This week’s herb has a long history of use in Chinese medicine, and for good reason. Supposedly it returned an old man’s hair from grey to black and allowed him to father multiple children well past his prime…known as He Shou Wu.
This beautiful, dark brown root is famous for its herbal power to enhance virility helps maintain the strength and stability of the lower back and knees.
It is used to maintain youthful sexual drive, normally abundant sperm count in men and to support the health of the ova in women. It is widely used in Asia to maintain the youthful condition and color of the hair.
It can calm the nervous system and it has components that are potent antioxidants with gentle actions in the liver and the eyes
The name “He Shou Wu, “means long black hair” and got its name from a story of a Tang Dynasty villagers named. Neng Si was born with a weak constitution, an inability to marry or bare children and a taste for strong alcohol.
The story has it that one night he stumbled into the woods in a drunken stupor. The next morning he woke up and found himself in the middle of the forest where he spotted a vine growing up the side of a tree. Neng Si was amused by the vine, thinking that it looked like two lovers entwined, and decided to dig up the root and boil it in a tea.
After drinking the tea Neng Si disappeared into the woods, only to emerge 5 years later, having had multiple children and displaying lustrous, jet black hair as if he had lost 20 years off of his life.
Science also fancies this root, with many empirical studies showing that He Shou Wu extract improves the cardiovascular system, enhances immune functions, slows the degeneration of glands, increases antioxidant activity, and reduces the accumulation of lipid peroxidation.
Try He Shou Wu to enhance your jing (vital life energy), improve your liver function and heat up the bedroom.
Latin Name: Polygonum multiflorum
Parts Used: Prepared Root (the root is prepared by being cooked in black bean juice)
Energetics: slightly warm, bitter, sweet
Actions: blood tonic, adaptogen, yin tonic, nourishing, restorative
Cautions: Avoid during cases of diarrhea, it is a relatively safe herb that can be used for long periods of time