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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. Torye Hurst on June 19, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Question: What is the difference between yunnan baiyao and turkey tail. My bernese mtn dog was just diagnosed with cancer and the vet prescrided predisone, pepsid and mentioned the success with turkey tail. When I picked up the medicine two packs of yunnan baiyao were included. I have seen turkey tail on amazon with at 120 count for $19.95 and found on another site the yunnan baiyao just like I have (blue box) for $19.95 for a 16 count so obviously turkey tail is much cheaper but I want to be sure I am giving him the right thing to promote the best results. The turkey tail is 1000 mg while the yunnan baiyao is 0.25g so I am confused on what I should get or are the results the same for either.

    Thank you for clearing up my confusion during this stressful time.

    • Molly Jacobson on June 20, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      These are two completely different products. Turkey tail mushrooms are medicinal mushrooms, and usually used to boost immunity, as well as for their anti-cancer benefits. See chapter 13 in the book for a detailed discussion on medicinal mushrooms.

      Yunnan baiyao is a rather mysterious herbal blend from China that does not contain mushrooms, and is not used as an immune booster. It is really great at stopping bleeding, and that is its primary use. If your dog has a bleeding tumor, usually hemangiosarcoma, some vets will suggest using yunnan baiyao regularly to increase blood clotting, so that if the tumor ruptures there is (hopefully) less of a bleed.

      You do not use them interchangeably. As your vet for the doses for each, because they are totally different and working on different systems. I hope that helps!


  2. Cheryl Audas on May 19, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    My blue healer has been diagnosed with spleen cancer can u provide me with supplements and herbs that might help him

  3. Sherry Maples and Gunner on March 31, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    My 8 year old 90 pound black lab/pit mix has a bleeding tumor in his brain. It does not show up in blood tests but it has moved into his lungs that shows on x-ray. His left eye filled with blood and has started having seizures that led to the diagnoses. He is on Levetiracetam/ Keppra ER 2 tablets every 12 hours that took care of the seizures. He had started bleeding from the mouth and nose so he was put on the herb Yunnan Baiyao that has stopped the bleeding today, I think. I have also put him on CBD oil for dogs. Just guessing the dosage at 2. ml, 2x a day. He is eating and drinking well, and still wants to play and go for rides but tires easily. I am anxiously awaiting your book to help me navigate these unfamiliar waters. I can use all the help I can get! Thank you for your time.

  4. Gale Mirzayanov on October 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Our dog’s tumor started shrinking a few weeks ago, (German Shepherd with a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma) takes 2 pills twice a day, and it’s now less than 1/4 of its original size. However it seems that he has developed 1 or 2 new “hot spots” (he’s going to his cancer doc in 2 days). Nobody said anything about taking a break from it but I think a two day break sounds like a good idea> They also put him on I’m Yunity, which is another Chinese herbal medicine. He is also taking some other meds. Is there anything I should know about that?

    • Joe Sega on April 30, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      So did your dogs tumor start to shrink because you gabe Yunnan Baiyao or was it something else?

  5. Wilder on July 14, 2020 at 4:50 am

    Our 13 year old chocolate lab has been diagnosed with a very large tumor on his spleen that can and has ruptured. He was prescribed Yunnan Baiyo and the effects are amazing. Without it he is lethargic, sad, sick, bloated, and looks ready to be put down. On YB he gets his energy back, the bloating goes away, he can go on short walks, his personality returns to normal, he barks for attention again like he always has – it’s absolutely amazing the difference it makes! We’ve been giving 2 capsules twice a day for 4 days and then taking him off it for a while. but he just gets sick again when we stop giving it to him, so now we’re going to try a smaller dose for a longer time, maybe indefinitely. The benefits seem to far outweigh any side effects of which we have seen none.

  6. Julie Kirsh on April 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Does anyone know if Yunnan Baiyao used for a 13-year-old dog’s angiosarcoma causes air “bloating” in the dog’s stomach??
    Our dog has been on Yunnan for 5 wks. Roughly every 8 days, she bloats up, gets mildly confused, has difficulty walking & is lethargic.
    About 3-4 days later, the bloating subsides.
    Her daily walks are limited to as far as she has to walk to go piddle/poop.
    Her regular vet is convinced the bloating is air she breathes in through her mouth on her walks.
    Very sad to see her in such a bloated condition!

  7. Mariah Madigan on November 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I have a question about the VEGF promoting properties of Yunnan Baiyao. I purchased some for my 8 year old german shephed who underwent splenectomy 2 days ago for ruptured splenic mass, likely hemangiosarcoma. She also had excision of smaller liver and mesenteric masses.
    I’ve read about treatment regimens for hemangiosarcoma that mention Yunnan Baiyao, so I purchased some. However upon reading the instruciton mannual, I see that it promotes Vessel Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), which seems counterproductive to me because it is my understanding that Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of vascular endothelial cells, and one of the aims of chemotherapy is to target and stop/slow down innapropriate angiogenesis…So I’m wondering why this product would be reccomended if one of it’s properties seems to encourage growth of vessels, which is what we absolutely do not want to happen. I’m wondering if perhaps VEGF mediated angiogenesis is through a different mechanism than the cancerous tumour angiogenesis, and if VEGF maybe doesn’t feed tumour growth….but I’m confused on this and wondering if you have an answer for me. Thank you very much!

  8. Nena Stewart on October 14, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Great info and wish I had discovered this a month ago! My lab/Aussie mix has splenic hemangiosarcoma. Had spleen removed when hematoma ruptured. That’s when it was found. Have been treating her with CBD oil, Red Cell Canine, Nepal Support and Turkey Tail Mushroom. Would it be safe to add Yunnan Baiyao?


    • M M SWEENEY on December 8, 2020 at 10:38 am

      I have a smooth fox terrier who has spleen cancer and was diagnosed 3 years ago this month. She’s been on YB and Turkey Tail all of this time. Also, she has used the CBD oil.

      • Megan on July 26, 2023 at 4:23 am

        Hi what was the frequency you gave YB. Did you cycle it or did you give it daily. Thanks!

  9. James on July 27, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    I just learned that there are TWO different versions of Yunnan Baiyao on the internet and that you want to be careful about which version you buy. The version that says “jiaonang” on the box is apparently meant for the domestic Chinese market and is of a different quality and may contain additional ingredients that aren’t listed on the box (and it’s much cheaper because of this). What you want is the version that says “Yunnan Baiyao Capsule” on the box and NOT the one that says “Yunnan Baiyao Jiaonang.”

    • Troy on March 31, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      “Jiaonang” in the title means “Capsules” in Chinese

      • James on April 1, 2021 at 11:09 am

        The version that says “Jiaonang” is indeed meant for the domestic Chinese market. (The blue box version is the one our vet recommends.)

  10. Belinda on June 25, 2019 at 7:51 am

    I have been purchasing Yunnan Baiyou supplements (blue lettering). My friend who’s dog passed away gave me all of his un-open boxes of Yunnan Baiyou Jiaonang (green lettering). Is there a difference between them?

    • James on April 1, 2021 at 11:07 am

      Yes, the “blue” box is what you want.

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