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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Herbal Consultations

Mini Herbal Consultation For those with One or Two Conditions $20

  •   Herbal Assessment– 15 minute In Person or Symptom Questionnaire
  •  Custom Blended Herbal Remedy Includes 2 oz of Tea (Organic, Loose tea) or 1 oz Herbal Powder Blast .  Refills $15

Online Instructions

  1. Purchase Mini Herbal Consultation in Shopping Cart
  2. An assessment will be emailed to you
  3. Fill out the information completely and email back
  4. Your answers and Remedy will be shipped to you

In Person Instructions

  1. Email to set an appointment
  2. In person appointments or phone appointments are local to Puget Sound WA area- The Pond Pad, Ubi’s Cafe or other prearranged location
  3. Fill out information sent to you.
  4. Your assessment will be discussed. Your remedy will be given to you or available for pick up.

Elder Berry & Flower

Elderberry with Flowers

Elder has more folklore associated with it than most any other European herb. In rural England, it was thought dangerous to cut the branches, as it was believed that the plant was inhabited by the Elder Mother. To avoid her wrath, woodcutters and herbalists would recite a rhyme prior to harvesting to appease the goddess.

The most commonly available species of elder is Sambucus nigra or European Elder. In the PNW, we have two native species, Sambucus cerulea, Blue Elderberry and S. racemosa, Red Elderberry. The Blue Elder species has be used medicinally by native peoples for influenza and arthritis for hundreds of years. The Red Elderberry is considered toxic, especially the fresh berries.

Elderberry and Elder Flower are both used similarly medicinally for Continue reading

10 Reasons to Take Herbs

1. Plants have always been the primary medicine for people. Many herbs are still used today as they were thousands of years ago. Herbs have many advantages over pharmaceuticals and posses attributes that man-made drugs never will.

2. Plants contain hundreds of compounds that work together in a complex synergistic effect destroying pathogens, promoting healing and nourishing the body. The chemistries of herbs are too highly complex to build resistance from pathogens. Drugs are a “silver bullet” or single active chemical, targeting one region and eventually leading to resistance.

3. Herbs are Inexpensive. Compared to pharmaceuticals, herbs are very inexpensive and very readily available. Many can even be grown in containers, in your garden or inside your home.

4.Herbs are generally Safe. The side effects of herbs are of no comparison to the potential harmful effects of pharmaceuticals. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the fourth leading cause of death in America is caused by adverse drug reactions. Properly used herbal medicines cause very few side effects. Exercise caution when taking herbs in combination with pharmaceuticals. Consult with a professional Herbalist or other qualified health care practitioner and your physician whenever needed.

5. Herbs are Food. Herbs can provide us with nutrients like food does, as well as vitamins and minerals. These plant based phytonutrients are absorbed and utilized in our bodies much more efficiently than commercially made vitamins.

6. Herbs can be Taken in Many Forms. You can cook and bake with fresh and dried herbs. Herbs also can be consumed as teas, extracts and in encapsulated formulas. Herbs can be applied to the skin in creams, sprays, washes, oils and in baths. There is always a way to take herbs that fit your lifestyle, time and budget!

7. Herbs are a natural renewable resource. Plants grown using organic methods and limited harsh pesticides don’t cause the severe pollution caused by the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

8. Herbal information is practically free. Knowledge is Power, so learn about herbs, and how you can improve and maintain your health for life. Remember to be cautious and smart about the information you read about on the internet. Do not believe all you hear and read, even if the information is from famous Doctors on TV. Anyone paid for endorsements may influence you to buy their products and may not have your best interest in mind.

9. Herbs are readily available. There are local herb stores as well as many internet sources for good quality herbs. Look for products that are local, fair trade and organic.

10.  Right Herb, Right Remedy© blog.thepondpad.com . There is an Herb for Every Remedy and a Remedy for every Herb. Have you wondered why some herbs work for some people and not for others? Herbs have an “energy” to them, they range from warm, neutral to cool. As individuals we also have an energetic tendency based on our body type. We then match up the right herb with the right remedy based on energetics. Our goal is to balance, nourish and feed the body’s systems to prevent and eliminate disease.

We are what we eat, as the old saying goes. Be aware of what you

  • Ingest (eat, consume, drink)
  • Apply (personal care products, clothes you wear)
  • Use (detergents, pesticides, plastics).

Read labels and remember just because a product says it is Natural or Organic doesn’t really mean that is truly is.

Kerri Bailey, C.H.,B .S.

The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis.  Always consult your health practitioner when needed

 

 

 

 

Take the Sting out of Nettles

There are many species of Nettles growing in temperate regions throughout the world. The most popular used-Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)- is a perennial that grows up to 3′ tall found in moist, shaded areas. The stinging hairs found on it’s stems are activated by touch, causing the sting and ironically, the juice of the nettle plant is it’s own remedy.

