From the UFWC Clinic Garden…
Meet our Anti-Aging wonder plant:
He Shou Wu – Polygonum Multiflorum
This beautiful, organic, vining, herbaceous, perennial vine from China is quick to grow and loves its new home in UFWC Demonstration Garden.
In Traditional East Asian Herbal Medicine, He Shou Wu? is in the Nourish Blood category. It enters the liver and kidney meridians while its properties are described as bitter, sweet, astringent, and slightly warm. The earliest mention of He Shou Wu is 713 A.D. and was traditionally prepared in a black bean stew. (1, 2) It can also be taken as a tincture, a simple water boiled tea, and as an extract powder. Here are some of it’s amazing properties.
Anti-Aging and DNA Protection:
Pharmacologically, He Shou Wu has been shown to inhibit the MAO-B enzyme. This translates to significant cellular benefit for many body systems. (3) The root ball of He Shou Wu is large, dark colored, and knotty. This plant tends to and nourishes the Yin energies of the body: Jing and Essence. This means is helps our body with the supply of ingredients it needs to move through time more gracefully.
He Shou Wu gently increases intestinal peristalsis (1). Having a healthy bowel movement is quintessential for proper cellular detoxification. This effect is mild, which makes it safe to take for those who already have a regular bowel movement. When there is loose stool, the dose of He Shou Wu might need to be lowered, it not be the right herb for that stage of the health presentation, or other herbs might need to be added for support.
Libido and Sexual Tonic:
He Shou Wu beneficially stimulates the adrenal and thyroid glands endocrine functions. (1). This makes it helpful in cases of fatigue, depression, thinning hair, and low sperm count.
As far as toxicity, this herb is very safe and can be taken at high dose. There are no known herb-drug interactions. It is best to work with a trained, certified herbalist to get the right combination of herbs for your case.
We are excited to have this amazing plant in our garden. Please stop and say hi to He Shou Wu next time you come in for an appointment.
Michael Niss, L.Ac.
Chen, John. Chinese Medical Herbology & Pharmacology. Art of Medicine Press, Inc., 2004.
Bensky, Dan. Chinese Herbal Medicine, Materia Medica 3rd Edition. Eastland Press, Inc., 2004.