Fo-Ti Polygonum multiflorum

Polygonum multiflorum
e-shou-wu Cured with a black bean sauce
©Mountain Rose Herbs
Common Names
Fo-Ti Root , He-shou-wu
Botanical Name
Polygonum multiflorum
Syn. Fallopia multiflora

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Fo-Ti Root

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Fo-Ti

The Chinese attributed mysterious anti-aging properties to the root of Polygonum multiflorum with the oldest (300 years) and biggest deemed "mountain spirit", mighty roots that literally bestowed immortality on the user. In Traditional Chinese Medicine fo-ti is one of the herbs used to nourish the heart and calm the spirit.

" Therefore, wonderful,restorative and reviving powers are ascribed to the ordinary root, and it is prescribed in tumors, piles, postpartum and menstrual difficulties, colds and diarrheas. Its use is also said to promote fertility. The stalk and leaves are used in decoctions in scabious and itching skin diseases."
Li Shih-Chen (1578). "Chinese Medicinal herbs", Dover (2003)

Fo-ti, as it is known here in the west is most famous for its reputed ability to restore color to gray hair and as a fertility tonic. It is prescribed in TCM to unblock the channels of energy through the body, allowing the escape of the pathogenic influences that cause generalized weakness, soreness, pain, and fatigue. Mountain Rose Herbs

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Decoction and tinctures. Sometimes found in capsule form.

Fo-Ti Remedies

  • Fo ti root tea
    Fo Ti root is believed to help prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the liver and the retention of fats in the blood stream. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used to treat insomnia, and to bring back color to graying hair. Use one teaspoonful of herbal blend to each cup boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes and drink warm. Add honey and cinnamon to improve taste.

Fo-Ti Side Effects: Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. The root is considered to have minimum toxicity, however,excessive use can cause numbness in the hands and feet. The unprocessed root can cause loose stool, diarrhea, with abdominal pain, and nausea.

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Plant Description

A perennial twining herbaceous vine growing 3 to 6 feet long or more. The smooth branching stems are reddish with oval leaves. The thick tuberous rhizomes a somewhat woody, and may weight over 6 pounds. Native to China it can be found in grasslands, roadsides, and forest edges. The plant can also be found in Japan.

Regional Traditions :Traditional Chinese Medicine *

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Li Shih-Chen.(1578) Translation: Bliss, Beatrice. "Chinese Medicinal Herbs A Modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-Century Manual", Georgetown Press(1973). Dover (2003)
  2. Mountain Rose Herbs