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Yunnan Baiyao For Dogs

Yunnan Baiyao (also spelled Yunnan Paiyao) is an extremely versatile oriental medicine which was invented in 1902. During the Vietnam war, Vietcong soldiers carried the medicine to stop bleeding should they get injured. It is thought to reduce blood loss and promote healing among a plethora of other benefits. The exact ingredients contained within the mixture are unknown as they are kept secret, but it is believed that the mixture contains notoginseng, Chinese yam and galanga.

Though it has many great benefits, perhaps its most common use in dogs is for the treatment of cancer and tumors.

Our Recommendation: If you’re looking for a good alternative medicine formulated specifically for dogs we recommend I’m-Yunity . When given at a dosage of 100 mg/kg once daily, I’m-Yunity can improve a dog’s general wellbeing and immune system function, and help dogs with cancer.

Recommended Dosage

Note: Check with the vet before you begin giving Yunnan Baiyao to your dog.

Yunnan Baiyao is typically dosed based upon the weight of the dog. The dosage recommended tends to be highly variable.

Weight Of Dog


Less than 33 lbsOne capsule (250 mg) once daily
33 – 66 lbsTwo capsules twice daily
Over 66 lbsTwo capsules three times a day

For the treatment of external wounds (cuts, tumors etc.) simply open up one capsule (250 mg) and sprinkle the contents onto the affected area.

How often should I administer the medicine?

We advise that owners do not use the medicine every single day as there is a belief that this could affect the liver. Instead we recommend using the medicine every other day or 5 days a week with 2 to 5 days rest.

Example Dosage: A 40 lb dog would receive two 250 mg capsules two times daily, or for superficial wounds one 250 mg capsule opened and sprinkled onto the area.

How Safe Is It?

Yunnan Baiyao is considered very safe for use in dogs, particularly when approval is gained from the vet. Dogs with liver problems should not be given the medicine every single day for a prolonged period of time, instead administer every other day or 5 days weekly.

Pregnant/Nursing Dogs: Not much is known about the effects of this remedy under these circumstances. For this reason please do administer the medicine to pregnant/nursing dogs.

How To Safely Use The Medicine

We advise speaking to a vet before giving the medicine to your dog. Please mention the following during the consult:

  • Your dog’s existing medical conditions
  • Other drugs/medicine your dog is taking
  • The medicine’s ingredients (particularly progesterone, which is a steroid)

If your vet approves treatment please stick to their dosage recommendations. Be aware that over-use can reduce the effectiveness of the remedy over time and is believed to heighten liver enzyme levels.

What Can It Be Used For?

Yunnan Baiyao can provide many health benefits to an unwell dog. It can help with:

  • Immune system function
  • Arthritis
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Tumors
  • Wounds

You may wish to try the diphenhydramine form of Benadryl for dogs for allergy-related swelling if this medicine is unsuitable.

Side Effects

Please anticipate the following side effects:

Incidence Unknown

  • Stomach upset
  • Liver problems (during over-use)

Serious side effects are not expected, and liver problems are likely to be mild, though dogs with existing liver disease might experience more issues during over-use of the medicine.


Overdoses of Yunnan Baiyao can cause effects similar to aconitine poisoning. This could include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Pain

Effects similar to aconitine poisoning were noted in humans taking amounts as high as 2 to 4 grams per dose (2000 to 4000 mg). If you suspect your dog has consumed an overdose please call your vet immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline on (888) 426-4435.


Dr. D Dressler
Dog Cancer Blog
ITM Online

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Yunnan Baiyao, to use or not to use?

whelan_mg_7312-web Megan Whelan, DVM, DACVECC, CVA
[email protected]

Historically, Yunnan Baiyao has been used in people for over 114 years. Initially, it was used to curtail bleeding from combat injuries. More recently, in the human medical literature, its oral use has been to decrease the preoperative need for blood transfusions, and for ulcerative gastrointestinal disease. 2 There is very little written in the veterinary literature regarding its use. Most of the research has been conducted in dogs, rats, rabbits, and horses. However, the supplement has been used in cats.

We have been using the herb Yunnan Baiyao topically and orally for many years at Angell Animal Medical Center. It has been used as an adjunct to prevent bleeding in cases, such as pets with hemoabdomens, pericardial effusions, and epistaxis.

Formulations typically come in capsule form, 0.25 grams in each capsule, or as a powder in a 4-gram bottle. I have used the powder form and placed the powder in gel capsules for administration to a cat with a confirmed splenic hemangiosarcoma.

Typical dosing is 1 capsule (0.25 grams) per 20 lbs orally twice or three times a day.

yunnan-baiyo-2 yunnan-baiyo

The ingredients listed on the manufacturer’s label in 2011 included: Tienchi ginseng root, Ajuga forrestii Diels plant, Chinese yam root, Dioscoreae nipponica Makino root, Erodium stephanianum and Geranium wilfordii plant, Dioscoreae parvilora ting root, Inula cappa plant.1

The actual mechanisms by which Yunnan Baiyao affects the coagulation system have not been fully elucidated. It has been suggested that enhanced expression of surface glycoproteins on platelets plays a role. 3 Yunnan Baiyao is best known for these aforementioned hemostatic properties. However, this herbal supplement has been used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. A study in 2014 was performed by Wirth et al., In Vitro effects of Yunnan Baiyao on canine hemangiosarcoma cell lines after treatment with increasing concentrations of Yunnan Baiyao. The conclusion was that this herbal supplement did cause dose and time dependent hemangiosarcoma cell death through initiation of caspase-mediated apoptosis.

A more recent article, by Egger et al., The effect of Yunnan Baiyao on platelet activation, buccal mucosal bleeding time, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, and thromboelastography in healthy dogs: a prospective, randomized, controlled, blinded, crossover study, showed non-significant differences in many clotting parameters, concluded that there was no induction of hypercoagulability. There are some limitations of the study which include that there were only 8 dogs, and they were healthy, not clinically bleeding dogs. The coagulation system in a sick pet is very different than in a healthy one. The dose used was 4 times higher than the dose that we typically use in a sick pet. There were no adverse effects noted in any dogs.

Murphy’s et al. article investigated the Use of Yunnan Baiyao and epsilon aminocaproic acid in dogs with right atrial masses and pericardial effusion. This was a retrospective, case-controlled study. Cases were obtained from two private practices, and 67 dogs were enrolled. There were no side effects attributed to the use of Yunnan Baiyao. The study did not show a significant improvement in survival time from the study dogs compared to the control dogs.

Despite the controversy of the potential benefits of this herbal supplement, whether you use the herbal supplement likely will be dependent on case and owner selection. In addition, it currently appears safe since there have been no reported adverse effects.

For more information, please contact Dr. Whelan at [email protected] or call 617-522-7282.



  1. Wirth et al. In vitro effects of Yunnan Baiyao on canine hemangiosarcoma lines. Vet Comp Oncol 14(3): 281-294, 2014.
  2. Egger et al. The effect of Yunnan Baiyao on platelet activation, buccal mucosal bleeding time, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, and thromboelastography in healthy dogs: a randomized, controlled, blinded study. AJTCVM 11(2): 27-36, 2016.
  3. Murphy et al. Use of Yunnan Baiyao and epsilon aminocarproic acid in dogs with right atrial masses and pericardial effusion. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 1-6, 2016.


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