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It is always a pleasure to view and photograph the PEONY. These beautiful flowers seem to bloom and wither rather quickly, so there's a sense of urgency standing witness to a fleeting magical moment.
There are about 30 species of PEONY in the sole genus, Paeoni, in the Paeoniaceae family. Paeonia is named after the Greek "God of Healing," Paeon. Scientists have obtained over 260 compounds from them, including flavonoids, tannins, steroids, phenols, glucosides, and tannins. These compounds can be used as antioxidants, antitumor, antipathogenic, immune-system and respiratory system treatments.
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The root of Paeonia Lactiflora has been used in traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese herbal medicines. The terms "Red Peony" and "White Peony" refer to the root color, not the color of the flowers. Shaoyao (or medicine made from peony) is used to treat gout, osteoarthritis, fever, coughing, muscle cramps, epilepsy, nerve pain, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, spasms and menstral cramps.
In China, fallen peony petals are parboiled and sweetened as a delicacy. The ancient Chinese used dried peony roots in their sauces and herbal teas.
In the Middle Ages, peony petals were added to drinking water.
Peony is known as "botan" in Japan.
The peony is the State Flower of Indiana.
The peony flower with a plum blossom is the traditional floral symbol of China.
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