Fo Ti, The Chinese for LONG

Leave a Comment
Fo-ti aphrodisiac

Common Names
Fo-Ti Root , Ho-shou-wu

Botanical Name

Polygonum multiflorum

POLYGONACEAE Knotweed Family

Fo-ti is a plant native to China that is also found in Japan and Taiwan. The medicinal part of the plant is the root. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often boiled in a liquid made with black beans -- this is known as red fo-ti. White fo-ti is the unprocessed root.

Fo-ti is called “ho shou wu”, which means "black-haired Mr. Ho" in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager during the Tang dynasty named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality.

It has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. According to the Chinese, it is good for the blood, liver, and kidneys, which has the effects of restoring the energy and strength.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fo-ti is one of the herbs used to nourish the heart and calm the spirit. It is a longevity tonic that is used for graying hair, premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharge, and erectile dysfunction. Red fo-ti is considered a tonic to increase vitality and energy, strengthen the blood, kidneys and liver. White fo-ti is used for constipation.

With a distinctive sweet yet bitter taste, fo-ti was thought to unblock the channels of energy through the body, allowing the escape of the pathogenic influences that cause generalized weakness, soreness, pain, and fatigue. The plant is also used as a wash for itching and skin rashes.

There is evidence that fo-ti can lower serum cholesterol, decrease hardening of the arteries, and improve immune function:
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • Insomnia
  • Immune function
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
There are no controlled studies on the effectiveness or safety of fo-ti in humans. Preliminary studies with animals have found that fo-ti may attenuate diet-induced increases in plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and plasma triglycerides. In animal studies, there is some evidence that fo-ti may enhance learning and memory and prevent the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Other fo-ti research has investigated this herb’s role in strong immune function, red blood cell formation, and antibacterial action.

Rarely do people develop an allergic skin rash after taking fo-ti. Other side effects include loose stools. Taking more than 15 grams of the processed root can cause numbness in the arms and legs.

There have been three published case reports of acute hepatitis following the use of a fo-ti product called Shou-wu-pian, which is manufactured in China. It is not known whether it was due to fo-ti or product contamination.


Post a Comment