Fo-Ti describes the American marketing name for the Chinese herb He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum). The root (tuber) of this native Chinese plant is the part used medicinally. Both raw fo-ti and cured fo-ti are available and used medicinally as "tonics".
Fo-ti is cured with a black soybean broth, heated for several hours. This curing gives the fo-ti product different chemical compositions and properties and somewhat different uses. Both raw and cured fo-ti contains anthraquinones, although curing removes much of these. Other constituents include lecithins, sitosterol, catechins, cyanidins, calcium (2225ppm), iron, zinc and large amounts of starch.
Studies using fo-ti have focused on the following areas: Antiaging effects, immunologic effects, hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic effects, liver protectant effects, resistance to colds, antimicrobial, laxative and others. True fo-ti should not be confused with other mixtures called Fo-Ti, which do not contain Polygonum multiflorum.