Our organic Fo-ti plant root is native to Taiwan and Japan, but originated in China. is the American name for the herb Polygonum multiflorum. Polygonum is a member of the Polygonaceae family of plants. In Chinese herbalism, fo ti is called he shou wu or ho shou wu. Other names are fleeceflower and Chinese cornbind. In Japan the herb is called kashuu. It is one of the most popular herbs in Oriental medicine, used as an overall health tonic, as a tincture to support longevity, and as a remedy for various health conditions.
Fo ti is a perennial flowering vine that reaches heights of 3–6 ft (0.97–1.8 m). It is native to southwestern China, Japan and Taiwan, but can be cultivated in many regions, including parts of North America.
Processed fo-ti contains protein-sugar complexes known as lectins. Because they attach to specific arrangements of carbohydrates on cells in the body, lectins act like antibodies, but they do not cause allergy symptoms. The lectins in processed fo-ti may affect fat levels in the blood by blocking the formation of plaques in blood vessels. Plaques are accumulations of fat and other cells that restrict the size of blood vessels and limit the flexibility of their walls.
The root of the plant is the part most frequently used for medicinal purposes, although Chinese herbalists occasionally use the stems for different applications. The root has a sweet and slightly bitter taste. Chinese herbalists claim it has slightly warming effects in the body, and works by increasing levels of blood and vital essence. These are two of three essential substances in the body, according to Chinese medicine. Chinese herbalists also maintain that fo ti strengthens the liver and kidneys. Fo ti root is used in conjunction with other herbs in many medicinal tonics.
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