What is Bai Feng Wan?
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).
@anon220457: Do you remember how many you took per day, how many times a day? I have the Ton Ren Tang brand. They come in a circular case with 20 or so inside/ I have been taking two circular cases per day, leading up to my period. Did you take them every day of the month, except during your period, or more specific days in the month? Thanks!
Does anyone know if these pills will force my menstrual cycle to begin? I was prescribed them for blood flow problems but I do not want them to start my period.
@sara007: I remember taking these pills back around 10 years ago. A friend of my mom's gave me some to help with my extreme menstrual symptoms. And by "extreme", I mean a super heavy flow, painful cramps, bloating, sore muscles, fatigue, just about everything except for headaches. She gave me enough to last for the next couple of months, and I remembered going through those months with no cramps. My symptoms seemed to have disappeared, and I even noticed that my bleeding had tremendously decreased. I've always regarded bai feng wan as the "wonder pill".
Sorry, I've never taken birth control, so I don't know if these pills will counteract it or not.
Does anyone have any experience with taking Bai Feng Wan to help control your menstrual cycle? I would love to find something that makes mine more predictable and less painful.
Right now I take over the counter medication to treat the problems once it occurs, but if I could find something that actually regulates my cycle I would try it for sure. Beyond regulation of the cycle, does it help with cramps or any other menstrual symptoms, such as bloating?
Also, it says it increases fertility as well. Do you think Bai Feng Wan would interact with any birth control if you are taking it?
As with any herbal supplement or treatment, you should always check the side effects carefully and read what is in your pill, as not all people react the same way to treatments and there may be hidden items in your capsule.
I was shocked to see that some of these Bai Feng Wan pills come in a multiple herb formula that contains oyster shells. Why this is no problem for most people, there are many people who can suffer from anaphylaxic shock when any kind of shellfish is ingested. There was no warning on the label of the brand I purchased, just a list of ingredients.
@JaneAir - I agree with you completely. You might be interested to know that more and more insurance companies are covering acupuncture which is a traditional Chinese treatment. Many acupuncturists also prescribe their patients other Chinese medicine treatments such as herbs. One example is yu ping feng san which is often used to treat allergies.
I think we should try to incorporate more Eastern medicine and Chinese herbs in the United States. Even though some aspects sound a little ridiculous I think they're really onto something.
For example it sounds a little crazy to say that black food will help with kidney problems. However as the article said the black color actually comes from an anti-inflammatory. I'm sure there are more Chinese herb treatments that sound a little far fetched but actually work.
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