HE SHOU WU (also known as fo-ti, ho shou wu, he shou wu, flowery knotweed, and fleeceflower) is used in Traditional Chinese medicine. Its name literally means Mr. Ho’s hair is black (shou = head, wu = black). The name is based on a story about a 58-year-old gentleman named Ho, whose gray hair turned black again after taking the herb. He also become more youthful and was able to father several children. Legends says he was able to live to 160, retaining his black hair. There are numerous variations of this story, but all center on the fact that the herb not only restored normal hair color, it restored vitality, strength and sexual vigor.
Many clinical studies have been conducted to study the medicinal properties. After extensive research, the studies conclude that HE SHOU WU is beneficial to boost the immune system. Also improves blood circulation and results in an increased libido. It is an anti-oxidant and gets rid of free radicals in the body. Ho Sho Whu fortifies the vital organs such as the kidneys and the blood. The organs then cleanse the blood of its impurities and ultimately help the body to get rid of toxic substances.
HE SHOU WU has a high content of Iron. It is also rich in zinc. It boosts the immune system and increases the energy levels of the body. A Chinese man named Li Cheng Yuen lived 256 years through the consumption of various Chinese herbs including Ho Sho Whu. Though HE SHOU WU increases the energy levels of the body, but is not a stimulant. It is slightly sedative and is said to have a calming effect on the nervous system of the body.
HE SHOU WU roots are a red-brownish in color and have an astringent, bitter and slightly starchy taste. The roots can be dried or processed with black soybean juice. If the root is left unprocessed it is used to treat inflammation, toxicosis, hyperlipidemia and constipation. If it is processed in the soybean juice, it is used to treat the blood, muscles, bones, gray hair, weakness,, and numbness, among other ailments.
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