Fo-Ti a.k.a. Ho She Wu

Fo-Ti aka Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum multiflorum syn. Fallopia multiflorum ) is a trailing vine with small heart-shaped leaves native to China but also growing in Japan ,Taiwan and in areas of North Carolina. Western Herbalists call it “Fo-Ti” in Asia it is referred to as “Ho She Wu or Ho Shou Wu” which literally means “black haired Mr. He”.

In Chinese Medicine, the unprocessed root- referred to as “white fo-ti”- is sometimes used as a mild laxative and as a blood detoxifier. The processed root- referred to as “red fo-ti” is what is typically found in the US- is commonly used to strengthen the blood; tonify the liver & kidneys and as an overall vitality tonic.  Fo-Ti has a warming energy with a bitter , slightly sweet & acrid taste.

The Chinese name for Fo-Ti, seen as either- Ho Shou Wu or Ho She Wu- is named after a Tang dynasty man who was reputably cured from infertility by taking Fo-Ti. His long life, thick black hair and vitality has been believed to be attributed to this herb. Chinese legends boasts that when Fo-Ti is taken for one year-the 50-year-old root restores black hair; the 150-year-old root causes new teeth to grow in the elderly and the 300-year-old root yields earthly mortality.  Chung Yun, a famous Chinese Herbalist, supposedly lived to be 256 years old, was taking Fo-Ti on a daily basis.

So as far as current scientific studies are concerned, it has been shown that large doses taken over a long period of time can improve immunity and may decrease cholesterol levels. Unproven, at least scientifically, is that Fo-Ti has been used successfully in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years as an immune enhancing herb, as a longevity tonic and  for numerous sexual dysfunctions (erectile dysfunction & infertility). Western Herbalists suggest it’s use as a rejuvenating tonic helping to restore energy & vigor; prematurely gray hair, senility, angina and as a strengthener for the blood, adrenals, liver and kidneys. Fo-Ti may also be helpful for those battling anorexia or drug addictions; dizziness / blurred vision and insomnia.

The daily dose of Fo-Ti ranges from 4-8 grams or 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons or 4-5 500 mg of capsules 2-3 times a day. Doses higher than 15mg can cause numbness in arms and legs. If you do not like taking capsules, the powdered herb can be added into smoothies, yogurt or other foods/liquids.

As with all herbs, there may be interactions with specific medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking. Or you can consult with an herbalist, like myself to see if this is an herb that may benefit you.

This article is for educational purposes only, not intended to treat or diagnosis any disease. The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA.

References:

University of Michigan http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2092003

The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra. 1998. Pocket Books, New York.

The Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra. 1997.  The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA.

Prescriptions for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch.2012 2nd Edition, Avery. New York.

HerbWisdom.com http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-fo-ti-root.html

How to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you may do in your life. I have smoked cigarettes off and on for over 20 years.  Vaping was an alternative, until I learned all the potential problems people have been having- popcorn lung, batteries exploding, etc. So quitting was my solution.

I decided to write this in hopes of helping those who really want to quit smoking nicotine products.  As an Herbalist, I feel it’s important that I practice what I preach and to use my herbal remedies to keep myself healthy. I smoked to relieve anxiety, plus I liked the habit of smoking.  So I developed a 2 Step – Stop Smoking Natural Remedy that includes an herbal tea and a tincture (extract). This program has helped me to quit, and I hope this also works for you!

Smoker’s Tea is a blend of herbs that helps curb cravings, as well as promote lung tissue healing. I made two versions of this tea- regular and menthol – to satisfy your taste buds. Drink several cups a day, especially during the first week, continuing for several weeks or until you feel that your lungs have detoxified enough. Herbs in this blend are Lobelia (acts as a nicotine replacement in your brain), Mullein & Honeysuckle (lung tissue healers), Linden (for taste, good for headaches), Skullcap & Oat Straw (nerve relaxers). This makes for a pleasant tasting tea, and for those that like menthol, I also have a version that includes mint.
smokers.edge.1The Smokers Edge Extract is a synergistic blend of herbs extracted into alcohol. This mixture contains Lobelia (for nicotine withdrawal), Skullcap & Oat Straw (to calm nerves), Mullein (for lung tissue) and Licorice (for liver detoxification). This extract can be used as needed, when cravings hit, squirt ¼ dropper full into your mouth for fast absorption or you can add into a liquid and drink it diluted (avoid touching your mouth with the dropper, as this may add bacteria into the product). The first three days will be the hardest so make sure you have this with you to relieve stressful times and when you feel that you really need a cigarette. As the days go by, you may not need this as often and you may only use the extract as you need it.

 

Tips to Help You Quit:

  • A week or so before you decide to quit, change some of your smoking habits- change brands, times that you like to smoke, etc. This helps to prepare your brain for change.
  • Make your decision to quit a conscious one. You need to be ready to harness your willpower, not deplete your self-control.
  • Use behavior modification tools- keep your hands and mouth busy. Chew gum, drink water through a straw, suck on hard candy or mints or try keeping a toothpick in your mouth. My favorite is flavored sunflower seeds (spicy ones are yummy!)- keep a wad in your mouth, eat the seeds, and play with the shells inside your mouth. This really helps me to keep my mouth busy and takes my mind off of wanting to smoke.
  • Fighting Anxiety- try Yoga, Meditation, Anti-Anxiety Herbs (Try my Relax Remedy) and one of my favorites is to color in my adult coloring books- there are many on the market and it’s “in” right now. Coloring my mandala images really helps me with my anxiety and keeps my mind off of smoking.
  • If you fail: try, try again! It may take several attempts to quit for good. Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat!
  • Place a photo or other memento on the frig, bathroom mirror or other place you frequent of a family member, spouse, child, etc. that you want to quit for. Your love for them may help give you the dedication you need to quit!

Good Luck to you! If you try my products and let me know how they work for you, I would appreciate the feedback. Kerri Bailey herbelements@gmail.com Find them locally at Ubi’s www.Ubistacoma.com  or order them online at http://blog.thepondpad.com/products/?vxcat=15

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. The statements made in this post have not been evaluated by the FDA. Consult with your medical professional or herbalist whenever necessary. Not all herbs are appropriate for everyone, especially if you are pregnant/breast feeding or have specific medical issues.