He Shou Wu Extract
(That’s pronounced, “huh-show-woo”)
“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. Such findings suggest that He Shou Wu is helpful in combating some of the processes that lead to conditions characteristic of old age, thereby also reducing the risk of fatal diseases (e.g., cancer) and incidents (e.g., heart attack, stroke). Prepared He-Shou Wu was shown to have effects on the antioxidant system superoxide dismutase (SOD), and enhancement of cell-mediated immune responses” – Bensky, author of the Materia Medica
Benefits may include:
- Anti-aging and longevity properties
- Elimination or reduction of gray hair and restoration of natural color
- Yin jing tonic
- Blood building
- Increased fertility, sexual drive, and fluids
- Assistance in production of SOD
- Calming of the nervous system
- Tonifying of the kidney and liver functions
- Mood enhancement
Container Size: 4 oz. | 114 grams
Ingredients: Prepared Organic He Shou Wu Extract*
Other Ingredients: None
Suggested Serving Size: ½ teaspoon which is about 2 grams 1-2 x a day, or as directed by a health professional
Suggestions on usage: This powder can be added directly to smoothies, juices, and protein shakes. The flavor is actually one of the better ones, and would blend well with anything sweet, fruity, or savory. Vanilla undertones give it a versatile and fun base to work with. I use it often in dessert type preparations and love it!! It is already prepared and ready to consume as is- no heat or stewing necessary. Powdered extracts generally mix more easily in warmer temperatures, but a blender can be used to help incorporate the powder into cooler foods and beverages or simply to ensure a more thorough distribution.
*This is NOT merely ground up or powdered raw herb. This powder is a CONCENTRATED EXTRACT.
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 one of 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 was regained, 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, still had a full head of black hair.
Claim to Fame:
The defining factor that He Shou Wu possesses is its ability to maintain natural hair color and 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.
According to Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda, director of the Traditional Medicine Institute of Portland,
“Healthy hair depends on the sufficiency of blood stored in the liver. When the liver blood is deficient, it is unable to rise and nourish the head; the hair then turns gray or falls out. The health of the kidneys is expressed in the hair of the head, and graying or loss of hair is a sign of kidney deficiency. The teeth depend on the sufficiency of bone matter, which is governed by the kidneys. The kidneys also generate marrow, which is thought to keep the teeth in place; if the kidneys are deficient, the teeth will become loose and easily fall out.”
Yet another link to longevity is a strong immune system. He Shou Wu root has high levels of iron and zinc, both of which have strengthening properties to the immune system. Due to the quality of our food supply, people are most commonly deficient in zinc. Oysters are known as the highest food source of zinc, yet He Shou Wu easily exceeds it. Studies have shown He Shou Wu to enhance the immunological function of T and B-lymphocytes, and also enlarge the thymus glands in test subjects of mice. The thymus gland helps to produce white blood cells that protect the body, and perform regulation of the lymph nodes. Essentially, it is the master control switch of the entire immune system. This gland grows until puberty, and begins shrinking shortly after. The upkeep of the thymus is another key element that supplements the longevity and immunity factor of this herb. He Shou Wu has been shown to not only inhibit atrophy of the thymus, but actually increase the weight of it! This is something extremely rare and difficult to accomplish as there are very few substances known which can restore atrophy of the thymus.
Benefits of Blood Building
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 organs and connective tissues. In traditional Chinese medicine blood is considered the most yin fluid of the body and the mother of qi. This in short, translates to pure motherly nourishment for the mechanisms that produce energy (Think of it as a lubricating oil which keeps a machine running smoothly). A common pathological diagnosis within Chinese medicine is blood deficiency which not only relates to lack of blood, but lack of quality blood, and lack of blood circulation in the necessary organs and network vessels of the body. Some of the symptoms associated with blood deficiency can include greying or balding hair, anxiety with heart palpitations, dry skin, brittle nails/hair, floaters in vision, lack of menstrual cycle or shortened cycle, dizziness/vertigo, insomnia, dull headaches, constipation, fatigue, pale ghostlike complexion, stiffness/pain of the joints, and poor memory. For those exploring a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, this could be an especially important herb to supplement with. He Shou Wu allows our body to build quality blood, normalize circulation, cleanse out toxins and address the symptoms above. With its mountainous amounts of iron, it is not easily matched in its 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, so this particular facet of he shou wu could be potentially helpful for most people.
TCM INFO for Practitioners:
Pin Yin:He Shou Wu
Latin: Polygoni Multiflorum
Category: Tonify Blood
Properties: Bitter, Sweet, Astringent, Slightly Warm.
Channles Entered: Liver, Kidney
- Rebuilds the blood of the liver and kidneys and boosts essence. Valued as a tonic that does not stagnate qi or dry fluids. Used to treat prematurely greying hair, dizziness, blurry vision, anemia and weak or soar lower back or knees. May also be used to treat menstrual irregularities due to liver blood deficiency.
- Clears toxins from the skin: Used for abscesses, oozing sores, ulcers, scrofula and goiter.
- Moistens intestines used to treat constipation with dry stool associated with blood and fluid deficiency
- Treats Malarial disorder. With heat signs with yin or blood deficiency.
- Treats Cardiac Conditions: Used to lower serum cholesterol levels, reduce Atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure and treat angina and CAD.
Bensky, Materia Medica 3rd Edition.