Examining Fo-Ti's Benefits for Reversing Gray Hair

Fo-Ti is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy derived from the root of polygonum multiflorum, a climbing plant native to China, now also widely grown in Taiwan and Japan. It is available in two forms: as unprocessed white Fo-Ti and processed red Fo-Ti, the red variety being considered the stronger of the two. Fo-Ti has been used in China for thousands of years as a longevity tonic under the name He Shou Wu (black haired Mr. He). This name refers to the 9th century legend of an old villager named Mr. He who took Fo-Ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality and managed to father his first children at the age of 60. He lived to 130, maintaining his black hair. Other health benefits attributed to Fo-Ti root include its ability to reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and thus protect against heart diseases; its ability to rejuvenate endocrine glands, which strengthens the body; its anti-cancer properties, sedative effects and ability to improve mental health; plus its ability to enhance the memory and beneficial effects on female fertility.

The properties that have attracted the attention of hair care product manufacturers are those related to Fo-Ti's assumed ability to counteract premature aging processes (such as reversing gray hair) and maximize the length of hair growth cycles. Therefore, Fo-Ti can be now found as a principal active ingredient in many herbal/natural remedies for reversing gray hair and stopping hair loss. But none of these benefits has ever been confirmed in any clinical study. The empirical evidence of Fo-Ti's positive effects on human hair seems to mainly consist of references to the legend of Mr. He from the 9th century A.D. The current consumer reports are mixed at best and the personal experience of the author of this review with using Fo-Ti to reverse his gray hair is negative. The most frequently reported side effects include digestive problems, diarrhoea and allergic reactions. Fo-Ti should not be digested by pregnant and breast feeding women or children. Nonetheless, being one of the main healing plants of traditional Chinese medicine, Fo-Ti may possess various other health benefits not directly related to hair and, therefore, it could be used successfully to improve your overall health.

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