He Shou Wu Benefits

He Shou Wu Benefits

He Shou Wu (also known as "Fo-ti") is the prepared root of Polygonum multiform, a Chinese plant and is considered to be one of the most powerful adaptogens. 

He Shou Wu is widely used in Chinese herbalism as a tonic to promote healthy aging by tonifying the kidney and liver functions, toning up Jing (vital essence), nourishing the blood, and fortifying the muscles, tendons and bones.

The origin of He Shou Wu begins with the legendary story of an old man in the Chinese Tang dynasty whose infertility was reportedly cured by He Shou Wu. According to the story, after taking He Shou Wu for only a week, the man had found that his strength had returned, as well as his dark black hair color, fertility, and even sexual drive and energy (“He Shou Wu” means “Mr. Shou’s  Black Hair''). The old man even reportedly lived to be 130 year old!

Thanks to this legend, today, He Shou Wu is commonly used to help reduce the signs of aging and reverse hair loss and premature graying. He Shou Wu is also found to improve the overall quality of blood, hair, nails and teeth.


Here are the main He Shou Wu benefits:

Hair Growth and Color Restoration

He Shou Wu is used in Chinese medicine to promote hair health due to its powerful anti-aging and longevity properties. In fact, while He Shou Wu can have many benefits on the body, it's most frequently used for hair health. These benefits are mainly due to He Shou Wu nourishing the liver and kidneys, providing a better blood flow to the scalp and in turn stimulating hair growth and helping reverse gray hair.

Studies have shown that polygonum multiflorum root extract can stimulate blood circulation throughout the body, including the scalp, which improves hair growth rate and nourishment by increasing melanin production, feeding, and supporting hair follicles. He Shou Wu appears to transition hair follicles from damaged, dormant stages into rejuvenated, fast-growing ones that resemble hair growth patterns in the young.

Other studies have shown that polygonum multiflorum can help speed up the transition of hair follicles from the dormant stage of hair growth (telogen phase) to the growth stage (anagen phase), which is important to those suffering from hair thinning or hair loss.

Researchers found that both oral administrations of He Shou Wu and topical He Shou Wu could promote hair growth in a recent study. 

Boosts Sexual Desire

Known as a kidney tonic, He Shou Wu stimulates and harmonizes adrenal gland function and promotes general endocrine system balance. He Shou Wu serves as an aphrodisiac by stimulating the adrenal gland’s production of sexual hormones, as well as bringing balance to the endocrine system. It’s used to maintain youthful sexual drive, to promote sperm count in men, and to support the health of the ova in women.

Improves Sleep 

According to multiple studies, He Shou Wu can improve sleep, as well as other mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression and chronic stress-related disorders. One of the most useful benefits of taking He Shou Wu is that it will decrease your stress levels. He Shou Wu helps balance our central stress response system by producing serotonin and dopamine which give you a sense of calmness.

Promotes Longevity

Studies have shown that He Shou Wu has the ability to stimulate the production of longevity-promoting substances that work to protect the body from many diseases. Its strength partially comes from its remarkable ability to support and maintain the healthful cleaning functions of the kidney and liver, which in turn clean the blood. Rich in iron and zinc, two essential minerals, He Shou Wu is a first-class blood builder and cell generator. There are a number of compounds in the herb that enhance circulation, strengthen red blood cell membranes and stimulate blood-generating hematopoietic stem cells. He Shou Wu also protects and helps maintain the structural integrity of the liver, improves brain function and memory, and enhances immune system functioning.