Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Story Behind He Shou Wu – Youth Elixir and Sexual Prowest


He shou Wu had been one of those herbs that had been widely promoted as the elixir of youth and sexual prowest. Much had been written about it’s ability to darken one’s hair and at the same time increased the person’s sexual ability – including fathering children at an old age.

Due to it’s popularity the price of this humble herbs had been sold at outrageous and obscene prices by many distributors online. The price of this herb is actually very cheap.

The many claims made in product advertisements had also been misleading and it is important for us to know what we are buying.

There are 2 types of He Shou Wu and each with it’s own distinctive properties and uses. The two are :

Zhì héshǒuwū ( 制何首乌) or processed He Shou Wu and Shēng héshǒuwū (生何首乌) or Raw He Shou Wu .

a. Shēng héshǒuwū (生何首乌) or Raw He Shou Wu

Taste : bitter and astringent
Temperature : neutral.
Meridian Entered : liver, heart and large intestine channels.

Actions i. Moistens the Intestines and unblocks the bowels

Indications :

Constipation due to Blood Deficiency

Actions ii. Relieves Fire Toxin

Indications :

Fire toxin carbuncles, sores, scrofula, goiter and neck lumps (Chuang Yung)

Actions iii. Checks malarial disorders

Indications :

Malarial disorders with Qi and Blood Deficiency

b. Zhì héshǒuwū ( 制何首乌) or processed He Shou Wu

Taste : bitter and sweet.
Temperature : warming.
Meridian Entered : liver and kidney channels.

Actions i. Tonifies the Liver and Kidneys, nourishes the Blood and nourishes Jing

Indications :

Blood Deficiency with dizziness, blurred vision, insomnia and premature                     graying of the hair

Yin Deficiency with lower back and knee weakness and pain, soreness of                     the extremities, nocturnal emissions and insomnia

Jing Deficiency (probably due to excessive sex)

Actions ii : Expels Wind from the skin by nourishing the Blood

Indications :

Wind-Rash due to Blood Deficiency


If you are looking for he shou wu elixir of youth TONICS then you should be looking for the Zhi He Shou Wu. In this regard you also have to be careful.

A number of sellers of pills CLAIMED that he shou wu extracts (5:1 or 10:1 extracts) are zhi he shou wu. That is not correct. Zhi he shou wu is processed through the use of Black soya bean juice. This juice is obtained by slow boiling black soya bean in water for 4 hours twice. Raw he shou wu is then soaked in this juice and steamed or doubled boil until the he shou wu is dried.

The processed or zhi he shou wu is a bit more expensive then the raw or sheng he shou wu.

So Buyers Beware.

Modern Research Findings on He Shou Wu.

Zhi He Shou Wu is a whole body adaptogen that helps rejuvenate the body, balance yin and yang, increase vital essence primarily to the kidney and liver systems, fertility, and guard against premature ageing and greying. It is also said to be calming and stabilising effect to the heart and nervous system with energy-building effects that accumulate with use.

The good news is that modern science has revealed some mechanisms of its anti-ageing effects. One top candidate is He Shou Wu’s ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase or MAO-B, which is associated with the onset of geriatric senility. The primary benefit of MAO-B inhibition is an upregulation of dopamine, which declines with age and is vital for mood, growth hormone release, sexual function, and coordination.

Raw He Shou Wu is less adaptogenic, but is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, detoxifier, hepatic and a laxative.

a. He shou wu powder can lower the blood cholesterol, triglyceride, b-lipoprotein (LDL) of high lipid animals. They were lowered by 89%, 42%, and 54% respectively. The triglyceride of the liver was lowered by 52%.

b. The ingredient of he shou wu, 2,3,5,4′-tetrahydroxystibene-2O-b-D-glucoside possesses a strong inhibiting effect on fatty liver formation, and liver damage of rats caused by oxidized corn oil. It also inhibits the elevation of serum ALT, AST and lipid peroxydation (LPO), and the damaging of the liver.

c. He shou wu can lower serum free fatty acid and lipid peroxydation.

d. In vitro studies showed that he shou wu can protect liver, anti- fatty liver formation because it can inhibit lipid oxidation and the destruction of liver cells.

e. He shou wu is being used improve the function of the liver, in fatty liver, and in viral hepatitis.

f. Among the the 4 different kinds of prepared he shou wu, raw he shou wu possesses the strongest property in eliminating free radicals. The strength of the different preparations in eliminating free radicals is in the the following order: raw he shou wu, soy bean prepared he shou wu, steamed he shou wu, and soy plus alcohol prepared he shou wu.


