Fo-ti is the dried or cured root of a twining vine in the knotweed family, found throughout China, except in the extreme northeast. It is also occasionally grown in American gardens as an ornamental. it is known as he-shou-wu.
In Chinese medicine the dried (unprocessed) root and the cured (processed) root are considered two different herbs. The unprocessed root is used to relax the bowels and detoxify the blood. The processed root is used to strengthen the blood, invigorate the liver and kidneys, and supplement vital energy (qi). Processed fo-ti is one of the more widely used tonics in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which employs it to enhance longevity, increase vigor, and promote fertility. It is also an ingredient in TCM formulas for premature gray hair, low back pain, angina pectoris, low energy, and other conditions.
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