Yunnan Baiyao for dogs is one of the best-known Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal supplements. Many veterinarians use it to control bleeding in emergency situations, so it has earned a place in the treatment of dogs with certain types of cancer, such as hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Julie Buzby, integrative veterinarian and founder of Dr. Buzby’s ToeGrips®, welcomes her friend and colleague, Dr. P.J. Broadfoot, to the blog to discuss Yunnan Baiyao for dogs. Learn about its benefits, and how it could help your dog in a life-threatening or critical care situation.
As an alternative veterinary practitioner, I use many forms of complementary medicine such as acupuncture, holistic nutrition, naturopathy, and environmental medicine.
One form of complementary medicine that has caught my attention over the years is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Although the field is vast and wide, several herbal formulations show great promise for senior dogs. One of them is Yunnan Baiyao.
Before jumping into the numerous ways it helps dogs, I’d love to share my first (and second) encounter with the almost miraculous Yunnan Baiyao.
My first encounter with Yunnan Baiyao for dogs
When my brother’s dog ended up hospitalized in Florida after a vicious dog attack, the veterinarians caring for him could not control his bleeding.
Panicked and trying to support my brother in every way I could from several states away, I contacted a local holistic practitioner in Florida. Having casually heard about Yunnan Baiyao’s ability to reduce blood loss, she and I agreed over the phone it was worth a try. She graciously delivered a dose to the emergency vet clinic. After it was administered to my brother’s severely wounded dog, it immediately and dramatically stopped the bleeding.
It was lifesaving! It was then I knew that I needed to include Yunnan Baiyao in my own veterinary arsenal.
Yunnan Baiyao manages bleeding
Shortly after stocking Yunnan Baiyao in my clinic, a dog came in that tragically had been shot through the tongue. Like my brother’s dog, he was bleeding profusely. Out of ideas (and since you can’t compression wrap a tongue), I pulled out a package of Yunnan Baiyao.
Once again to my complete delight, the bleeding stopped — needless to say, I was hooked! I had to learn more. My quest for information took me on a virtual journey across the globe and one hundred years back in time.
A brief history of Yunnan Baiyao
In 1902, Mr. Qu Huanzhang, a Chinese medicine practitioner from Jiangchuan County in Yunnan Province, formulated the medicine now known as Yunnan Baiyao. Translated to English, Yunnan Baiyao means “white medicine from Yunnan.” Since its beginning, the medicine has won numerous awards including the Chinese National Gold Medal for quality in 1979, 1984, and 1989.
Yunnan Baiyao is among the most famous of the Chinese traditional medicines and commonly comes packaged as capsules, powders, or infused bandages. A package of Yunnan Baiyao capsules often includes a potent “rescue pill” reserved for emergency situations (more on that later). As a topical powder, Yunnan Baiyao stops bleeding immediately in minor cuts and scrapes. In fact, during the Vietnam War, soldiers used the powder for firearm wounds. It was so precious soldiers referred to it as “gold they wouldn’t trade.”
What is Yunnan Baiyao for dogs?
Yunnan Baiyao is a patented Chinese herbal supplement. Its ingredients include:
- Pseudo ginseng
- Chinese yam
- Yam rhizome
- Sweet geranium
- Galangal root
Pseudo ginseng root is the main active ingredient in Yunnan Baiyao and contains a high concentration of clotting ingredients when compared to other ginseng variants.
The “rescue pill,” found in a package of the capsule form, contains a higher concentration of pseudo ginseng. Veterinarians often reserve this pill for critical bleeding emergencies like the two I mentioned above.
Are there Yunnan Baiyao capsules for dogs?
There is no Yunnan Baiyao product on the market specifically labeled for dogs. When veterinarians use Yunnan Baiyao, we are using the human product in an “off label” manner. Don’t be alarmed by that phrase. Vets use hundreds of products “off label.”
How does Yunnan Baiyao help dogs?
Yunnan Baiyao works in two seemingly opposite ways — truly one of the things that make it seem almost miraculous! It stops bleeding and also acts as an anticoagulant (blood thinner) to improve blood circulation and disperse clots. Veterinarians may use Yunnan Baiyao for dogs to:
- Stop acute bleeding
- Regenerate new tissue by removing accumulated blood (i.e. hematomas)
- Relieve swelling by clearing away toxic materials
- Alleviate pain by promoting circulation
- Accelerate healing of contusions (i.e. bruises), sprains, fractures, purpura (i.e. hemorrhages under the skin), skin and muscle wounds, penetrating wounds, abdominal enlargement due to internal bleeding, and gastrointestinal, postpartum, and brain bleeds
- Assist in management of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its platelets) and blood disorders related to tick-borne diseases in dogs.
