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Fo-ti (Polygonum multiflorum)

Generic Name: Polygonum cuspidatum

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Chinese climbing knotweed, Chinese cornbind, Chinese flowery knotweed, Chinese knotweed, fo ti, fo-ti-tient, fo-ti root, foti, he shou wu (Chinese), heshouwu (Chinese), ho shou wu (Chinese), Hoshouwu (Chinese), Multiflora preparata, multiflori, Polygonum, Polygonum multiflorum,radix polygoni, radix polygoni multiflori, radix Polygoni Shen Min, "red" fo-ti, Shen Min, Shou Wu, Shou-Wu, Shouwu, shou-wu-pian, shou xing bu zhi, "white" fo-ti, zhihe shou wu, Zhihe Shou Wu, Zhihe-Shou-Wu, zhiheshouwu, zi shou wu, Zi-Shou-Wu, zishouwu.

Note: No fo-ti is contained in the product Fo-ti-Tieng®.

Background

Fo-ti (Chinese name: he-shou-wu) is a plant native to China, where it continues to be widely grown. It also grows extensively in Japan and Taiwan. Fo-ti has a history of reversing and preventing the effects of aging.

Fo-ti is available in both unprocessed and processed forms. Unprocessed fo-ti (also known as "white" fo-ti because its color is usually much lighter than the processed form) is taken by mouth for its laxative effect. Topically (applied on the skin), unprocessed fo-ti is used to treat skin conditions such as acne, athlete's foot, dermatitis, razor burn, and scrapes. Processed fo-ti, also known as "red" fo-ti because it is much darker in color than the unprocessed variety, is used to prevent or delay heart disease by blocking the formation of plaque in blood vessels.

Currently, there are no high-quality human trials available supporting the use of fo-ti for any indication.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Acne, anemia (low red blood cell count resulting in weakness, fatigue and paleness), angina pectoris (chest pain), antioxidant, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), athlete's foot, autoimmune diseases, blood purification, cancer, carbuncles (clusters of boils on the skin), cerebral ischemia (inadequate blood flow to the brain), constipation, dermatitis, diabetes, dizziness (vertigo), energy, enhanced immune function, erectile dysfunction, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), impotence (inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis), infections, infertility, insomnia, itchiness, laxative, liver enlargement or disease, longevity/anti-aging, low back pain, memory (learning), muscle soreness, muscle strength, scrapes, skin eruptions, stomach disorders, tonic (liver, kidney), tuberculosis, vaginal discharge, weakness.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for fo-ti. Capsules, dried herb preparations, teas and topical creams or ointments are all commercially available. Doses of 560 milligrams (capsules) 2-3 times a day, and 9-15 grams of the dried herb daily have been taken.

Children (under 18 years old):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for fo-ti in children.

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