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. The 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. The 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:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
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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