Polygonum Multiflorum, He Shou Wu, “Mr. He’s Black Hair”
(That’s pronounced, “huh-show-woo”)
This herb is a truly remarkable yin tonic that definitely has something for everyone, if not everything for anyone. I will try and portray that in the fewest words, but with such an extensive and amazing history behind it, you may have to see for yourself and let the herb show and woo you.
- Famous for anti-aging and longevity properties
- Used to eliminate gray hair and restore natural color
- Amazing yin jing tonic
- Supreme blood builder
- Extremely rich in zinc and iron
- Revered for increased fertility and sexual drive
- Assists in production of SOD
- Calming to nervous system
- Tonifies kidney and liver function
The Legend of He Shou Wu
This story begins with a 58 year old man, frail, impotent, and unmarried, who had turned to alcohol. In a drunken stupor, he had fallen asleep amongst nature, only to awaken to plants that were twisted together, stretching for yards, appearing to him as “making love.” Intrigued by these plants, he dug one up by the roots and brought it to the village. Though no one could identify it, one wise villager suggested that due to his state of misfortune, this plant might have come to him as a divine tonic to help him. Captivated and with nothing to lose, he dried the root, ground it up, and took it everyday on an empty stomach. Within seven days, his sexual desire could barely be controlled. Within a few months, he became strong again, and within seven years, all his disease was dissolved, his youthful appearance returned, his health restored, and his hair was black again! At this time, he not only married, but also fathered 19 children and lived to be 160 years old. He fathered sons who also consumed this herb, one living to be 130 years old, and another, He Shou Wu, who not only lived to be 160 years old, but at the time of his death, he still had a full head of black hair.
Stay Young With No Hair “Die”
As the legend implies, he shou wu encapsulates the full essence of a “youth tonic,” while also going the extra mile. According to an obituary of a 1933 Time magazine, famous Taoist Li Ching Yuen was purported to have lived to be 256 years old, and it has been claimed he sipped a life elixir of he shou wu everyday. Though some claim this to be a legend, there is quite a bit of good ol’ fashioned science to back it up. He shou wu helps to delay the aging process by increasing the activity of SOD, or superoxide dismutase in the body’s cells. This basically helps to prevent your cells from oxidizing, so just like metal rusts, bodies age, and with the help of this powerful antioxidant, you will not only be protected from this process, but also from the free radicals and pollutants that interfere with optimal functioning of your cells. Also, he shou wu has been seen to inhibit MAO-B, a process that helps to boost dopamine in the brain, and it has been seen that MAO-B activity greatly increases as you age. Thus, being able to withhold MAO-B from gobbling up all that dopamine in your brain, you are not only enhancing your mood and lowering stress, but also delaying the aging process. Many controlled studies have shown he shou wu to prolong the lives in animals, and many people have lived longer to prove it! The extra bonus he shou wu has in store is its ability to maintain natural hair color or even reverse gray hair! This is one of the most popular uses of he shou wu, as one study in China showed 89% of the participants to have a portion of their gray hair return to natural color, and of that, 65% were fully recovered. It is important to keep in mind that this study was administered under daily consumption of the herb for several months, and avoiding heavily processed foods, exercising daily, and lowering stress levels are also important factors that could affect results.
Clearly yet another link to longevity is a strong immune system. He shou wu has high levels of iron and zinc, both of which have strengthening properties to the immune system. People are most commonly deficient in zinc. In fact, oysters are the highest known food source of zinc, and he shou wu exceeds that. Studies have shown he shou wu to enhance the immunological function of T and B-lymphocytes, and also an enlargement in the thymus glands of the mice test subjects. The thymus gland helps to not only produce the white blood cells that protect your body, but also do tune up on your lymph nodes. This gland grows till puberty, and then begins to shrink through old age. The upkeep of the thymus is also another key that supplements the longevity factor of this herb. He shou wu has been shown to not only inhibit atrophy of the thymus, but in one study, actually increased the weight of this gland in its test subjects.
Wu a Mate
He shou wu has been made famous by its legend due to the fact that a once impotent man was not only whirring with sexual desire after taking he shou wu, but then married and fathered nineteen children! Since this was uncovered over one thousand years ago, it has been vastly used to revitalize sex drive, increase sexual fluids in both men and women, and strengthen the sperm and ova. With the increased sustainable energy, preservation of hair color, increased longevity, and promised youthfulness, he shou wu truly runs all the bases to hitting that homerun.
Blood Building at its Finest
Unless you see an acupuncturist or holistic healer, the idea of building blood may not seem that high up on the list of health priorities. However, blood is extremely important to delivering nutrients to your cells throughout your body and carrying toxins out. Everything we eat and the air we breathe compromises the quality of our blood, which then allows toxins to remain in our bodies, most of the time getting stored in the fat cells of our bellies. He shou wu allows our body to build high quality blood and increase the circulation we need to move and store nutrients and cleanse out the toxins that enter daily, and with its high amounts of iron, it is not easily matched in this category. Although some may need it more than others, everyone can benefit from blood building. The truth is, most of us do not get enough iron in our diets, and if your body has been stagnating toxins within your belly fat, you may even be able to lose that when taking a strong blood builder such as he shou wu.
Rest Easy, Stress Free-sy
He shou wu is a powerful yin jing tonic, helping to restore sexual fluids, build blood and tonify the kidney and liver, but one of its most powerful attributes, is its calming effect on the nervous system. This does not mean it will make you tired, as in fact it is also taken to increase true energy within the body, but it has notable effects on easing the nervous system, inducing relaxation and a profound grounding. He shou wu’s magnificent levels of zinc also help to reduce stress and create an inner-calm. The high levels of MAO-B inhibitors mentioned earlier in the article also supplement this effect, as the mood-enhancement from the increased dopamine within your brain can provide great benefit for your nervous system. Ho Shou Wu is also something that strengthens the body’s functional reserves, that “battery pack” of deep, primordial energy that our body uses just to live. Since ho shou wu contains the Yin Jing, it also contains that foundational energy that we pull from all the time. It’s what nourishes, hydrates, and feeds the whole body, so we can run at our top efficiency by day, and close our eyes with content and rest easy by night.
*Also, important note- Hyperion Herbs provides a concentrated extract of PREPARED he shou wu. Always be sure you are getting a Prepared variety of this herb. Traditionally, he shou wu is prepared in black bean soup (10 parts herb, 1 part soup), to remove the strong laxative effect of unprepared he shou wu. Unprepared he shou wu moves through the body too quickly to benefit from all its wonderful attributes, including its tonifying of the kidney.
Ingredients: 16:1 Prepared He Shou Wu Extract*
Other Ingredients: None
Container Size: 4 oz. | 114 grams
Serving Size: 1/2 teaspoon which is about 2 grams
Serving Per Container: 57
Directions: Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon(more or less depending on your taste and experience level) to 8 oz of hot water. Mix and enjoy. This powder can also be added to smoothies, juices, and protein shakes. Lastly, you can just eat the powder right from the bag as it is a pure extract and ready to consume as is.