Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum)
Common name: He-shou-wu
Parts used and where grown: Fo-ti is a plant native to China, where it continues to be widely grown. It is also grown extensively in Japan and Taiwan. The unprocessed root is sometimes used; however, once it has been boiled in a special liquid made from black beans, it is considered a superior and rather different medicine according to traditional Chinese medicine. The unprocessed root is sometimes called white fo-ti and the processed root red fo-ti.
In what conditions might fo-ti be supportive?
Â¥ constipation Â¥ fatigue
Â¥ high cholesterol Â¥ immune function
Historical or traditional use: The Chinese common name for fo-ti, he-shou-wu, was the name of a Tang dynasty man whose infertility was supposedly cured by fo-ti; in addition, his long life was attributed to the tonic properties of this herb.1 Since then, traditional Chinese medicine has used fo-ti to treat premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharges, numerous infectious diseases, angina pectoris, and impotence.
Active constituents: The active constituents of fo-ti have yet to be determined. The whole root has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, according to animal and human research, as well as to decrease hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis.2 3 Other fo-ti research has investigated this herbÃ•s role in strong immune function, red blood cell formation, and antibacterial action.4 The unprocessed roots possess a mild laxative effect.
How much should I take? A tea can be made from processed roots by boiling 3-5 grams in 250 ml (1 cup) of water for ten to fifteen minutes. Three or more cups are drunk each day. Fo-ti tablets, each in the amount of 500 mg, are also available. Many people take five tablets three times per day.
Are there any side effects or interactions? The unprocessed roots may cause mild diarrhea. Some people who are sensitive to fo-ti may develop a skin rash. Very high doses may cause numbness in the arms or legs.
1. Foster S, Chongxi Y. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 79-85.
2. Foster S, Chongxi Y. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 79-85.
3. Foster S. Herbal Renaissance. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1993, 40-41.
4. Foster S, Chongxi Y. Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1992, 79-85.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.