The tuber or He shou wu

WHAT IS He Shou Wu?

He shou wu or a tuber bulkhead is a wild root which grows in the mountainous regions of southern and central China, also found in Japan and Taiwan. We can also call it Fo-ti, Fo-Ti-Teng or Chinese dress. It refers to a vine with small leaves and long branches. The root in shape resembles the human body.

It’s an ancient Chinese herb. The bulb is used in Asia for centuries. It is considered the most important herb in their culture. The first records of its use date back to the 7th century, the Tang Dynasty period, and in traditional Chinese medicine it was used as a natural aid in many health problems. Its healing heritage has survived to this day, and modern medicine has only deepened the knowledge of its use and healing effects.


In Chinese, it means “black-haired Mr. He”, since, according to the village legend, Mr He was initially weak, frail and grey, and when the medicinal plant was ingested he was supposed to have miraculously returned to his youthful vitality, and at the same time his hair returned to a glistening black.


In traditional Chinese medicine, the tuber is used as a means of avoiding the signs of ageing, in conjunction with the functions of the liver and kidneys.

It belongs to the class of super-tonic herbs, which means that the tuber snack, simultaneously, soothes and gives energy. It is very mild sedative, so it calms the nervous system and It’s also a powerful antioxidant.

It is used in particular for the protection and strengthening of the two main cleansing organs – the liver and the kidneys. In the case of defects and illnesses, the latter are the main reasons for various disease states and premature ageing. He shou wu, due to the high level of two important minerals – zinc and iron, both supports growth and improves the quality of red blood cells, thereby reducing fat deposits on these purifying organs.

It promotes the protection of cells against DNA damage, which further contributes to the slowing down of ageing processes and inhibits the development of various diseases.

It maintains brain functions and improves the ability to learn and memorize.

In 2010, Chinese scientists from the Hunan University conducted a study involving 209 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and found that the He shou wu extract was 30 per cent better than piracetam, with no adverse effects.

It helps maintain the strength and stability of the joints. As well as maintaining youthful sexual power, a higher sperm count in men and helps in the health of women’s ovaries.

It promotes the production of an extremely important SOD (superoxide dismutase) enzyme which, by its antioxidant action, transforms free radicals into harmless molecules and protects cells against DNA damage, which contributes to the slowing down of ageing processes and the emergence of various diseases. Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme present in practically all aerobic cells and extracellular liquids. Its main task is to catalyse the decomposition of the superoxide anion to hydrogen peroxide because the cells of the immune system produce reactive oxygen molecules and free radicals. (H2O2, OH., O2-.) That can escape control, and therefore has an important antioxidant role in almost all cells exposed to oxygen. Its task is also to change free radicals into harmless molecules. It neutralizes them very quickly, because it is very effective. Research has shown that it helps protect many different cells, which is important for slower aging. Protects against DNA damage, harmful effects of ionizing radiation, and damage to lipids and proteins. In our youth, the enzyme is enough in the body; at the age of 40, we have only half of it. This is mainly due to polluted air, water and even polluted electromagnetic fields. If we add an unhealthy lifestyle and stress, there are many free radicals on the work that can cause us to get sick.

It also works against the pain in the knees and lower part of the spine, while strengthening the muscles and bones. It improves the immune system and Improves circulation. It is also suitable for prevention against cancerous diseases.



The tuber bulb is characterized by a high level of iron, which is ideal for cleansing and strengthening the blood as well as the prevention of anemia. The iron content is also important for the production of energy, the exercise of muscle functions and the normal functioning of the blood circulation.


The content of zinc is extremely high – a bulb weighing 100 g contains as much as 42 g. So, it is ideal for people who do not eat enough foods high in zinc. This is important for cellular metabolism, the performance of certain neurological functions, a healthy immune system, muscle growth and reproductive function. Zinc supports the metabolism of testosterone and increases the quality of sperm.


Seen as the tuber is a good source of lecithin, it is recommended for patients with neurological diseases, since lecithin is useful for the brain and for performing cognitive brain functions. In addition, it is an integral part of lecithin inositol, which has a beneficial effect on the preservation of healthy blood pressure and the recommended low cholesterol levels.


The positive effects of the tuber pond are most felt by the liver. These, however, are the main body in which hydrogen peroxide can be accumulated as a by-product of stress, which is considered one of the main causes of hair scarring. The latter indirectly obstructs melanocytes in the scalp by making melanin-hair pigment. The tuber promotes the production of an enzyme in the liver, which decomposes hydrogen peroxide, and studies show that the hair begins to gain its natural colour after just a few months of consuming the plant. The hair should not be acquired solely by the natural colouration, but also with a noticeable strengthening of the hair roots and the remaining length of the hair. South Korean scientists presented a study in 2013 that showed that the use of the extract strengthens hair roots and hair and encourages the growth of new hair in baldness.

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