Yunnan Baiyao

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Yunnan Baiyao (or Yunnan Paiyao; simplified Chinese: 云南白药; traditional Chinese: 雲南白藥; pinyin: Yúnnán Báiyào; literally: "Yunnan White Drug") is a hemostatic powdered medicine famous for being carried by the Vietcong to stop bleeding during the Vietnam War.[1][2] The medicine, developed by Qu Huangzhang in 1902, is designated as one of two Class-1 protected traditional medicines, which gives it 20 years protection. In China, its reputation is equal to that of penicillin in the U.S.[3] 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.[citation needed] 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")[4] In the massive Battle of Taierzhuang 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.[4]


The main ingredients are both steamed and raw Sanqi, roots of Tienchi ginseng also known as "Notoginseng", Panax pseudoginseng, and Rhizoma Dioscoreae.[clarification needed][5] These two ingredients are then combined with astringent herbs that absorb excess bleeding, invigorate the blood[vague] and enhance healing[vague] including myrrh and dragon's blood a resinous for internal bleeding.[clarification needed][6][unreliable source?]


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.[3] 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).[7] The list supposedly containing eight active ingredients of a liquid form of the drug were found in a document published on the FDA website[8] 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[9] 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.[10][11]

Clinical trials[edit]

Yunnan Baiyao has been found to reduce post-operative bleeding.[12]

In a study by Dr E.J. Ladas at the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Columbia University, New York: Topical application of Yunnan Baiyo(White Medicine from Yunnann YNB) may be an efficacious agent for uncontrolled bleeding in conjunction with conventional hemostatic agents in adolescents with advanced cancer. It is well accepted by the patients.[13]


  1. Avoid broad bean, fish, sour, and cold food within one day after administration.
  2. Be sure to clean the wound surface before external use.
  3. Be sure to use the drug under doctor's supervision and control when high dosage is needed clinically.
  4. If hypersensitive reaction occurs after administration, quit the drug at once and give antihypersensitive therapy depending on the severity of symptoms, in case of external use, remove it immediately.
  5. For athletes use with caution.
  6. Use the insurance pill (red pill) wrapped in the center of blisterpack for emergency severe traumatic injury or bleeding. Note that this pill causes substantial thickening of the blood that could cause serious problems in patients with existing blood pressure or heart issues. The red pill should ONLY be used in situations where the patient is already in imminent danger of death from blood loss.
  7. Contains Aconitikusnezoffii Radix Cocta which is processed AcontiKusnezoffii Radix. Toxicity has been largely eliminated and controlled within safety limit during process.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Materia Medica
  2. ^ Exum, Roy (December 27, 2015). "Roy Exum: Ellen Does It Again". The Chattanoogan. 
  3. ^ a b CBW-Yunnan Baiyao, one of the most famous Chinese Companies in all Chinese Provinces of China, Yunnan Province
  4. ^ a b Jintu - Yunnan Baiyao Plaster
  5. ^ YUNNAN BAIYAO natural pain relief from China - Rivet Trading cc South Africa Archived September 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Letha Hadady Asian Health Secrets
  7. ^ Yunnan Baiyao secret ingredients found on US websites Archived October 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ FDA document containing ingredients
  9. ^ Product information of Yunnan Baiyao[dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ name=PMID_19153029Tang, Z-L; Wang, X; Yi, B; Li, Z-L; Liang, C; Wang, X-X (2009). "Effects of the preoperative administration of Yunnan Baiyao capsules on intraoperative blood loss in bimaxillary orthognathic surgery: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.". International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery. 38 (3): 261–6. doi:10.1016/j.ijom.2008.12.003. PMID 19153029. 
  13. ^ Ladas, E-J; Karlik, J-B; Rooney, D; Taromina, K; Ndao, D-H; Granowetter, L; Kelly, K-M (2012). "Topical Yunnan Baiyao administration as an adjunctive therapy for bleeding complications in adolescents with advanced cancer.". Support Care Cancer. 12 (12): 3379–83. doi:10.1007/s00520-012-1598-1. PMID 23052909. 
  14. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]