Nettles have many nutritional and medicianal uses. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad green or cooked as a vegetable. They are rich in vital nutrients including vitamins A, C and D, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Medicinally, the leaves and root are used for Continue reading

Lovely Linden Flower

Linden (Tilia cordata), also referred to as Basswood in America or Lime Tree in Europe, is a widely used herb native to North America and Europe. It is a small to large tree often planted as an ornamental with heart shaped leaves and whitish yellow fragrant flowers that appear in mid- late summer.

The use of Linden began in medieval Europe as a remedy for colds, scratchy throat, flu Continue reading

Savory Sage

Native to the Mediterranean, Garden or Purple Sage (Salvia officinalis) is one of over 500 species of Salvia used throughout the world for culinary, medicinal and/or cultivation purposes. The botanical name Salvia means “to cure” in Latin , a clue to it’s medicinal importance. Sage was traditionally used to flavor meats, ease sore throats and as a wound healer. It is an easy to grow shrubby perennial with thick greenish gray aromatic leaves bearing whorls of purplish flowers in the spring.

Sage is a classic remedy for soothing inflammations of the mouth, throat and skin. It’s antiseptic, astringent and relaxing actions calms the nervous and digestive systems easing indigestion, Continue reading

Making Your Own Encapsulated Herbal Formula

Making your own encapsulated formula is a easy way to take herbs on a daily basis for both healing and as “food”. Herbs are not only medicinal, they are also nutritive providing our bodies with vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Generally, we take encapsulated herbs that are:

  1. either bitter tasting or mucilaginous
  2. need to be taken for a long period of time
  3. herbs that should be taken in small amounts.

Mild herbs that require large doses are not good choices for a formula, they may be better taken as a tea.

Choosing your formula should not intimidate you. Single herbs or combinations of up to 3-5 herbs work best. If there are too many herbs in your formula you will not get an effective medicinal dose. Choose one or 2 that are your “main” herbs and then another couple as “assisting” herbs. For example, a great formula for arthritis could be Tumeric and Ashwaganda as the main herbs for their anti-inflammatory actions, assisting with Gotu Kola for tissue regeneration and Triphala as a general tonic good for all body systems. For each ounce of powdered herbal formula, mix .3 oz Tumeric, .3 oz Ashwaganda, .2oz Gotu Kola and .2 oz Triphala as a recipe for your formula combination.

What you need to encapsulate your formula are:

  1. your herbal formula- dried, ground, good quality herbs
  2. gelatin capsules-either small “0” or larger “00”
  3. bowl and spoon to mix herbs
  4. capping machine (optional, saves time)

Mix your formula well with a spoon inside a clean glass bowl or deep dish. Separate gel capsules into two parts, fill both ends of the capsule with your powdered herbs. Pack them firmly until they are almost full. Carefully join the two ends closing the capsule. Encapsulate herbs by hand can be a bit time consuming. Using a capsule machine with speed up the process, is easy to use and will save you money in the long run.

Take your formula with meals and drink plenty of tea or water to wash them down and help dissolve the capsules. The typical dose is 2 capsules, three times daily. The actual dose may vary depending on the herbs used and the condition being treated.

If you need help, customized formulations can be blended based on your body type and medical issues. For additional information and to purchase herbs, capsules and capping machines please visit blog.thepondpad.com or email me at herbalelements@comcast.net

If you are local, stop by Ubiquitous Journey in Puyallup, WA 253.445-6128 www.ubjourney.com

The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis.  Always consult your health practitioner when needed.

 

 

Relax with Passionflower

Blue Crown Passionflower

Passionflower (Passiflora caerulea, P. incarnata) is a beautiful climbing vine native to North, Central and South America. It can grow up to 30′ bearing deep green, lobed leaves, purple / blue & white flowers followed by egg shaped fruit. The name Passionflower comes from the analogy of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The three styles represent the three nails used on the cross, five stamens for the five wounds he suffered and the blue and white colors are for purity.

For over 200 years, passionflower has been effectively used for anxiety, relieving muscle tension, and as a central nervous system depressant effective in treating nerve pain (neuralgia and shingles). Studies in France concluded that Passionflower is beneficial for restless leg syndrome, depression, ADD, insomnia and as antispasmodic useful for those with Parkinson’s disease, seizures, asthma and hysteria.

Passionflower is a source of the antioxidant chrysin, which helps the body conserve testosterone (aiding men and woman with diminished sex drive), reduces blood pressure and stops the growth of certain thyroid cancers. Chysin is also been found to alleviate nausea and vomiting as a result of drug withdrawal from cocaine, opiates and heroine.

The dried leaves are used in teas and tinctures, alone or combination with Hops, Valerian and Jamaican Dogwood. Passionflower can cause sleepiness and increase the effects of both alcohol and psychoactive drugs (sedatives and tranquilizers). You should avoid the use of passionflower if you take an MAO inhibitor and during pregnancy. Adults over the age of sixty five and children between the ages of 2-12 should only use low dose forms and children under the age of 2 should not be given this herb(substitute catnip).


The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis.  Always consult your health practitioner when needed.