Herbal Supplements
Fo-Ti - Traditional Chinese Tonic Herb
Biological description
Fo-ti (Chinese Knotweed, Climbing Knotweed, Flowery Knotweed or Polygonum multiflorum) is a traditional Chinese plant which for centuries has been used in herbal medicine. But no Chinese herbalist will tell you what fo-ti is if you ask him. This is so because the Chinese name of the herb is He Shou Wu, translated as “black-haired Mr. He”. It comes from the legend about an old villager who took he shou wu to restore his dark hair, youth and vitality.
The herb belongs to the knotweed family and is usually valued for its reddish brown bitter roots. The shoots of the plant have a moist shimmer and resemble the shape of the peach and willow trees. The fo-ti leaves are bent and grow individually. There’s the distinction between male and female plants within the herb species: the sprouts of former are yellow-white, and those of the latter – yellow-red. The plant is found growing in China, Japan and Taiwan.
Fo-ti can grow in a typical garden soil, but it usually favors moisture retentive ground in the good sun disposal. The specimens are recommended to be gathered on a cloudless day at the end of spring, midsummer or the beginning of fall. It is better to collect and cultivate the plant after 3-4 years of its growth.
Parts used
Root is the part of the plant that is used with medicinal purposes. Traditionally, it is boiled with black beans to make a preparation known as red fo-ti. The unprocessed root is known as white fo-ti. Red and white fo-ti are used in different ways and have different curing effects. Edible parts of the plant are leaves, seeds (both consumed raw or cooked) and flowers.
Fo-ti is mostly presented in market in tonic forms. Though sliced root, whole root, root powder, capsules, tablets and tinctures are also widely available.
Unprocessed (white) he shou wo acts against toxicosis, inflammation, constipation and hyperlipidemia. The processed root decreases cholesterol levels due to the actions of the chemicals called lectins, which prevent fat retention in the blood and prevent cholesterol accumulation in the liver. The extracts of the processed roots possess antitumor, antioxidant, and immunostimulant, sedative and tonic properties.
Health Benefits
As a longevity tonic, fo-ti is used in Chinese medicine to restore the color of graying hair, weakness, premature aging, erectile dysfunction and vaginal discharge. Unprocessed herb improves memory, affects immune function, and protects the liver from toxins and acts as a powerful laxative. Applied topically, white fo-ti is beneficial in treating skin conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, razor burn, and scrapes due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fugal properties. Processed fo-ti is considered to be stronger and more useful than the unprocessed one. Acting as antibodies, lectins produce immune-boosting, cholesterol-lowering and estrogen-like effects. The unprocessed herb is used to treat atherosclerosis, insomnia, high cholesterol, menopause symptoms, cardiovascular diseases and fatigue.
2016-11-07 14:14:59
can anybody tell me whats the temperature requirement for Fo ti optimum growth ??
2015-12-18 03:28:31
I have been consuming fo ti capsules for a month now, i would like to know if fo ti(he shou wu) which is also available in tincture form. Is it more effective than capsules regarding reversing of premature greying?
Thanks in advance!
And also for everyone to note: please purchase fo ti in prepared form, and not the raw or un processed, in my personal experience it causes diarrhea. Check the label or product details before purchasing.
2015-04-20 03:27:50
When I found out about fo-ti I started giving it to my family. We were dranking it about a week and a half when my mom's doctor ask to see her for a check up. I went with her & he told her that her kidneys was functioning at 45% now with a smile on his face. I asked him what her percentage was before and he said 19% and that was a week ago. She is getting better and her shin is clear up. Her skin use to look very dark and dull but not anymore. Because she had my health issues in the past that are clearing up we are greatful for Fo-ti.
2015-03-17 08:57:31
Can I reuse foti root tea? It comes in small peaces and I also wonder if those roots are edible if I chew them or mix it in smoothly after using for the tea.
2011-07-11 06:36:53
Be very wary of planting knotweed! The japanese variety was imported to Britain by the victorians, and now land 'infected' with this 'decorative plant' cannot be sold! The stuff goes down for miles and it is illegal to move or dump it. It can smash up concrete as it grows, and it will spread like mad once it gets a toehold......
2011-07-03 22:02:15
I have a small plant can I eat the leaves? If so, how are they to be consumed I was thinking of drying them and making tea
2011-07-03 20:43:44
The time it takes to feel benefits you can perceive varies depending on your own general health, metabolic rate, body type etc. Everyone is different and when using Herbs and traditional medicine you are usually trying to treat the source of the problem which can take some time and can have different stages of healing (sometimes seeming like you are getting worse). Unlike Western medicine which often just attempts to cover up symptoms with all sorts of toxic substances with their own side effects or symptoms.
2010-10-17 22:18:32
2010-08-17 23:08:20
I am a witness that the Chinese herb Fo-Ti decreases cholesterol levels. After just 6 weeks of daily taking a product called Balance+ manufactured by DuVita, my cholesterol levels went down. My doctor says that if this continues he will take me off of Lipitol completely. Thanks for the confirmation. It pays to do research.
psychotria viridis
2009-11-04 16:11:57
If you decide to grow this plant be sure to put it in an area you don't mind becoming an eternal fo ti bed. This plant is as hard as bamboo to get rid of once it is established. it is a creeping runner and will spread over vast distances. As far as the medicinal qualities of this plant you must dig deep into the ground around the mature plant and you will find tubers that range from the size of your pinky to the size of a coffee cup. They should smell strong of ginseng. I am not sure but they seem to be relatives. Wach and scrub the root and mince it. Then set it on a mesh tray to dry for about a week or so in a small room with a small boiler heater and fan or a dehumidifier. To make a tincture of this, get a bottle or two of 100% ethanol and pour this over the chopped root in a jar untill it is covered, seal and leave for at least two weeks. Legends say that there was a village in China where people ate fo ti at every meal and in large amounts. They supposedly lived well beyond a hundred years and thier teeth would fall out and regrow.
2009-03-21 18:03:49
2007-12-26 22:18:53
is there a danger in taking this root? is there warnings?
Your Feedback for This Article :

Send us your experience or opinion that we may publish on this site.

Your Nick :

Spam Protection: Fill-in following 4-digit code:

Your message ( HTML is not accepted ) :

More About Fo-ti...

© 2017 Chinese Herbs & Co. All rights reserved.