Yunnan Baiyao

Yunnan Baiyao (Yunnan Paiyao or The White Medicine  ) is a Chinese herb mixture that is commonly used to stop bleeding but is also employed for pain relief, reduction of inflammation, and promotion of wound healing. The herbal mixture was invented by Qu Huangzhang in the Yunnan province of China in 1902, is designated as one of two Class-1 protected traditional medicines, which gives it 20 years protection. Yunnan Baiyao made its name in the battle grounds of Chinese fighting against Japanese invasion in World War II and of the Vietcong fighting against USA during the Vietnam War by saving soldiers' lives from severe combat injuries. Now the medicine has developed into powder, spray and capsule and is widely used for people and animals.  It is founded and manufactured by a state-owned enterprise, Yunnan Baiyao Group (SZSE: 000538) in Yunnan, China.

The medicine was developed by a Chinese man named Qu Huanzhang from Jiangchuan County in Yunnan Province. He had set out to explore the entire region and taste its hundreds of herbs. In 1902, he formulated "Qu Huanzhang Panacea" which became Yunnan Baiyao ("White medicine from Yunnan") In the massive Taierzhuang Battle of 1938 (between Chinese and Japanese forces), Mr. Qu Huanzhang donated more than 30,000 bottles of Yunnan Baiyao to the army, thereby saving the lives of many soldiers.

As an indication of its value, it is noted that during the 1940s, army commander Wu Xuexian was seriously injured in his right leg. The French hospital in Kunming (capital of Yunnan) recommended amputation to save Wu's life. Wu turned to Qu for help, and to everyone's surprise, recovered without the need for an amputation. Yunnan Baiyao gained the reputation as a miracle remedy. After the death of Qu, his wife, Liao Lanying, donated the secret prescription to the government.

This section may be confusing or unclear to readers.
 This section needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources. Please review the contents of the section and add the appropriate references if you can. Unsourced or poorly sourced material may be removed.  

The main ingredients are both steamed and raw Sanqi, roots of Tienchi ginseng also known as "Notoginseng", Panax pseudoginseng, and Rhizoma Dioscoreae. These two ingredients are then combined with astringent herbs that absorb excess bleeding, invigorate the blood and enhance healing vague including myrrh and dragon's blood a resinous for internal bleeding.

Formula[edit]Its exact formula is a closely guarded secret. The company website mentions that the steroid progesterone is in the formula, in addition to several saponins, alkaloids and calcium phosphate. The separate herbal ingredients are reportedly made up by thirteen separate teams, none of whom have any knowledge of the ingredients the other teams are mixing. The individual mixed components are then combined by a further team, who have no knowledge of what constitutes them but knows the proportions in which they are combined.

In December 2010, purported lists of ingredients were published on the websites of and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The list supposedly containing eight active ingredients of a liquid form of the drug were found in a document published on the FDA website that contains correspondence between the FDA and a distributor of the drug. Ingredient lists were also present in the product information sections for the powdered and capsule forms of the drug on The proportions and exact manufacturing processes are still unknown.

The tiny red pill included in each small bottle (0.13 oz.) of Yunnan Paiyao is swallowed in cases of serious internal bleeding to prevent shock.

What does it do?
Yunnan Baiyao was invented in 1902 by Dr. Qu Huanzhang in Yunnan, China. Over the past 100 years, Yunnan Baiyao made its name in the fierce battle grounds of Chinese fighting against Japanese invasion in World War II and of the Vietcong fighting against USA during the Vietnam War by saving soldiers' lives from severe wounds.

In China, Yunnan Baiyao may be used as first-aid for any kind of traumatic injury or internal bleeding, whether one has a small cut, bruise, swelling, a serious wound from gun shots, an internal injury from car accidents or fighting, or bleeding from surgery and stomach ulcers etc.† One may simply pour the Yunnan Baiyao power on to the cut and/or swallow the power.

In the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) terms, Yunnan Baiyao stops bleeding, disperses blood stasis, activates blood circulation, alleviates pain, clears away toxins, and reduce swelling.† In studies, Yunnan Baiyao is shown to shorten the bleeding time and clotting time and reduce inflammatory response.

Doctors in China also let patients take Yunnan Baiyao before surgeries (0 to 5 days) because studies show that Yunnan Baiyao can reduce the amount of bleeding during operation.1,2 When applied after operation, Yunnan Baiyao may promote healing from the wound.

The exact ingredients and production procedure of Yunnan Baiyao are still state secrets of China. It is believed that the main Chinese herb is San Qi, or called Tien Chi, Panax pseudoginseng, Panax notoginseng, Notoginseng.

Currently, Yunnan Baiyao is only legitimately produced by Yunnan Baiyao Group Co., Ltd, one of the top state pharmaceutical companies in China. It was produced and exported to USA under the Camellia brand name before 1998. All the Yunnan Baiyao that possesses the product name Yunnan Paiyao under the Camellia brand in today's market are not genuine Yunnan Baiyao.

What is the formula composition?
The formula for Yunnan Baiyao is considered as a national treasure by the Chinese government and guarded as a top medical secret. Nevertheless, on the label of Yunnan Baiyao batches that are exported to the USA market, the following formula information is provided.

Supplement Facts Serving size: 0.50g
Proprietary Blend  500 mg*
Ajuga Forrestii Diels 85 mg*
Dioscoreae Parviflora Ting 30 mg*
Herba Geranii & Herba Erodii 36 mg*
Herba Inulae Cappae 25 mg*
Radix Notoginseng 200 mg*
Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae 57.5 mg*
Rhizoma Dioscoreae 66.5 mg*

* Daily Value not established.  

What is Available?
Three Yunnan Baiyao products:
1. Yunnan Baiyao Powder: This is the original Yunnan Baiyao in small bottles. 24 g per package in 6 bottles with 4 g per bottle. Each bottle also contains a bonus red pill for internal use in case of serious injury.

2. Yunnan Baiyao Capsule: The capsule is more convenient for accurate dosage. 4 g per package in 250 mg 16 capsules. Each package also contains a bonus red pill for internal use in case of serious injury. (The bonus red pill is located right in the center of the blister pack under the foil.)

3. YNBY External Analgesic Plaster: This is Yunnan Baiyao in the patch form and is approved by FDA as a drug (NDC 61658-006-50). 5 patches per plaster in the size of 4x2.5 inches.

How do I use it?
For adults, take 0.25 g - 0.5 g (1-2 capsules) each time, 4 times daily. The maximal dosage should not exceed 0.5 g once every four hours. For bleeding injuries, it is better to take the powder with warm water; For swelling, take it with wine. The powder can also be applied externally to arrest bleeding.

For children: 2 to 5 years old, take 1/4 the adult dose each time; 5 to 12 years old, take half the adult dose each time each time.

For patches, applied only externally to the affected area.

Differentiation in Usage

Side Effects
Yunnan Baiyao has been safely used with few adverse effects when it is used as directed.

1. Not for use during pregnancy.

1. Do not take Yunnan Baiyao if you are allergic to it.
2. If conditions do not improve or even get worsen after 3 days, discontinue it.
3. Not suitable for people with severe irregular heartbeat.
4. For best results, avoid consuming fish, beef, lamb, beans, and cold food at the same time.
5. Keep out of touch of children.