He Shou Wu

He Shou Wu written in Chinese

Pinyin Name: He Shou Wu

English Name: Radix Polygoni Multiflori

Other Names: Chinese Knotweed, Fallopia Multiflora, Fo Ti, Polygala Vine, Tuber Fleeceflower Root

Tastes: Bitter, Sweet, Astringent

Origin: Henan, Hubei and Guangxi provinces in China

Benefits of He Shou Wu:

He Shou Wu is one of the most popular herbs in Chinese medicine. It is the root of Polygonum Multiflorum Thunb, harvested during autumn. Roots are long and thin and the end turns into a corpulent tuber, from red-brown to dark brown. Stem base is slightly woody and hollow. Leaves are alternate and with a long handle. Blade is glabrous on sides, narrowly ovate or heart-shaped, 4 to 8 cm long, 2.5 to 5 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.

He Shou Wu covers two meridians of liver and kidney. Main functions are nourishing yin and tonifying blood, relaxing bowels, preventing malaria, dispersing pathogenic wind and detoxification. Common uses and indications are blood deficiency induced lightheadedness, palpitations, insomnia, soreness and weakness in lower back and knees due to liver-kidney yin deficiency, premature graying, tinnitus, spermatorrhea, constipation due to intestinal dryness, physical weakness caused by chronic malaria, carbuncle, scrofula, hemorrhoids. Recommended dosage is from 10 to 20 grams.

He Shou Wu is widely used in Chinese herbal formulas. 1) Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan is formulated to improve the hair and restore color, strengthen the bones and tendons. Its ingredient herbs include He Shou Wu, Chi Fu Ling, Fu Ling, Niu Xi, Dang Gui, Gou Qi Zi, Tu Si Zi and Bu Gu Zhi. 2) Shou Yan Shou Dan is used for deficiency of liver and kidney, waist and knees weakness, dizziness, dim eyesight, tinnitus and deafness. Its ingredient herbs include He Shou Wu, Sang Shen, Hei Zhi Ma, Du Zhong and more.

Common herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine

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