He Shou Wu herb (Polygonum multiflorum) - dried root
4 - 8g per day divided into 2 doses, with food.
Can have a laxative effect if used to excess or with people prone to diarrhoea. Should not be taken in combination with hepatotoxic drugs such as paracetemol.
He Should Wu is a traditional remedy used in Chinese medicine. It is a classed as a mild tonic herb with minimal chronic toxicity. In english it is known as Flowery Knotweed Root or “Black Haired Mr. He”. The latter refers to a story from the year 812, when a 56 year old, heirless, silver-haired Mr. He fathered a son and regained a youthful complexion along with a head of strong, black hair after eating this root as a vegetable for a whole year (Jade Remedies, Peter Holmes 1997).
(Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs, Kerry Bone 1996)
There has recently been some concern over combing high doses of He Shou Wu with known hepatotoxic drugs, such as paracetemol. This has largely been the result of animal studies. For further information on this there is an interesting article in Nature Magazine with downloadable links to references.
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