All about the Adaptogenic Herb Fo-Ti and It’s Many Health Benefits

A Rare Chinese Adaptogenic Herb Can Preserve the Stamina, Vigor, and Strength of Youth

Fo-ti is a traditional remedy of Asia that’s now resurfacing as a major weapon against aging. “Fo-ti has a reputation for enhancing longevity and energy,” says Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The root of the fo-ti plant can restore fertility, help maintain hair color, 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.

Elixir of Life: An Adaptogenic Herb of Legendary Acclaim

Fo-ti is known by many names…he-shou-wu … Chinese Cornbind … Chinese Knotweed … and Flowery Knotweed to name a few. Ironically, it is not known in China as fo-ti. That’s the name assigned to the plant in the 1970s by an American herb marketer. adaptogenic herb

By whatever name we know it, this adaptogenic herb has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 3,000 years. According to legend, the man who first discovered fo-ti was delighted to find that with regular use, it revived his natural dark hair color and sexual virility. Since that time, fo-ti has been regarded as a “youthful tonic,” or “elixir of life.”

Another legend centers on the famous Chinese herbalist, Chung Yun. Reportedly, Chung Yun used fo-ti on a daily basis and lived to be 256 years old! He was also said to have had 24 wives. He credited both his sexual prowess and long life to fo-ti.

Yet another Chinese man who began using fo-ti later in life is said to have watched his gray hair turn black as his energy returned full force. From then on, the man became known as He Shou Wu, which means “Black Haired Mr. He.”

Acute Treatment AND Overall Health and Immunity Booster

Fo-Ti has been used to treat an impressive list of ailments and acute conditions, including:

    • High cholesterol
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation
    • High blood pressure
    • Insomnia
    • Diabetes
    • Stomach upset
    • Tuberculosis that has spread to the lymph nodes
    • Cancer
    • Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis)
    • Limb numbness
    • Lower back pain
    • Knee pain
    • Premature graying and hair loss
    • Dizziness with ringing in the ears

The Science Behind Fo-Ti and Enhanced Vigor

In its processed form, fo-ti contains protein-sugar complexes known as lectins. Lectins help reduce fat levels in the blood and prevent heart disease.

Here’s how it works: Lectins attach to specific arrangements of carbohydrates in the body and act like antibodies — but without causing allergy symptoms. Through this mechanism lectins can block formation of plaque (fat and other cells) in blood vessels, and help prevent or delay heart disease.

Studies of Fo-Ti’s Benefits

As is typical with herbs and natural remedies, funding for research on fo-ti has been limited. Nonetheless, some very compelling studies do support this herb’s legendary reputation. Here are a few:

  • In one study, a traditional formula with fo-ti as the main ingredient was shown to slow the aging of vital organs in aged animals, especially the reproductive organs. The same formula also demonstrated significant results in human clinical trials.
  • In another study, Fo-ti capsules were given to 60 humans above age 50 who had been assessed in a Chinese clinic as experiencing “kidney deficiency.” Out of the 60 cases, 30% were considered “extremely effective” and 53.3% were ruled “effective.” That’s a whopping 83.3% combined efficacy!
  • Another study gave Fo-ti liquor extract to 36 people with gray hair. After treatment, 24 completely recovered their dark hair and 8 more showed improvement. That’s a total efficacy rate of 88.9%!

Fo-Ti in the Bedroom

Fo-ti is believed to increase fertility, sexual vigor, and treat ED. Researchers believe these effects are due to Fo-ti’s proven ability to:

  • Raise red blood cell counts
  • Lower cholesterol levels that can cause hypertension and cardiovascular diseases

Fo-ti’s power to increase blood flow to “all the right places” is key to its special bedroom benefits.

Using Fo-Ti: Processed vs. Unprocessed

The root of fo-ti must be prepared, or processed, be consumed regularly-as a tonic herb. Don’t worry, Fo-ti processing is simple, chemical-free process involving boiling the root in black beans before drying.

Unprocessed fo-ti, on the other hand, does not possess the tonic effects described in the legends or the research, and it can even have unintended side effects such as diarrhea.

Interestingly, unprocessed fo-ti does have certain benefits, so the important thing is to know which type of fo-ti you should use for which condition. The difference is addressed this way by the Encyclopedia of Herbs:

In Chinese medicine the dried (unprocessed) root and the cured (processed) root are considered two different herbs. The unprocessed root is used to relax the bowels and detoxify the blood. The processed root is used to strengthen the blood, invigorate the liver and kidneys, and supplement vital energy (qi).

Processed fo-ti supplements can be taken as capsules or as herbal tea. Dr. Sahelian, a strong supporter of fo-ti, simply recommends one capsule (610 mg) before breakfast or lunch.