Fo-ti is an herb native to China that is also found in Japan and Taiwan. A perennial twining herbaceous vine growing 3 to 6 feet long or more, the smooth branching stems are reddish with oval leaves. The thick tuberous rhizomes a somewhat woody, and may weigh over 6 pounds. The processed (cured) root of the plant is used to make medicine. Fo-Ti, also known as He Shou Wu and Polygonum Multiflorum, stands alone as a highly effective hair loss treatment amidst the plethora of hair restoration products such as vitamins, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical drugs and creams.
Modern research indicates that this herb contains an alkaloid that has rejuvenating effects on the nerves, brain cells and endocrine glands. It stimulates a portion of the adrenal gland and helps to detoxify the body. It has been used for a long list of ailments including atherosclerosis, constipation, fatigue, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood deficiency, nerve damage, eczema, scrofula and inflammation of lymph nodes and heat toxicity. It is also indicated to boost the immune system and increase sexual vigour.
The root of the fo-ti plant can restore fertility, help maintain hair colour, boost energy, rejuvenate the nerves and brain cells, tone the kidneys and liver, fortify the bones, and purify the blood. Athletes even use it to improve their performance and reduce recovery time. The benefits of this flexible, adaptogenic herb are wide-ranging and apply to virtually everyone. The Chinese use the root of the plant for cancer as well. There is limited evidence in animal experiments of its antitumor properties. Fo-ti also has been suggested as beneficial for atherosclerosis. In a clinical trial in humans, fo-ti exhibited cholesterol-lowering effects.
Fo-ti might be unsafe to take by mouth due to concerns that it might cause liver damage in both adults and children and during pregnancy or breastfeeding.