Botanical Name: Polygonum multiflorum
- English: Foti Root
- Also, known as: Ho Shou Wu, fo ti tieng root, Radix polygoni multiflori, Fleeceflower root, Fallopia multiflora, Fo ti herb, Tuber fleeceflower, Foti root, Ho Shu Wu, Hu Shou Wu, He Sho Wu, and He Shu Wu.
Harvested: Wild or cultivated
Parts Used: Root
Polygonum multiflorum is one of the most popular perennial Chinese traditional medicines known as He shou wu in China and East Asia, and as Fo-ti in North America. In China, its historical legends and the effectiveness of ingredients are widespread and widely known to almost everyone.
The herb belongs to the knotweed family and is usually valued for its reddish-brown bitter roots. Its plant is a perennial twining herb. Roots are long and thin, and the end turns into a corpulent tuber, from red-brown to dark brown. The shoots of the plant have a moist shimmer and resemble the shape of the peach and willow trees. Stem base is slightly woody and hollow. Leaves are alternate and with a long handle. The blade is glabrous on sides, narrowly ovate or heart-shaped, 5-10 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, and with acuminate apex, heart-shaped or arrow-shaped base, entire or slightly wavy margin, dark green top surface, and light green lower surface. The fo-ti leaves are bent and grow individually. There’s the distinction between male and female plants within the herb species Numerous small flowers, about 2mm in diameter, cluster into big panicles. Achenes are oval, with three edges, 2-4 mm long, black, shiny, and covered with persistent perianth outside.
Various parts of the plants were utilized for different medicinal purposes. The leaves, root tubers and rhizomes and stem of this plant have been used. Root is the part of the plant that is used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally, it is boiled with black beans to make a preparation known as red fo-ti. The unprocessed root is known as white fo-ti. Red and white fo-ti are used in different ways and have different curing effects. To ensure the high quality medicinally, the preferable harvesting time is after autumn when their stems and leaves are withered or the following spring before they sprout. After digging its tuber, next slash both ends, wash clean, slice, dry in the sun or slightly dry by the fire.
How to use:
There are different ways to use powdered herb.
Food Preparation: You can add powdered herbs to any super food, herbal smoothie, sauces, spreads and even cookies. Also for children, you can mix powdered herbs with honey or glycerin to make a paste. The thicker the paste, the more potent and herbal in taste. The sweet taste of honey and glycerin will help the medicine go down. This method is also known as "Electuaries".
Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herb at home, give you assurance that the contents of the capsules are pure herb and no filler or any other products. These capsules can be taken with liquid.
Poultice: Poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (mostly water) to form a paste which is then applied to the skin. This method is very helpful for skin conditions.
Herbal shot: Powdered herb can be mixed with water, fruit juice or other liquid to make herbal shot.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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