Bai feng wan is a medicine used by some practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat menstrual irregularities and increase fertility in women. It is also thought to be helpful to people who have anemia or other blood disorders. Other names for this medicine include wu ji bai feng wan and wu chi pai feng wan, and all three names translate into English as "black chicken white phoenix pills." The medicine is used in pill form and traditionally made from plants such as ginger and licorice.
These plants are considered by many practitioners of herbal medicine to have properties that cleanse the blood. The main ingredient, however, is the bones of a particular chicken commonly known in the West as a Silkie Bantam because of the soft appearance of its feathers. The typical Silkie Bantam is thought to have black bones, dark flesh, and black skin. Black foods are considered by some TCM practitioners to be very helpful for treating kidney ailments and cleansing the blood. The color in both animal and plant foods such as black beans is thought to come from an antioxidant called anthocyanins, presently considered an anti-inflammatory.
In Chinese myth, the phoenix is traditionally considered to represent regeneration and immortality. It is also thought to have white feathers. For some TCM believers, the Silkie Bantam's usual combination of dark bones and white feathers is considered especially valuable medicinally and nutritionally.
One of the earliest recorded reports of the use of bai feng wan pills may be in the Shoushi Baoyuan, a Chinese medical journal thought to have been published in the early 1600s. Presently, pills that are available in the West are likely to be manufactured by Tong Ren Tang, a large Beijing pharmaceutical company founded in 1669 that specializes in TCM products. The ingredients contain peony root and salvia root, both reported to have detoxifying and blood-cleansing properties. Deer antler powder is also frequently an ingredient in these preparations and is thought to strengthen the blood and kidneys.
There are reportedly few to no side effects of taking bai feng wan pills, even when they are taken continuously or for long periods. The pills are traditionally not recommended for use during pregnancy. A medical professional should always be consulted before taking any medication or supplement. The reported benefits of this traditional medicine are not presently evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).