Yunnan Baiyao may have additional benefits for other body systems, but more research is needed. Certainly managing bleeding using Yunnan Baiyao is already on the leading edge of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians are reaching for it in emergency situations like the two I described above.
Veterinary cancer specialists are also using Yunnan Baiyao for terminal cancer in dogs as part of the management plan.
What does the research on Yunnan Baiyao say?
Yunnan Baiyao research in humans
Multiple studies in humans have explored the use of Yunnan Baiyao as a method to regulate bleeding after oral, prostate, cervical, and other surgeries or procedures. These studies all indicated that using Yunnan Baiyao around the time of surgery made a clear difference in post-op bleeding times with minimal adverse side effects.
Yunnan Baiyao for dogs with hemangiosarcoma
In veterinary medicine, there have been studies in the use of Yunnan Baiyao for a hemangiosarcoma in dogs, which is an aggressive blood vessel tumor. One study concluded that Yunnan Baiyao caused hemangiosarcoma cell death at the time of administration and thereafter. In addition to its potential anti-tumor activity, some veterinary cancer specialists recommend Yunnan Baiyao to help control hemangiosarcoma-related bleeding.
What are the Yunnan Baiyao side effects in dogs? Is it safe?
The short answer? Yes! When used as directed, Yunnan Baiyao is remarkably safe.
A recent article measured Yunnan Baiyao’s effects on blood clotting. The dose used was also four times higher than the dose we typically use in a sick pet. Despite this, these dogs experienced no adverse effects.
In a spirit of full disclosure (and so that you can make the best decision about its use for your senior dog), it’s important to note a few reported but rare side effects of pseudo ginseng (the main ingredient in Yunnan Baiyao):
- One study reported that in high doses, pseudo ginseng was toxic to bone marrow stem cells. This could theoretically translate to reduced platelet, red blood cell, or white blood cell production.
- There are a handful of cases where applying Yunnan Baiyao directly to the skin or mucous membranes caused application site irritation.
- One review showed a very small percentage of patients experienced gut discomfort, none of which was life-threatening. In my opinion, this was not a significant enough effect to prevent me from using Yunnan Baiyao.
One warning: Heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbial agents, and pesticide residues often hide or disguise themselves in Chinese herbal supplements. It is critical to be vigilant when sourcing Yunnan Baiyao. (Your veterinarian should be able to refer you to the best source.)
What is the recommended Yunnan Baiyao dose for dogs?
You should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your senior dog any medicine or herbal supplement, including Yunnan Baiyao. They are the best person to advise you whether or not your dog would benefit and can give you a specific Yunnan Baiyao dose for your dog.
Yunnan Baiyao and veterinary medicine
Yunnan Baiyao is a nearly miraculous TCM herbal remedy. We certainly hope your beloved senior dog never has to face a terminal cancer diagnosis or uncontrolled bleeding situation. But veterinary medicine is increasingly recognizing Yunnan Baiyao’s value in life-threatening or critical care situations.
Have you heard of Yunnan Baiyao?
Share your experience with the herbal supplement and how it has helped your senior dog.
Jenna-CC’s mom says
My sweet Beagle (my whole world) was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma in June 2021. She’s 10+ (I found her wandering the highway 10 yrs ago so not sure of her true age) so my vet recommended that surgery may not be the best choice, considering the outcome is not a long life after and a lot of that would be spent in recovery. I opted to allow her to continue to be her happy, spry self that she is now for as long as God allows, without putting her through surgery. She’s on Yunnan Baiyao currently and so far no recurrence of bleeding. However, I’m an anxious parent and constantly check her gums and feel her belly and sometimes panic if there is a change. I often wonder if this is the time for the “emergency” red pill. Mostly on the weekends when my vet is closed. Don’t even ask how many times we’ve been back since June for red count checks bc I freak out. My question is, how do I know when to give the red pill if I’m on my own to make that decision? if I see a change in her and give her the red pill while theres no active bleed, will she be harmed? I know I sound like a crazy person. She’s absolutely normal 98% of all days (I’m aware that will be the case until….its not.) But on those 2% days, she slows a bit and her gums look lighter to me. Many occasions this has happened and I’ve not used the red pill, I just stayed up all night watching her, and she woke up and was fine the next day. So, I am definitely prone to overreact. I just don’t want to miss my window if something happens. But I also don’t want to harm her by giving it to her if she’s not actively bleeding. So, will giving the red “emergency” pill without an active bleed harm her? Please forgive my rambling, I’m just very in love with my dog and very anxious person by nature. And very afraid of the day my heart will break over her absence
Dr. Julie Buzby says
So sorry to hear that your Beagle was just diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. It is always devastating to get that kind of news about our beloved dogs. It sounds like you are doing a great job keeping an eye on her activity level and gum color to monitor for signs of bleeding. While the general thought is that the red pill is for emergency, I think that talking with a holistic veterinarian who is well versed in using Chinese herbs, and specifically Yunnan Baiyao, might be the best way to get some clear answers about how best to use the red pill and the safety of using it. Further, I think they may be able to help you with other herbs/supplements for your Beagle’s wellbeing. Many of them will do phone consults so there doesn’t have to be one in your area. You can find a holistic practitioner at . Select “Small Animal” and “Chinese herbs” and your location to narrow down this list. I hope this is helpful. ❤
Hi, i read the indications of Yun Nan Bai Yao and saw that patients taking YNBY should not take some other foods and one of them is FISH. Please share why is it so. My dog loves fish so much and she is allergic to other meat.
