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

Herbal Classes

 

Herbal  Classes April & May 2016 through Free University…check it out at freeunw.com

Here are free classes offered by Kerri Bailey- those interested in the Herbal Program, please visit- Herbal Elements Academy for more information.

herbal-encapsulatedClass:      Herbal Nutrition I- “Nature’s Vitamins”

Dates:     April 26th & 30th

Time:      11:00am-12:00pm

Most people may think of herbs as medicine, but herbs are also food! They are “nature’s whole food vitamins” better than any synthetic, generic vitamin found on drugstore shelves. Learn which herbs contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients essential for proper nutrition and how you can incorporate these into your diet. 

Class:      Herbal Nutrition II – “How to Make an Herbal Supplement”

Dates:     May 3rd & 7th Time:      11:00-11:45am

This is the second half of Herbal Nutrition- it is recommended that you take both. Learn how to make your own herbal formula using ground herbs to target specific health issues and increase your daily nutritional intake. Herbs & Supplies can be purchased after class, but is optional.  Allow extra time after class if you make your own formula with help from instructor.

echinacea-purpleClass:      Organic Herbal Gardening

Dates:     April 12th & 16th Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: Tacoma         

There are hundreds of herbs that can be successfully grown here in the PNW.  Growing your own herbs has its own reward. Not only can you have fresh herbs at your convenience, you benefit the environment by providing food and shelter for beneficial insects. Learn how to grow herbs & edible flowers, regardless of space, using organic methods. One session

 

Class:      Herbal Detox

Dates:     April 19th & 23rd

Time:  11:00-11:45am

We are all exposed to toxins on a daily basis from our environment, workplace, personal care products and the foods and drinks we add into our bodies. From time to time, depending upon your lifestyle and level of exposure, our bodies need detoxification. Learn how to safely detox, using herbs and other natural substances. Create your own detox program. Herbal Elements will provide free samples of detox products.  One session

 

chakra.man.triangleClass:      Chakra Connections

Dates:     Tuesday- April 5th & May 10th Saturday- April 9th & May 14th 2016

 Time: 11am-12pm (4-5-16, 5-10-16)  4pm-5pm (4-9-16, 5-14-16)

Location:   Tacoma       

Chakras are our bodies inner energy centers that help us function on all levels. When we work with our Chakras we help to heal emotional wounds and physical ailments that lead to inner peace. This class covers the basics of the 7 main Chakras and how to work with them using crystal chakra kits, essential oils and herbs. Chakra Kits, Essential Oil Blends and Chakra EBook will be available for sale after the class for those interested.  One session.

 

Free Classes are available through Free University in Tacoma, WA

Check it out @ www.freeunw.com 

to sign up for a class:
@ herbelements@gmail.com     ????

Herbal Certification Course

• Herbal Program Online-coming soon, we are working out the details.

Complete course work for Herbalists with written lessons
and hands on projects.

  Herbal Classes Details

• Ayurvedic Herbs-  Find out what’s your “Dosha” or body type, and how to use herbs according to their energetics. An introduction to  Ayurvedic Herbs and East Indian Medicine. 
• Chakra Connections-  
Chakra is Sanskrit for “spinning energy wheels”. Learn   the basics of the seven major chakras and how they relate   to our body, mind and spirit. Unblock the stagnant and
slow down the overactive. (Optional Class)
• Chinese Herbs– How to blend Chinese Herbal Formulas, and an introduction to Chinese Herbs and Traditional Chinese medicine philosophy. 
• Choosing Herbs that Work For You- 
Selecting herbs and preparing formulas made easy. Learn the basics on how to choose herbs and the best way to prepare them- Right Herb, Right Remedy!
• Edible Gardens-  In our climate, it is possible to have a year round garden with cool and warm season vegetables and other edible landscape plants. Learn how to grow your own food and herbs organically in large and small spaces.
• Herbal Kitchen and Tea Garden- 
There are so many culinary and medicinal herbs and plants that can be grown here in the PNW suitable for landscape, garden and containers. Learn how to care, use and design with edible plants & herbs.
• Native American Herbs- Learn about Local and Native American Herbs, Medicinal Practices and where to find them.
• Using Herbs at Home-  
How to cook, prepare and be creative with herbs. Ideas for gifts for friends & family.

