He Shou Wu | Polygonum multiflorum

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He Shou Wu

£5.00 50g           

He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

He Shou Wu herb (Polygonum multiflorum) - dried root

Polygonum multiflorum

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.

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He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

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).

Main Constituents

  • anthraquinone
  • tanins
  • phospholipids, such as lecithin
  • reputed to be rich in trace minerals
  • tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside, may be the primary active ingredient


  • nervine tonic
  • antioxidant
  • anti ageing
  • lowers cholesterol
  • bitter

Main Uses

  • Neurasthenia, especially with insomnia
  • Weak connective tissue
  • Premature ageing
  • Tinnitus, dizziness and blurred vision
  • tonic for the elderly

(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.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.

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