Fo-Ti / Chinese Knotweed has many uses, including insomnia, muscle tone health, hormone health, and dizziness with associated tinnitus. Discover some of the research behind these uses here.
Common Names: Fo-Ti; Ho-Shou-Wu; Chinese Knotweed (Polygonum multiflorum)
Ayurvedic medicine. Parts used: roots (processed).
Fo-Ti Benefits: My Experience:
I found Fo-Ti when looking up natural remedies for dizziness, and this herb didn’t disappoint! Fo-Ti is said to be comparable to Panax Ginseng – an herb that has been amazing for my health in many ways, including reducing brain fog. I’ve noticed increased endurance and less muscle soreness after hard work when on Fo-Ti once daily. I’ve also noticed my back pain isn’t as intense with this herb, but I still have to work on my biomechanics to fully help back and knee pain issues (I tend to roll onto the outside of my feet, causing about 90% of my back pain issues!).
I’ve also had improvements with dizzy spells, and I use this as an additional supplement for hormone health, on top of rehmannia and black cohosh. Overall, this is a powerful herb, but take care with this (and all herbs) so that you don’t overdose and go too long without breaks.
Common Dosages For Fo-Ti:
Recommended serving size on Bulk Supplements packaging is 2,000 mg daily. Mountain Rose Herbs packaging states serving size is 1 teaspoon or 4.17g of organic Fo-Ti root powder. I use 1/4 teaspoon daily, which is approximately 1/2 the Bulk Supplements serving and 1/4 the Mountain Rose Herb serving. I have gone up to 1/2 teaspoon for short durations if I need extra muscle healing support.
Aches and pains: This herb does seem to help me with my chronic back and knee pain, but it can’t override biomechanical error (I tend to roll my ankles out). Coupled with working on my biomechanics, I’ve had really good results with completely stopping my knee and back pain, but I can’t spend too much time leaning over without some back pain. That said, my back pain disappears and my core strength improves when I’m doing yoga or jogging.
Muscle strength and soreness: since switching to 1/4 tsp of powder per day (mixed in my morning tea), I’ve noticed that I’m building strength a bit easier and suffering with less muscle inflammation. Now if I overwork myself, it only takes 1-2 days to get through lactic acid rather than a full week! Coupled with Cissus Quadrangularis, my muscles and tendons are the best they’ve been in years!
Dizziness and tinnitus: I’ve had serious tinnitus issues since I was a kid. Vertigo started in my teens, and in my 30’s I started suffering with dizzy spells that caused falls. I still have bad tinnitus and vertigo if I’m standing on heights, but the dizzy spells have drastically improved on my herbal regimen. They’ve improved even more so with the daily addition of this herb.
Fo-Ti / Chinese Knotweed For Horses and Pets:
My horse has a muscle disorder, and I’ve used this herb in very small amounts on occasion for muscle support for him. I’ve given approximately 600mg on occasion when he has more days off than he should, as days off can sometimes lead to muscle issues for him (stiffness, spasms, tying up). I can’t say one way or the other whether Fo-Ti has had an effect, especially in such a small amount. I can say he’s done well with days off while getting this supplement – but he was fairly well managed before trying this herb.
As always, take care when adding herbal supplements to an animal’s ration – they can’t always tell us when something doesn’t agree with them!
Get new posts sent directly to your inbox!
Historical Uses For Fo-Ti / Chinese Knotweed:
Historical uses that I’ve found through herbal study, backed up with scientific research:
- Aches and pains, including back ache and knee joint pain
- Blood tonic*; blood fat reduction
- Dizziness 1
- “…being one of the most famous Chinese herbs to treat several diseases and medical conditions including dizziness with tinnitus…”
- Dizziness 1
- Lower cholesterol levels 1
- Endocrine gland tonic*
- Energy rejuvenation
- Hormonal health
- Hypertension reduction
- Immune system tonic*
- Liver tonic* 1
- Muscle tone
- Neurasthenia (dictionary definition: an ill-defined medical condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance)
- Red blood cell count increase
- Sedative effects
* Tonics are defined as herbs that strengthen and tone body parts and specific organs.
Side Effects With Fo-Ti / Chinese Knotweed:
Care should be taken with Fo-Ti, as it can harm the liver. Side effects include digestive issues and lowering of potassium levels leading to muscle weakness. In large quantities it can affect the liver. This herb may affect blood sugar levels and ability to clot – it is recommended to remove it from your herbal regimen 2 weeks before a surgery.
Interactions / Contraindication:
Can interact with Digoxin and any medication changed by the liver including ibuprofen (can decrease how quickly the liver breaks down these medications). Diabetes medication, diuretics, and stimulant laxatives may interact. See WebMD for more interactions
Where To Purchase Fo-Ti:
Note: I earn a commission on some links, at no cost to you. Purchasing through these links is a great way to support this site!
Bulk Supplements’ Fo-Ti has no sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, or other additives. This is the company I use for pea protein, and bulk herbs in larger amounts, etc. Some of my herbs, like cissus quadrangularis, can be found here when MRH doesn’t carry them.
Research Articles About Fo-Ti:
- Review of Clinical Studies of Polygonum multiflorum – Mounting pharmacological studies have stressed out its key benefice for the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions such as liver injury, cancer, diabetes, alopecia, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases… Various clinical studies published articles were retrieved, providing information relevant to pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics analysis, sleep disorders, dyslipidemia treatment, and neurodegenerative diseases. This review is an effort to update the clinical picture of investigations ever carried on PMT and/or its isolated bio-compounds and to enlighten its therapeutic assessment.
Luísa Schetinger on Unsplash