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Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum)

General Description

Fo-ti (also known as he-shou-wu) is an herbaceous climbing vine grown widely in China, Japan, and Taiwan. A member of the genus Polygonum (which includes knotweed, snakeweed, and smartweed), fo-ti has long, spearhead-shaped leaves, and bears numerous flowers which produce small, winged, one-seeded fruits. The plant has a tuberous root, which is dried and used for health-promoting purposes.

Health Applications

  • General tonic
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Liver health
  • Regularity

Chemical Composition

Fo-ti contains antioxidant compounds such as gallic acid and catechin, and a number of anthraquinone derivatives, including chrysophanol, emodin, and rhein.


Traditional dosage recommendations typically range from 7 to 15 grams of dried fo-ti root per day. While there are no known health hazards associated with fo-ti at this dosage range, allergic reactions may occur in some sensitive individuals.