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Biological Name: Polygonum multiflorumFo-Ti

Family: Polygonaceae

Other Names: Fo-Ti, He-shou-wu

Active Components: Fo-Ti’s active components are yet unknown. The root applied as a herbal medicine is stated to decrease cholesterol levels, as proven by human and animal studies, as well as to relieve excessive solidity in blood vessels, also called atherosclerosis. Moreover, fo-ti was also revealed to strengthen the immunity, fight bacterial infections, and induce sufficient red blood cell production. Fresh roots are known to produce a mild purgative action.

History: The common name for fo-ti in Chinese medicine, he-shou-wu, is the name of a man, who lived in the times of Tang dynasty, and took the herb for infertility. Not only that he got a cure from infertility, but his lifespan was also believed to increase due to the herb’s tonic capacity. Since the time, Chinese herbalists applied the herb to prevent premature aging process, impotence, angina pectoris, multiple infectious conditions, vaginal discharges, and weakness.

Used For: The range of conditions in which fo-ti is applied includes: immunity disorders, high cholesterol, fatigue, constipation, and atherosclerosis.

Additional Info: Fo-Ti is indigenous to China, where it is still cultivated on a wide scale. It is also cultivated in Taiwan and Japan. Occasionally, raw root is used in herbal medicine. Still, if boiled up in liquid extract taken from black beans, the herb is treated as an excellent and much more potent remedy according to conventional Chinese herbalists. The cooked root is called red fo-ti, while its raw form is named white fo-ti.

Preparation and Intake: To make tea, take 3-5 grams of processed roots for a cup of water, and boil it up for ten to fifteen minutes. The common dose is three or more cups per day. The herb can also be used in tablets, at a quantity of 500 mg several times per day. The majority of patients use five tabs thrice a day.

Safety: Raw roots may result in mild diarrhea. Fo-Ti may also cause a skin rash in allergic people. Taken in large quantities, the herb may lead to leg and arm numbness.