appreciate its beauty beyond the aesthetics.

Compelling research has shown that it can be a key solution for people suffering from autoimmune conditions. This is extremely important, because while some autoimmune diseases have effective treatments, most have no cure.

The root of the white peony flower offers beneficial compounds including glucosides such as paeoniflorin, paeonol, albiflorin and more. The life span of the plant, which can be 100 years or longer, hints at the potential health benefits of its compounds. Peony root is a traditional Chinese remedy that is also used among Indian and Korean cultures.

White Peony Root Balances An Overactive Immune System

White peony root has been the subject of recent scientific research concerning its ability to modulate the immune system. In autoimmune conditions, in which the immune system is overactive, white peony appears to dampen the immune response. And instances in which immune function has been suppressed, peony provides a needed boost.

The effects from autoimmune conditions such as allergies, psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and many others can range from mild to severe. Some autoimmune diseases can even be lethal. A recent investigation of data in the Nurses' Health Study found that the presence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was associated with a 40% increased risk of death over 36 years of follow-up compared to the risk experienced by women who did not have the disease.1

Subjects with RA had a 45% higher risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease and double the risk of dying from respiratory disease compared to those who did not have RA.

Paeoniflorin, the most abundant glucoside in white peony root, has been investigated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and was approved by China's FDA as a therapy for the disease in 1998. Experimental studies have demonstrated that the extract known as total glucosides of peony (TGP) reduced pain, swelling, synovial enlargement, and the severity of cartilage degradation and bone erosion.2

The extract reduces markers of inflammation while inhibiting the proliferation of a type of white blood cell known as lymphocytes and new blood vessel formation. RA patients are prone to endothelial dysfunction due to increased circulating inflammatory molecules. Endothelial cells are the delicate cells lining the inside of blood vessels.

Other studies have found an autoimmune inhibitory effect for peony glucosides root in lupus,3 Sjogren's syndrome,4 psoriasis,5 and other conditions.

The Bottom Line

It appears that peony root may be a true immune modulator that balances the immune system, helping to protect against both excessive and deficient immune function. Few therapies can make this claim.

While some individuals choose to utilize white peony root for autoimmune or other conditions, it can also be used on a regular basis to help maintain immune system balance.


  1. Sparks JA et al. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Jun;68(6):753-62.
  2. Zhang W et al. Int Immunopharmacol. 2012 Sep;14(1):27-31.
  3. Zhao M et al. Clin Immunol. 2012 May;143(2):180-7.
  4. Zhang HF et al. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2007 Jul;27(7):596-8.
  5. Choi MR et al. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 May 1;8(5):5236-41.


Unknown said...

Can it be purchased? Like in a pill, oil, or tea?

Rui de Castro said...

Yes, do you have an extract on Life Exttension?

Life Extension said...

Staci Schuster - White peony can come in different varieties such as in teas, essential oils, and capsule forms.

Life Extension said...

Rui de Castro - Unfortunately, we cannot discuss specific products on this section of the blog comments. However, we would encourage you to call our Wellness Specialists at 1-800-226-2370 to discuss the availability of white peony in detail.

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