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Latin Name

Polygonum multiflorum

Also Known As

Polygonum multiflorum, Ho Shou Wu, fleeceflower vine, and polygonum flower

Origin

China

Parts Used

Root

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Fo-ti is a traditional Chinese medicine, and is known as one of the herbs for nourishing the heart and calming the spirit. It is seen as a remedy for unblocking the channels of the heart and spirit, allowing a pathway for the release of generalized weakness, soreness, pain and fatigue. It is also indicated traditionally for nightmares. As it is mildly oestrogenic it is indicated for use in menopausal symptoms.

Typical Uses

2 - 4 grams up to twice a day or as recommended by a herbal practitioner

Folklore and History

Fo-ti ( Ho Shou Wu ) is one of the most widely praised herbs in Chinese herbal medicine, some claiming that it is second only to Ginseng in reputation and use.  In China, Fo-Ti has a long history of reversing and preventing the effects of ageing as a bittersweet, astringent, slightly warming herb that was first recorded in an "herbal" written in 973 A.D., as a key remedy for the elderly. The Chinese common name for Fo-Ti is "He-Shou-Wu," and its history is rich in legend.   He Shou Wu (called "the black-haired Mr. He") supposedly was the name of a Tang Dynasty man, who, at fifty-eight years of age, had been unable to father a child. He was advised to take Fo-Ti Root and then not only fathered several children, but his hair turned from gray to black, and his body became more youthful. He lived to 160 years of age (still with black hair!), while his child lived to be 130. Fo-Ti Root was said to cure his infertility, and his long life was attributed to the tonic properties of this herb. Fo-Ti

Constituents

Chrysophanic acid, chrysophanol, emodin

Precautions

Not to be used while pregnant. Excessive use may cause gastro-intestinal upset and diarrhea