SCIENTIFIC NAME(S):Polygonum multiflorum Thunb. (polygonaceae)

COMMON NAME(S): He shou wu, flowery knotweed, climbing knotweed, Chinese cornbind. This plant should not be confused with the commercial product Fo-ti Tieng, which does not contain fo-ti.

Fo-ti is an interesting herb. It is one of the most popular Chinese and Japanese tonic herbs. The Japanese call it Kashuu. The root of the fo-ti plant is used medicinally in traditional Chinese medicine in connection with premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharges, a variety of infectious diseases, angina pectoris, and erectile dysfunction.


Fo-ti is a popular Chinese tonic' herb, dating back to 713 ad. It is considered one of the country's great four herbal tonics (along with angelica, lycium, and panax). Regarded as a rejuvenating plant, fo-ti has been thought to prevent aging and promote longevity.

Botany :-

Fo-ti is native to central southern China and distributed in japan and Taiwan. It is a perennial climbing herb, which can grow to 9 m in height. The plant has red stems, heart-shaped leaves, and white or pink flowers. The roots of 3- to 4-year-old ,plants are dried in autumn. The stems and leaves are also used.

Uses of Fo-ti

Fo-ti has been used in China for its rejuvenating and toning properties,to increase liver and kidney function, and to cleanse the blood. It is also used insomnia, weak bones, constipation, and atherosclerosis. It can increase fertility and blood sugar levels, relieve muscle aches, and exhibit antimicrobial properties against tuberculosis bacillus and malaria

Side Effects of Fo-ti

Little information exists on fo-ti's side effects. Discourage use in pregnant women. Some individuals have also reported mild side effects from taking fo-ti including mild diarrhea and skin rash.


While there is not an official recommended dosage the follow are typical dosages:

  • Tea: three or more cups per day
  • Tablets: 5 of the 500-milligram tablets or capsules 3 times daily
Since the strength of commercial preparations may vary, follow the manufacturer's instructions whenever available.

There is little information in the area of toxicology from fo-ti. However, all plants that contain anthraquinone cathartic compounds should be used cautiously to prevent developing dependence on their laxative effects. One case report describes herb­induced hepatitis in a 31-year-old pregnant Chinese woman from medicine prepared from the plant.The use of these compounds in pregnant women should be discouraged.

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