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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Yunnan Baiyao for Dogs: Chinese Herb for Bleeding Dog Cancers

Updated: April 27th, 2023


Yunnan baiyao for dogs with cancer may sound weird because it’s used for bleeding problems. But in certain cases, it is really useful.

yunnan baiyao for dogsToday’s article is about an herb from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): yunnan baiyao for dogs with cancer. Yes, the chinese herb, also spelled yunnan paiyao, can be used in some cancers.

This episode of our podcast Dog Cancer Answers addresses yunnan baiyao.

Bleeding Cancer Causes

Some canine cancers are associated with bleeding, like internal hemangiosarcomas.  Hemangiosarcomas are tumors that occur in the linings of the blood vessels, so they can be pretty bloody.

But even other types of cancers can bleed. For example, sometimes chemotherapy drugs increase bleeding tendencies. Sometimes tumors rupture, and internal bleeding results.

Again, not every tumor is bloody. But when they are, finding a way to control that internal bleeding is a good idea.

Especially nice would be something that can be given in a capsule at home.

A Supplement That Stops Bleeding??

Conventional veterinary medicine teaches us that there is no such thing. But hey, let’s remember: there is more to healing than what we may have been exposed to here in the West.  My alma mater is consistently ranked number one or two best veterinary school in the nation, but I didn’t learn about supplements until I started my own studies.

Yunnan baiyao is a good example. This is a well-known treatment in China. Its name means “The white medicine from Yunnan province.”

It’s well researched in China, and, perhaps more importantly, comes from a medical tradition that has been in existence for thousands of years. Our Western medical researchers are beginning to show interest, and so far, most studies here show that there are reasons to study it more.

Yunnan baiyao is a blend of herbal ingredients, not one single plant. Here in the West, we’re used to thinking about individual treatments for individual problems. Supplements are usually made of only one ingredient.

That’s not the way TCM thinks about remedies or treatments. With their thousands of years of experience, they often make blends of several different components. Yunnan baiyao is no exception.

The precise recipe is a guarded secret in China, but the ingredients include various yam roots, ox gall bladder, pseudoginseng, and sweet geranium.

How Yunnan Baiyao Works (we think)

It seems that yunnan baiyao activates the platelets, the tiny blood cells that help form clots. Why is this important?

Well, because blood clots are the first step in a scab. When platelets are active, they form little plugs, or little corks. That’s the way they stop a hemorrhage.

Think of the last time you cut yourself. Remember how the blood flowed, and then slowed down, and a red oozy mass formed? That’s your platelets in action.

So we think when a dog takes yunnan baiyao, the herbal formula activates the platelets, which slow bleeding down and help stop it.

Keep in mind that this remedy is not fully understood, and there are some veterinarians who just don’t think using it is worth it. But there are plenty who disagree and feel that as long as it’s safe, using it in serious cases is warranted.


For more tools to help fight dog cancer that you may have not heard of, get a copy of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

When To Use Yunnan Baiyao

I wouldn’t recommend using yunnan baiyao without consulting with your veterinarian. It might not be necessary for your dog’s specific case. But if your dog is having internal bleeds, or if your dog has the bloody cancer called hemangiosarcoma, your veterinarian might want to use it to help control bleeding.

How much to give?  The following dosing is a bit rough.  These are general guidelines that you should check out with your veterinarian:

  • For dogs under 10 lbs, give 1 capsule by mouth one time a day.
  • For dogs from 10 to 30 lbs, give 1 capsule by mouth two times a day.
  • For dogs above 30 but less than 60 lbs, give 2 capsules two times a day.
  • For dogs above 60 lbs, give 2 capsules three times a day.

Do not give Yunnan baiyao on an ongoing basis.  It is best to give it on alternating days, or for a 5-day on, 5-day off cycle that repeats.  You should also be aware that there is some evidence that this medicine may elevate liver markers if given daily for prolonged periods of time.

Best to all,

Dr D

Editor’s Note: Where to Buy Yunnan Baiyao

It is not as easy to get yunnan baiyao online as it once was. If your veterinarian doesn’t sell it (and most who recommend it do), the best bet is to check your local supplement store, particularly if they stock other TCM remedies. If they don’t stock it, you might ask your veterinarian to order it for you from Jin Tang You can also try Pine Street Clinic:


Further Reading & References

Brennen McKenzie, MA, MSc, VMD, cVMA, Yunnan baiyao for patients with hemorrhage, neoplasia, Veterinary Practice News, December 11, 2017

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s discussion on Yunnan Baiyao

Institute of Traditional Medicine Discussion of Yunnan Baiyao

Tansey C, Wiebe ML, Hybki GC, Patlogar JE, Murphy LA, Bianco D, Nakamura RK. A prospective evaluation of oral Yunnan Baiyao therapy on thromboleastographic parameters in apparently healthy dogs. J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2018 May;28(3):221-225. doi: 10.1111/vec.12712. PMID:  29727528

Morris BR, deLaforcade A, Lee J, Palmisano J, Meola D, Rozanski E. Effects of in vitro hemodilution with crystalloids, colloids, and plasma on canine whole blood coagulation as determined by kaolin-activated thromboelastography. J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):58-63. doi: 10.1111/vec.12345.  Epub 2015 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 26220153.