My dog has a mass in her liver and ultrasound showwd that it is growing, though no biospy was done to determine the nature of this mass, as she ia already 15.. My vet advise to give her YNBY as a precautionary measure as currently there is no sign of bleeding. Does it work this way too?
Dr. Julie Buzby says
The questions about fish is a good one, and one that I honestly don’t know the answer to. I recently had a friend (who is from Japan) translate part of the package insert and it said “Do not give with fish and beans or cold and sour foods”. This is not something I’d personally ever consider in veterinary medicine. The best potential answer I could find was that Yunnan Baiyao is believed to have a warming quality while the foods in the list have a cooling quality. Thus they could counteract one another.
To get the best and most accurate answer to your questions, I would recommend consulting with a holistic veterinarian, many of whom will do phone consults. You can find a holistic practitioner at . Select “Small Animal” and “Chinese herbs” and your location to narrow down this list to someone with expertise using herbs like YB in small animals. I hope you are able to find the answers you are looking for and that your dog keeps living the good life for as long as possible!
Hi I’m wondering what does it mean when the medication stops working and there are more frequent nose bleeds? Even with the emergency pill. Our vet is very vague and our boy is 13 years old so we didn’t risk doing a scope 9 months ago incase he didn’t wake up. They just now started to get way worse. I’m desperate in knowing what I should do with him because he is otherwise super healthy and alert and barks at everyone. Thanks!
Dr. Julie Buzby says
Sorry to hear that your pup his having more frequent nose bleeds even with the Yunnan Baiyao and rescue pill. Without being able to examine him, I can’t say for sure what the reason is, but I would suspect it may be an indication that whatever process is causing the nose bleeds (infection, tumor, etc) is continuing to worsen. I know you mentioned that you have already talked to your vet about this some, but the best way to figure out what to do for him would probably be to either chat with your vet again or seek a second opinion with a specialist or Traditional Chinese Medicine vet (if you don’t already have one). Hope you are able to figure out a good plan for your sweet boy! ❤
Hi Dr. Buzby,
I’m not sure if you would remember me, but I had Sunshade the Airedale who tested out your ToeGrips invention during the early days. We made a video about it (https://youtu.be/-OkQOXvvdpE). Sunshade passed away in 2014 at 14.5 yrs old.
I am here because of Jaffa who is Sunshade’s biological nephew. He is now 14.5 and his recent blood work have shown off and on very minor anemia. From his ultrasounds, we know that he has a couple of splenic nodules that haven’t changed much over the last 18 months or so. Not sure if they are hemangiosarcoma but the timing seems unlikely. However, we are suspecting that the nodules are possibly seeping blood off and on. I have a box of Yunnan Baiyao powder and I’m wondering if you could suggest a dose based on this off and on minor bleeds? Should it be given daily? How many times a day? How much? I’m so sorry for all the questions!
Thank you so much and glad to see ToeGrips are still going strong!!
Dr. Julie Buzby says
Hello! Of course I remember Sunshade! I think you were our first testimonial video and she’ll always hold a place in my heart! I’m sorry to hear about Jaffa’s splenic nodules, but it’s great news that they are unchanged for that length of time. That’s very encouraging. Unfortunately, without a physical exam, evaluation of bloodwork, and full history, I cannot share doses and dosing schedules for medications and medicinal herbs. I’d love for you to find a holistic vet in your area to work with on this because I think it would be very beneficial to Jaffa’s overall health (beyond just the YB dose info). But here’s what I can share with you…more info! My friend and fellow veterinarian was a guest on the blog and wrote a fantastic article about splenic masses in dogs (Splenic Masses in Dogs: Types, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis) that I think would be a helpful and encouraging read for you. It was great to hear from you, and please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!❤
Hi! This has been helpful as my 13 y.o. Lab is also taking it as recommended by his Vet. However, all she knows is that this is a herbal type of medication. Is there any supplements that can be contra indicated with YB? I also give him colloidal silver, turmeric, mushrooms, and a lot of other supplements. The vet is not a TCM vet and she said that I just continue to give it to my lab. I am worried it might hurt his liver. Any advices?
