【别 名】：木芍药(崔豹《古今注》)、红芍药(《圣济总录》)、赤芍(《药品化义》)、臭牡丹根(《青海药材》)。原植物①草芍药(崔豹《古今注》)又名：山芍药、卵叶芍药、参幌子、野芍药。 ②川赤芍又名：毛果赤芍
Chi Shao Yao and Bai Shao Yao come from similar plants. Both are cold in nature and enter the Blood and the Liver meridian. Because Chi Shao Yao is cold and bitter, it is able to reduce Liver-Heat as well as Heat in the Blood. It has a dispersing property, can invigorate the Blood and remove congealed Blood, and is therefore often used for treating pain due to Blood stagnation.
Compared with Chi Shao Yao, Bai Shao Yao is less cold but bitter, so it can clear Liver-Heat or Heat in the Blood, but its function is weaker than that of Chi Shao Yao. One difference is its sour taste, which results in an astringent property. Cold and sourness may generate and stabilize the Yin. As it enters the Liver meridian, it particularly nourishes the Liver-Yin and Blood. It is an appropriate herb when there is Yin deficiency with slight Empty-Heat in the Blood. In this situation, the main symptoms are dizziness, dry and burning eyes, irritability, hypochondriac pain and distension. Like Chi Shao Yao, Bai Shao Yao can also alleviate pain, but it alleviates pain caused by Liver-Yin and Blood deficiency, in which the muscles and tendons lose their nourishment. This pain is cramping in nature, such as in abdominal pain and cramp after diarrhea, menstruation, labor or cramp of the muscles of the limbs. Moreover, as Bai Shao Yao has a sour taste, it may stabilize the Yin and Body Fluids and inhibit sweating, so is used for spontaneous sweating and night sweating.