Traditional and Scientific Properties of He Shou Wu


He Shou Wu is commonly known by the Western nickname, Fo-Ti root. This is given during the 1970’s and became its most common name in the traditional Chinese medicine. It is literally translated as: “staying black color of Mr. He’s hair”. This article will discuss the potential properties of this herb that are essential for one’s health especially when he gets older.

The Traditional Properties of He Shou Wu

He Shou Wu is the premier anti-aging and tonic herb that can be taken every day to increase one’s longevity potential. It is bitter, sweet, astringent and a bit warming. It helps in strengthening the internal organs such as the kidney meridians and liver. It increases one’s energy levels although it is not considered as a stimulant. As a matter of fact, it’s a Jing herb that slightly sedates when used as a sedative. It is considered as one of the top fertility medicines and it also helps men and women’s sexual power to stay longer, which all other tonic herbs do.

It is also known to treat premature hair graying. Legends and folklores have varied versions on how its Chinese name came out as an herbal adaptogen. One popular version described that General He committed a crime and was given a death sentence that detained him to a cell under the ground with zero access to water and food.

After one year of imprisonment, when executioners were about to remove his remains, they were shocked to find out that he had survived the death sentence with a complete rejuvenation – reversing his gray hair to its natural black color. They discovered that the Fo-Ti root that grew in the cell walls’ crevices was responsible for General He’s rejuvenation.

The Scientific Properties:

The Fo-Ti root, when prepared, is known to have these effects as shown in human and animal studies: anti-pyretic, anti-tumor, anti-progestational, sedative, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, vasodilatory, hypotensive and decreases blood coagulation. Prepared and raw Fo-Ti roots are considered in the traditional Chinese medicine as 2 different herbs. Raw Fo-Ti root shows the absence of tonic effects and only possesses strong laxative properties.

The prepared version of this herb is proven to give the strongest, most beneficial effects in humans and animals. According to studies, Fo-Ti root has the ability to increase the basic immunological functions of human and mice. He Shou Wu also increases the thymus gland’s weight and delays its decline as people age.

Herbs and Nutriceuticals to Improve Eyesight

The eye reacts to light and it can recognize myriads of colors of about 10 million. The eye is composed of three layers. The first one is the cornea and sclera. The second one is the uvea which includes the iris. The last one is the retina; it is the part of the eyes that is responsible for light perception, depth perception, and color differentiation. The retina is very dynamic and it can easily adjust its exposure with the eye movement.

The horizontal field of view of an eye is almost 180 degrees and the rotation of the eyeball is almost 90 degrees. The movements of the eye are controlled by six muscles. Each muscle exerts different tensions to make the eye turn. Inability to make proper eye movements can lead to serious visual problems.

The eye is a very complex organ that needs utmost care and attention. Otherwise, it can lead to poor eyesight, diseases, and other visual disabilities.

Common eye problems are:

1. Eye irritation

Irritation of the eye is a common problem of people, both young people and adults. It is characterized by stinging, burning, and other irritating sensations in the eye. Visible signs of irritation include itching, grating, dryness, redness, discomfort, soreness, swollen eyelids, and pain.

2. Eye diseases

  • Prybyopia – This disease is related to aging. As the person ages, the size of the pupil is reduced. Less light reception causes loss of focus.

  • Floaters – This is a disease wherein there is a white ring on the edge of the cornea.

  • Cataracts – They are opacities in the lens of the eye.

  • Glaucoma – This disease is a result of a pressure build-up in the optic nerve and can cause tunnel vision and blindness.

  • Myopia – This disorder is also known as near-sightedness.

  • Hyperopia – This disorder is also known as far-sightedness.

  • Astigmatism – This is a disorder wherein the eyes have different focus.

  • Macular degeneration – This is an age-related disease brought about by the reduction of zeaxanthin and lutein within the macula. These two are antioxidants that help protect the eye from light waves.

Improving eyesight can be achieved by taking care of the health of the eyes. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for good eyesight but most of the time, this approach is not enough. It is therefore important to add the following herbs and nutraceuticals to your health regimen:

1. Herbs

  • Bilberry – The extracts of the berry and the leaves are rich in anthocyanins which are antioxidants that protect the retina. It is a good defense against glaucoma and cataract because it improves blood circulation.

  • Gingko – It is recommended for people with glaucoma because the extracts are known to be effective in promoting better blood flow to the back of the eye. It has a high amount of antioxidants that protect the nerve cells in the eyes.

  • Green tea – It is packed with polyphenol which shields the retina from ultraviolet rays and prevents retinal cell damage. It is a suitable treatment for almost all kinds of eye diseases.

  • Coleus – The roots of this herb are rich in forskolin, a chemical that reduces eye pressure by helping lessen the production of fluid in the eye. It is recommended for the treatment of glaucoma.

  • Euphrasia – This herb is effective in strengthening the cells in the eyes. It has antibacterial properties that are an efficient treatment for conjunctivitis and other eye irritation. It is also used for treating inflammation of the eyes and eye fatigue.

  • Grapeseed – Its extract enhances the blood circulation in the eyes. It also helps the retina cells become stronger. It is ideal for preventing and treating cataracts.

  • Passionflower – The extract of this herb contains chemicals that have calming effects. It relieves and soothes tired and strained eyes. It also helps prevent eye irritation.

  • Asphalatus – It is used for maintaining good eye health. It is used topically to treat eye irritation and to soothe eye strain. It is known to be very effective in treating glaucoma and macular degeneration.

2. Nutraceuticals

  • Lutein – It is a carotenoid vitamin and seen as a pigment in the eye. It acts a light filter and protects the eyes from UV rays. It is used to prevent the onset of retinitis, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

  • Zeaxanthin – It is a carotenoid that is deposited in the center of the macula. It is essential in sharpening the central vision and maintaining visual acuity. It is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces glare and prevents absorption of UV rays.

  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene – This supplement strengthens the eyes and improves their overall health.

  • Vitamin C – This supplement works hand in hand with vitamin A. It greatly reduces the risk of cataract.

  • Vitamin E – This supplement helps slow down macular degeneration.

  • Omega3 – This fatty acids help prevent dryness in the eyes.