We know that Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) is well known for its ornamental value but did you know about its edible oil, and medicinal properties?
Other than giving beautiful flowers that are large, bright and grand, peonies are being studied for their medicinal uses. (We know that some variants of Tree peony produce flowers that look like roses but are as big as cabbages). Peonies were primarily used for flavoring food and it is said that Confucius (551–479 BC) was a big fan and preferred to use Peony sauce as he loved the flavor. Here are some interesting facts about Peonies.
Peony facts you didn’t know
1. According to Greek Mythology, the name Peony comes from Paeon who was a disciple of the Greek god of medicine – Asclepius. Asclepius grew jealous of his student and was about to curse him when Paeon was saved by Zeus who turned him into the peony flower.
2. Peonies are native to the eastern part of China. They’re the national flower of the People’s Republic of China and have been cultivated there since at least 1000 BC.
3. Peonies are beautiful garden flowers and usually last for decades.
4. Peonies make great showpieces when cut and decorated in the vase. Most decorators consider peonies when aiming for a majestic look.
5. Peonies are considered a symbol of wealth and honour, love and romance among others.
A Gardener’s best friend:
6. A peony plant can live for close to 100 years and produce flowers for most of them.
7. Peonies bloom with grand flowers usually around May and June.
8. Tree peonies can be grown both in the shade and in bright sunny areas of the garden. If you know the right technique, peonies are easy to grow and maintain.
9. Peonies attract bees and other pollinating insects who also help in pollinating other plants in the garden. Peony buds produce sweet nectar which is a combination of water, sugar and amino acids. This invites foraging ants which feed leisurely on the abundant nectar. This phenomenon is actually interesting as it helps both the ants and the peonies. Ants enjoy the nectar buffet and in return eat any insects and pests that attack the peonies.
Beauty with medical benefits:
10. Peony plant parts are prominently used in traditional Chinese medicine, including the root, seeds, and bark.
11. The extract of Peony seed coat has significant antioxidant properties.
12. Peony’s seeds are sparking interest for possessing pharmacological activities like anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, allergy inhibition.
13. Peonies are prominently used in – Mu Dan Pi, a traditional Chinese medicine, that is used to treat inflammation, cancer, allergies, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.
14. Peony is also applied to the skin for healing cracked skin as a balm.
Peonies are claimed to treat several conditions not limiting to gout, osteoarthritis, breathing problems, cough, skin diseases, haemorrhoids, heart trouble, stomach upset, spasms, nerve problems and migraine headache. But we need to have more evidence for these claims.
While the appropriate dosage of peony depends on factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions, scientists await more evidence to check the effectiveness of peonies. We recommend you to check carefully about the natural medicines that claim to include peonies.
Did you know that this plant with grandiose flowers has so much significance in history and pharmaceutical uses?
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