Latin name: Polygonum multiflorum
Chinese name: he shou wu
Other names: Chinese knotweed, flowery knotweed, fo-ti-teng, fleeceflower

What is Fo-ti?

Fo-ti is a medicinal plant native to China and is also found in Japan and Taiwan. It is named for a Chinese man, He Shouwu, who is said to have used fo-ti to restore his vitality and black hair; he is said to have lived to the age of 132. The leaves, seeds, and roots are considered edible, and fo-ti was used as a famine food when little else was available.

What are the health benefits of Fo-ti?
Traditionally, and per the story of the plant’s namesake, fo-ti has been used as a longevity tonic and to counter premature aging. To facilitate this, fo-ti is used to tonify and strengthen the kidneys and liver, treat weak bones, treat premature graying of hair, protect skin against UVB damage, and improve immune function. Other uses of fo-ti include lowering serum cholesterol levels, treating chronic fatigue syndrome, and its use as a laxative and sedative. When applied externally, fo-ti is used to treat ringworm, bleeding wounds, and sores.

Are there any precautions for taking Fo-ti?
The possible side effects of using fo-ti are skin rash, loose stools, and liver inflammation. Fo-ti must be used with caution given its association with cancers of breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate. It is best to work with a licensed practitioner.

Where can I find Fo-ti?
Fo-ti can be found online, in Asian markets, and in the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formulas:
Calmfort/Sleeping, which calms the spirit, alleviates insomnia, and increases the body’s ability to cope with stress.
DuraBone, which helps strengthen bones and tendons.
Hair Nurture, which nourishes hair follicles and promotes healthy hair growth.
Perpetual Shield, which enhances immunity.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.