Fo-Ti Benefits and Side Effects

  • Other name: Ho Shou Wu
  • Origin: China
  • Scientific name: Polygonum multiflorum
  • Part used: Root
  • Properties: Stimulant, tonic, astringent, diuretic
  • Organs it affects: liver, stomach, kidneys, reproductive organs

Plant Description: Fo-ti is a perennial herbaceous vine growing 3 to 6 feet long or more. It has a smooth branching red stems, white or pink flowers and an oval leaves. The thick tuberous rhizomes a somewhat woody, and may weight over 6 pounds.

fo-ti plant

fo-ti plant

Available forms: capsules, tablets, tinctures and powders, and the whole or sliced root can be used medicinally as well.

Fo-ti is herbal plant with a reputation to produce longevity, increase vigor and promote fertility. The medicinal part of fo-ti is the dried root. Fo-ti  roots is sold either processed or unprocessed, it is important to know whether you are buying a processed or unprocessed fo-ti because there is some difference in the benefits of the herb.

An unprocessed root is lighter brown in color and it is less-expensive and more readily available.  The unprocessed fo-ti is often used to keep the digestive tract functioning and to cleanse the blood. The processed root has dark reddish brown color and is the preferred type by those wanting to use the herb as a tonic to promote longevity.

fo-ti dried root

fo-ti dried root

Fo-Ti Benefits:

  • Fo-ti’s most important use is as a tonic for the liver and kidneys. By strengthening liver and kidney function, it enhances the cleansing of blood.
  • Fo-ti can protect certain neurons in the brain from degeneration associated with aging. Fo-ti is maybe useful in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  • It acts as heart and digestive tonic.
  • Fo-ti has the ability to eliminate fatty deposits in the blood.
  • Fo-ti helps to facilitate the production of red blood cells.
  • Fo-ti is used to combat premature aging.
  • Fo-ti is used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
  • Fo-ti can help increase fertility.
  • Fo-ti can boost immunity and prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Fo-ti is beneficial in preventing premature graying of hair.

Preparation and Dosage: It is important to note that the strength of commercial preparations may vary, always follow the instruction in the package.

  • Decoction: To prepare tea, boil ½ – 1 teaspoon of root in a cup of water (250 ml) for 10 minutes. Drink at least 3 cups daily.
  • Tincture: Take 15-30 drops 3 times daily.
  • Fluid extract: Take 5-20 drops 3 times daily.
  • Tablet: 500 mg 3 times each daily.

Chemical components of Fo-ti: tannins, tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside, anthraquinones, and phospholipids.

Caution:

  • Fo-ti is considered safe when taken in proper amounts, but excess intake can cause numbness in the extremities or an allergic reaction in the form of a rash.
  • Unprocessed fo-ti should not be taken in doses that exceed 15 grams of the pure root. Excessive dosage may cause diarrhea with abdominal pain, nausea, skin rash, numbness in the arms and legs.
  • Fo-ti has estrogenic properties; people with any kind of reproductive cancer should consult medical advice and use extreme caution when considering the use of this herbal medicine.
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