Instructor: Kerri Bailey has been teaching classes at local Community Centers, Nurseries & Herb Stores in Seattle / Tacoma areas since 1999. She specializes in Herbal Medicine, Organic Gardening, Ponds and Water Gardens.

Her Classes, EBooks and Videos will be available online this Spring 2016. Check out www.HerbalElementsAcademy.com for more details

Free University  www.FreeUNW.com

 

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How to take Herbs

Herbs-Organic-CosmeticOne of the most common questions I get as an herbalist is, How do you take herbs? Great question that has many answers.  The 3 most common ways we use herbs is

1. Cooking with Herbs. Add fresh and dried herbs to raw and cooked foods, drinks and baked goods. Add fresh herbs to towards the end of cooked foods, dried herbs in the middle of cooking.  Use 1/2 the amount of dried herbs that would use fresh herbs.

herbal-encapsulated2. Ingesting Herbs in Capsules, Extracts / Tinctures and Teas.  Powdered herbs can be added to smoothies or  taken in gelatin capsules.  Extracts and tinctures are herbs in a liquid form, usually alcohol based.  Teas are made with leaves, bark, roots and flowers.  Loose leaf teas are better quality than bagged varieties.  Make sure you use organic, “fair trade” (ethically farmed) herbs and high quality black, green, red and white teas.

medicine-bottle3. Applying Herbs Topically.  This would include lotions, creams, ointments, balms, and sprays that can be applied to the skin for fragrance and healing.  An essential oil is the concentrated volatile and aromatic liquid form of an herb obtained by distillation.  Use these with another carrier oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil for massage and for healing.  Add a few drops of essential oils to your bath.

Herbs can take time to work, so don’t get frustrated.  Be patient and diligent.

If you have questions about using herbs, stop by and see me  Ubi’s www.ubjourney.com or email me at herbal.elements@yahoo.com

Nutmeg

nutmeg.flowerNutmeg is an ancient spice and medicine used in the Middle East since 700AD and later by the Europeans in the middle ages.  It is now a common household spice that comes from the Myristica fragrans tree from the Indonesian Banda Islands- or Spice Islands.

The “nut” is an apricot-like fruit kernel dried and ground into a powder or made into an oil.  Make sure you use a quality nutmegpowdered form that is not irradiated or from BWP (broken-wormy-punky) nuts and purchase from a reputable source. The freshly grated powder is the best, freshest form.

Nutmeg as a spice used in baking, cooking, teas & drinks and combines well with Cinnamon, Cloves and Ginger and also produces the spice “mace”.  Mace is the red membrane (arial) that covers the seed and is used similarly nutmeg_plant_macewith a less sweet but more delicate of a flavor than nutmeg.

Traditionally, Nutmeg powder has been used in herbal medicine for digestion (flatulence), nervousness/anxiety and for colds & flu as it breaks up chest congestion.  It can be taken in pill, tea or tincture form, alone or combined with other herbs.  The essential oil has many external uses from arthritis, exhaustion, rheumatism / joints, stimulant and as an aphrodisiac.  It blends well with other essential oils like Coriander, Clary Sage & Lavender and is a fixative for citrus oils.

Use nutmeg in small amounts and excersize caution and moderation as it can have mild hallucinogenic effects.  Women who may be pregnant or lactating should avoid Nutmegnutmeg.

The following information is for education purposes and not for self diagnosis. Always consult with your healthcare professional when needed.

Carminative Clove

SONY DSCOne of the first globally traded spice, Cloves, are still widely used and cultivated worldwide. Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree- Syzygium aromaticum-native to Malucca Islands (one of the Spice Islands).

Over the course of the centuries, cloves have been used for a variety of ailments, as a breath freshener and of clovetree3course as a spice for cooking and baking.  It has a warm, sweet and aromatic taste used for ginger bread, pumpkin pie & baked ham but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili. Cloves are an excellent source of manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium & dietary fiber.

clove_1One of the most stimulating & carminative of the aromatic herbs, Cloves have a long use for nausea, flatulence, indigestion (dyspepsia), anti-inflammatory and used to assist the action of other herbs. It is still used today to treat tooth infections and tooth pain and a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent used in over the counter mouth washes and throat sprays.

