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Chinese whispers for your hairs

In traditional China (and much of modern China), herbs are known to be of high value for medicines. Several of the traditional Indian Ayurverdic herbs, such liquorice extract, fenugreek and lucidum ligustrum, have also been used for centuries by the Chinese.

He shou wu, also known as the fo ti herb, is a Chinese secret to healthy hair. The Chinese say that long-term use of this famous ‘longevity’ herb helps return an aging person to youthfulness.

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The Facts: He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

The literal translation of he shou wu is “black-haired Mr. He”. This refers to the Chinese legend where ‘Mr. He’ returned from living in the woods for some time and his grey hair had turned to black.

As it turned out, Mr. He had been consuming the fo ti herb to survive. Fo ti is known in China as the best herb to restore hair colour and nourish the skin, hair, teeth and nails. This popular Chinese herb is also used as a blood tonic for its cleansing effects.

Research of the plant’s compounds has found he shou wu to be a natural anti-androgen, and a testosterone and DHT reductant (see Hormone Havoc chapter). It can stop hair loss by helping block the conversion of testosterone into follicle-shrinking DHT.53

Treatment with he shou wu can also help increase the blood supply within hair follicles, which can help optimise hair growth.

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