Dr. Julie Buzby says
So glad to hear that the article was helpful. ? It is great that you want to ensure that all the supplements your dog is taking are safe and work together well. I think that the best thing you can do would be to try to find a TCVM vet in your area to consult with about your dog’s case so he/she can address those questions in light of your dog’s particular situation.
Donna Kirchman says
Hello- I read an article that the efficacy of Yunnan Baiyo Jianonag wains with continued use and the article suggests 5 days on and 5 days off. This product is helping my senior Bichon and I am afraid to stop using it. She was just diagnosed with likely cancer and had significant internal bleed in her chest cavity. YBJ stopped the bleeding and she is markedly better. Can you offer any advice? Thank you so much.
Dr. Julie Buzby says
So sorry to hear that your senior Bichon was recently diagnosed with possible cancer and bleeding in her chest. It is always heartbreaking to get a diagnosis like that. I’m glad that the Yunnan Baiyao seems to have stopped the bleeding and she is improving. Without being able to examine your dog and look at the diagnostics, I don’t feel comfortable giving you specific advice about dosing frequency of the YB. I would suggest talking to the vet who initially started her on the YB or bringing her to another vet in your area who is well versed in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I hope the YB continues to help your dog and you are able to find the answers you are looking for. ❤
FRANK JONES says
HOW DO YOU FIND YUNNAN BAIYAO MEDICEN HOW DO YOU FIND THE REAL ONE INSTEAD OF THE FAKE ONE DO YOU KNOW THE BRAND
Dr. Julie Buzby says
This is a very excellent question. There are indeed many fake products out there—not only in the realm of herbal medicine, but in Western veterinary medicine too. I’m shocked by the number of counterfeit products being sold online. I would recommend speaking with your veterinarian about it. They will either get the product for you or recommend a product/company from which to buy.
Bob Tintner says
Our dog, a mix which includes lab and possibly pit bull has had a history of tumors. Over a year and a half ago, after several surgeries (external), Apollo was diagnosed with a softball sized tumor next to his spleen. Given his age, almost 11, the vet offered surgery but confided it might only provide a few additional months for our beloved pet.
He recomended Yunnan Baiyao as a possible treatment…well…Apollo is closer two 2 years older now…on some pain meds for arthritis and has many tumors …but…still 3njoys 2 3 miles of walking every day. Amazing!
Dr. Julie Buzby says
Wow! That is fantastic! I am so glad that Apollo is still doing well almost 2 years later. Thanks so much for sharing his story with us. ❤
Yunnan Baiyao helped to save Belfour’s life, my 10 year old St Bernard mix. After having uncontrollable, extreme nose bleeds that ended up in requiring him to have a blood transfusion, CT scan & rhinoscopy, it was discovered he had nasal aspergillosis. He has responded very well to the combination of Yunnan Baiyao & oral anti fungal medication he has been on for the last several months and at his appointment next month we are hopeful that he will be officially declared aspergillosis free.
Julie Buzby, DVM says
That’s an amazing story, Vicky! Thank you so much for sharing your dog’s experience with Yunnan Baiyao. I trust you will get great news next month and this chapter will be behind you! Much love to you both! ♥️
Yunnan bai Yao is a staple in every Chinese family’s medicine cabinet. My most vivid memory of it being put to use was decades ago when my little cousin gashed her face open when she fell and hit my bicycle pedal. She was bleeding profusely. My mom ran to the medicine cabinet and grabbed the powder and sprinkled it all over her wound to stop the bleeding before she was taken to the hospital to get stitched up.
Today, I use Yunnan Bai Yao toothpaste for my sensitive teeth. They say it’s better than Sensodyne and I have to adamantly agree. It’s not that easy to find in store though. I ordered a bunch online directly through the distributor.
I’ve never used it for my senior dog. Hopefully he’ll never need it. But it’s not anything to be weary or nervous about using. It’s a standard OTC medicine.
Anyway, thanks for this article. I’m glad you’re shining a light on this super easy to use powder.
Dr. Julie Buzby says
Thanks so much for sharing your own experience with Yunnan Baiyao! I can definitely see how it would be a good medicine cabinet staple because it has some amazing properties for dogs and humans alike.