Ness SL, Frye AH, Divers TJ, Rishniw M, Erb HN, Brooks MB. Randomized placebo-controlled study of the effects of Yunnan Baiyao on hemostasis in horses. Am J Vet Res. 2017 Aug;78(8):969-976. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.78.8.969. PubMed PMID: 28738008.

Lee A, Boysen SR, Sanderson J, Wagg CR, Chalhoub S. Effects of Yunnan Baiyao on blood coagulation parameters in beagles measured using kaolin activated thromboelastography and more traditional methods. Int J Vet Sci Med. 2017 Apr 12;5(1):53-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijvsm.2017.01.004. eCollection 2017 Jun. PMID:  30255049

Wiinberg B, Jensen AL, Rojkjaer R, Johansson P, Kjelgaard-Hansen M, Kristensen AT. Validation of human recombinant tissue factor-activated thromboelastography on citrated whole blood from clinically healthy dogs. Vet Clin Pathol. 2005 Dec;34(4):389-93. PubMed PMID: 16270265.

Frederick J, Boysen S, Wagg C, Chalhoub S. The effects of oral administration of Yunnan Baiyao on blood coagulation in beagle dogs as measured by kaolin-activated thromboelastography and buccal mucosal bleeding times. Can J Vet Res. 2017;81(1):41-45.

How One Company Brought Traditional Chinese Medicine To The Modern World And Made Billions, Forbes, Michael Schuman

Yunnan Baiyao – What’s the Clinical Evidence? by L. Graham


Leave a Comment

  1. Leihuanani Luhiau on September 7, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Do you have anything for human cancer

  2. Michael Monacel on August 17, 2023 at 9:45 am

    My dog has hemangiosarcoma with liver leasions after spleen removed. Can I pre- med my dog now with the Chinese drug to prevent bleed? I also would like to combine the mushroom drug with the Chinese medicine is this possible?

    • Molly Jacobson on August 24, 2023 at 4:29 am

      Most vets use yunnan baiyao proactively to help prevent bleeding, so check with your vet. And as far as I know medicinal mushrooms can be used right alongside yunnan baiyao, but check with your veterinarian, of course.

  3. Mary Shaffer on June 29, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    Our Rosie Belle is a 13yr Shih Tzu and our vet put her on Yunnan. She has been on med for 3 months and we have constantly having problems mixing the capsule with something to disguise the terrible taste. I have tried wrapping in her favorite lunch meat, peanut butter, and I am now mixing it with the syrup from canned peaches and using a syringe. Any suggestions?

  4. Kathy Jagneaux on March 17, 2023 at 11:11 am

    I’m thinking about starting this for my dog. He has just been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the heart.
    There is a 2cm tumor in his atria. The vet prescribed this to him. The first and second days are an upload of the herb and tapered off on the 3rd day and thereafter. I just find the number of mgs may be too much, but I am not a vet. My dog is a chocolate lab and weighs 90 lbs. The prescription is 0.50 gm capsules 4 capsules every 8 hours x 2 days then 3 capsules every 12 hours. I did the conversion to mgs and was surprised at how much it is. If I did the math right, 500 mgs = 0.50 gms. The first two days he would get a total of 6000 mgs then 3000 mgs thereafter for the rest of his life. Then I read somewhere where it should not be taken every day soooo I don’t know what to think. Does this sound right? His appetite isn’t good and that is the only issue we are having with him. He will probably throw up all of these pills if he doesn’t eat. If this dosage sounds correct, let me know. I just don’t think he can take this many pills a day. Thank you.

    • Molly Jacobson on August 24, 2023 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Kathy. If you are getting those doses from your veterinarian, follow them. Doing a loading dose of a drug or herb is not uncommon, to get it on board quickly. As Dr. Dressler notes above, dogs over 60 lbs, get 2 capsules three times a day. That’s 6 capsules total, and your vet is also prescribing 6 capsules total.

      The reason that some vets say don’t take every day is because yunnan baiyao is not used for only one condition — it’s used for several. In your dog’s case, the risk of bleeding from a heart tumor is pretty much constant, so having that onboard every day is an ongoing support.

      It may seem like a lot of pills, but maybe you can get some ideas from this post:

  5. Dennis Brice Jordan on November 8, 2022 at 4:08 am

    Good information, have passed on to my Vet for review and possible treatment option.

  6. J Anderon on July 11, 2022 at 3:33 am

    can my dog take this with his prednisone prescription?

    • Molly Jacobson on July 29, 2022 at 10:16 am

      I believe that yunnan baiyao is safe with steroids, but it’s best to check with your vet to be sure.

  7. Deb on April 29, 2022 at 6:14 am

    How do you know when to use?

    • Molly Jacobson on May 9, 2022 at 11:52 am

      Hi Deb, most vets recommend yunnan baiyao when a tumor is likely to bleed, either because it’s located in a blood vessel (like hemangiosarcoma) or because it’s in a place where it gets bumped or irritated a lot (like an oral or nasal tumor). It may also be used for other problems that include excess bleeding as a symptom.

    • Laura on October 26, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      My dog has nosebleeds, possibly due to tumor but not confirmed. Vet suggested Yunnan Baiyao to stop the bleeding but it doesn’t seem to work. I’ve been giving ig to my dog one day on one day off and a week later bleeding continues. Any other suggestions?

  8. Pam Gibbs on July 6, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Can my dog have salmon and sardines while taking Yunnan baiyao?

  9. Susan Lieb on June 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Good info! Thank you!

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