Cloves are available whole, chopped or in powdered form and as an essential oil. The oil is commonly used  directly on the gums and should be diluted with a carrier oil when applied to the skin.  Not recommended taken undiluted in high doses as it can cause vomiting, seizures and liver/kidney damage or for children.  Those with clotting problems or with liver or kidney disorders should avoid cloves.

The following information is for educational purposes and not for self diagnosis.  Always consult with your health care professional whenever needed.

Sarsparilla

Sarsaparilla.flowersJamaican Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornate) & Indian Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) are brambled, woody vines producing small flowers and black, blue, or red berry-like fruits. The root has been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of Asia and Central & South America for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailments, headaches, general tonic, joint pain, and against the common cold.

sarsaparilla.berriesEuropean physicians consider sarsaparilla root a tonic, blood purifier, diuretic, sweat promoter, and also use for hypertension, gout, digestive disorders, psoriasis, skin diseases, and cancer.

Sarsaparilla tastes great in tea and can also be taken in capsule form.  Drink ½ to 1 cup 2-3 times a day or 1-2 gram capsules twice daily (for short term use, may cause abdominal discomfort if taken in high doses or for long periods of time.)

The following information is for educational purposes and not for self diagnosis.  Always consult with your health care professional whenever needed.

Saw Palmetto

serrepwsSaw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small palm native to the Southeastern United States. American Indians have used the berries as a staple food and for medicine for thousands of years.

The berries contain powerful phyto-nutrients shown in dozens of studies to relieve the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw Palmetto can reduce prostate size and has anti-inflammatory actions easing urination. Research has also shown that Saw Palmetto may also help grow hair by blocking to the formation of chemicals (DHT) associated with BPH.  It is also used for migraines, heavy/painful menstruation, acne, breast enlargement, coughs/colds, asthma 09saw-saw_palmetto_berriesand chronic bronchitis.

Saw Palmetto is typically used as a tincture or encapsulated at a dose of 1-2g per day (whole berry) for BPH.  The tea can be used as a urinary tonic.  Saw Palmetto combines well with other herbs such as Gravelroot (Joe-Pye),Hydrangea root, Horsetail and Marshmallow root in formulations and tea blends.

According to the German Commission E monographs, Saw Palmetto is likely safe for most people.  Mild side effects have been reported (possible stomach problems and dizziness). Pregnant and lactating  women should avoid using this herb. Do not take for 2 weeks prior to surgeries as Saw Palmetto slows blood clotting.

The following information is for educational purposes and not intended for self diagnosis.  Always consult with your health care provider whenever needed.

 

Rhodiola Root

rhodiola_roseaRhodiola Root (Rhodiola rosea) or Golden Root is a perennial plant with red, pink, or yellowish flowers having a rose-like scent. It is native to the polar arctic regions of eastern Siberia and also grows in China, Tibet, and Northern Europe. Among traditional people there, it is highly valued as a strengthening tonic to increase physical and mental stamina for altitude sickness, colds and flu.

A powerful adaptogen – a substance that helps our bodies adapt to environmental, physiological and psychological stress- Rhodiola is used much like Siberian Ginseng to reduce stress.  A large proportion of all aging diseases (perhaps 70-80%) is believed to occur because our stress levels are too high, and/or too long-term. High-stress modern living is one of the main factors causing chronic disease and premature aging.rhod_ros1

There have been many Russian & German studies showing that Rhodiola rosea has extraordinary pharmacological properties as an anti-mutagen reducing tumors from 37% -50% inhibition. It is also a  cardio-protective, normalizing the heart rate immediately after intense exercise and is widely used by Russian athletes and cosmonauts to increase energy. It improves the nervous system and mental functions by increasing blood-supply to the muscles and brain, and it also increases protein synthesis. The anti-depressive and anti-stress activity of Golden root is higher than that of St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo biloba and Panax Ginseng, with less side effects.

Rhodiola-RootRhodiola can be taken as a tincture, encapsulated and in tea formulations. If taking for altitude sickness, improve immunity, depression or erectile dysfunction, start with smaller doses as it can be a sedative in high amounts. Larger doses are taken for colds, flu and stress.  Not recommended for pregnant women or those with bipolar disorder. The usual amounts taken are 200 to 600 mg per day.

rhodiola.roseaTry my tea blends and herbal formulations or try a custom blend! blog.thepondpad.com

 

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The following information is for educational purposes and not intended for self diagnosis.  Always consult with your health care provider whenever needed.