He shou wu is a Chinese tonic herb jam-packed with antioxidants. As a yin tonic, it can calm the nervous system and support mood and feelings of wellbeing. In celebration of stocking my new and improved 20:1 Organic He Shou Wu Extract, I thought I’d discuss some of my favorite benefits I’ve enjoyed from taking he shou wu over the years.
In an effort to blend classical wisdom and modern insight on this incredible herb, I want to discuss why he shou wu was traditionally revered for building the quality of the blood (and how this concept manifests externally), as well as what recent science says about he shou wu’s effects on dopamine levels.
Lastly, I’ll cover what to look for when selecting he shou wu products, and how to find he shou wu of optimal potency.
Build your blood with He Shou Wu
Quality blood is extremely important for feeling grounded, nourished, and calm. Many people don’t realize that the quality of the blood manifests itself externally - most prominently in the hair, nails, skin and eyes. Thick hair, strong nails, glowing skin and vital, lively eyes are a reflection of high-quality blood and the circulation of that blood in one’s body.
If, on the other hand, an individual’s hair is thin, and their skin, face, and eyes are lifeless and ghost-like, this is often a sign that the quality of blood and circulation can stand to be improved. Even somewhat subtler qualities such as fast, excessive, ungrounded speech, and frenzied, unbalanced movement can sometimes be reflective of malnourished blood.
When it comes to herbal strategies for improving the blood, he shou wu is truly in a class of its own. It is a particularly valuable blood builder for those pursuing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, as many blood-building foods are animal-based. When a person doesn’t possess nutrient-rich blood to ground their nervous system, the yang energy rises, often making people irritable and grumpy. As a yin tonic, he shou wu can help ground the nervous system by supporting the blood and liver.
Support mood and dopamine levels
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. Healthy dopamine levels help control our brain’s reward and pleasure centers. But dopamine also plays a number of more subtle roles in the mind and body, like helping to regulate movement and emotional responses, and enabling us to see rewards and take the actions necessary to achieve them. In short, dopamine is an important neurotransmitter with a variety of functions.
The problem is that many people’s dopamine is out of whack for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, this is a result of continually flooding the brain with dopamine and feelings of pleasure/reward even though nothing has actually been achieved. This is done through a variety of unhealthy behaviors, but some examples are a very rich or sugary diet, excessive masturbation/exposure to pornography, or overconsumption of intoxicants like marijuana or alcohol.
Aside from these behaviors, there are also enzymes in the body that can slowly inhibit our dopamine levels over time. One such enzyme is MAO-B. This is where he shou wu comes in, because he shou wu is actually the greatest inhibitor of MAO activity.
The primary benefit of he shou wu’s MAO-B inhibition is an up-regulation of dopamine. Levels of MAO-B increase with age, resulting in a dopamine decline. As stated earlier, dopamine is vital for things like mood, growth hormone release, sexual function, and even coordination. Regularly taking he shou wu may help to inhibit MAO and preserve healthy dopamine levels, just one of many examples of he show wu’s profound protection against degeneration and the aging process.
How to get the most potent He Shou Wu
He shou wu products range from the bulk raw herb, to liquid tinctures, encapsulated ground herb, and concentrated powdered extracts. The most potent and effective way to enjoy He Shou Wu is as a powdered concentrated extract. This is because this particular delivery medium allows for the most active constituents to be delivered in the least space and in the most digestible form. Herbal extracts will have a ratio of 6:1, 8:1, or 16:1. An 8:1 ratio, for example, would mean that eight or more pounds of whole herb have been concentrated into one pound of extract.
The New and Improved Hyperion Herbs He Shou Wu Extract is a 20:1 dual extract of Organic He Shou Wu. This means 20 pounds of high quality He Shou Wu have been concentrated into a single pound of extract. This powdered extract tastes delicious and can easily be added to smoothies, juices, protein shakes, and any other blended drinks.
Make sure to pick up some he shou wu here!