Dosage and Uses

Both the raw and processed He shou Wu could be taken by itself but like all herbs we need to know what are some of it’s limitations.

There are some contraindications of this herb that we need to be aware of.


a. Those with Spleen Deficiency.
Symptoms :

poor appetite, weight loss, fullness and sleepiness after eating, and loose                        stools.

And more serious cases :

cold hands and feet, edema, a desire for warm food and drinks, abdominal                    discomfort after eating cold food, and diarrhea with undigested food in the                  stools
b. Those with Phlegm or Dampness.

Phlegm symtoms :

coughing, asthma, obesity, clogged arteries, chronic nausea and constipation                or sticky stools, dizziness, poor focus, depression and manic behaviour.

Dampness symptoms :

sensation of fullness in the chest, epigastric distention, difficult and scanty                   urination, and hesitant and viscous stools. Pathogenic dampness impairs                       spleen yang that leads to distention and fullness in the epigastrium and                         abdomen, poor appetite, loose stools and generalized edema.

c. Those with diarrhea or loose stools.

d. Do not take with onions, chives, turnips or garlic.

Spleen deficiencies, phlegm and dampness all had different causes and the beauty of traditional chinese medicine is that if one herb is proved to be useful for one aspect of our body’s disharmony it’s affects could be mitigated against other deficiencies. In this way we can enjoy many of the benefits of a particular herb without compromising other conditions.

He Shou Wu is generally regarded as safe for long-term use, with no known toxicity in children, pregnant or nursing women. However, excessive use can cause numbness in the hands and feet. The raw root can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and nausea due to laxative effect.

Below are some examples of uses and the principle of mitigating the herbs limitations by combining with other herbs. These are given for reference and education only. The dosages are not included as you would need to consult your physician before taking any of these combinations.

However there is a bonus tonic recipe that can be taken by almost everyone at the end of this post.

Major Combinations for zhi He Shou Wu

Fr. Lycii Gou Qi Zi
Fr. Psoraliae Bu Gu Zhi
Sm. Cuscutae Tu Si Zi

Weak and sore back and knees, dizziness, blurred vision, spermatorrhea, vaginal discharge, and premature graying of hair due to Kidney and Liver Deficiency.

Bu Gu Zhi and Tu Si Zi mitigate against spleen deficiencies. Spleen deficiencies could also lead to phlegm and dampness as well.

Hb. Taxilli Sang Ji Sheng
Fr. Ligustri Lucidi Nu Zhen Zi
Rx. Achyranthis Bidentatae Niu Xi

Dizziness, blurred vision, and numbness of the extremities due to Liver Blood Deficiency. Sang Ji Sheng will mitigate against wind-dampness if those symptoms exist as well. Add in Sm. Sesame Nigrum ( Hei Zhi Ma) it will be a good combination for pre-matured greying of hair.

Not suitable for those with diarrhea due to spleen deficiency.

Hb Siegesbeckiae Xi Xian Cao
Fr. Mori Sang Shen
Cx. Eucommiae Du Zhong

Dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus, and achy, numb extremities due to Kidney and Liver Deficiency.

Xi Xian Cao will mitigate against wind-dampness symptoms.

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis Dang Gui
Rx. Paeoniae Alba Bai Shao

Irregular menstruation and uterine bleeding from exhausted Liver and Kidneys.

Rx. Sophorae Flavescentis Ku Shen
Cx. Dictamni Bai Xian Pi
Hb. Schizonepetae Jing Jie

Itching due to Wind-Rash due to Blood Deficiency. Ku Shen drys dampness and clear heat. Bai Xian Pi and Jing Jie supports zhi he shou wu function.

Major Combinations for Sheng He Shou Wu

Rx. Angelicae Sinensis Dang Gui
Sm. Sesame Nigrum Hei Zhi Ma

Constipation due to dry Intestines from Blood Deficiency. Dang Gui helps to alleviate symptoms from chronic wind-dampness and tonify blood at the same time.

Rx. Scrophulariae Xuan Shen
Fr. Forsythiae Lian Qiao

Scrofula, abscesses, and other toxic swellings.

Rx. Saposhnikoviae Fang Feng
Flos Lonicerae Jin Yin Hua
Rx. Sophorae Flavescentis Ku Shen

Damp-Heat Wind toxin with pus pockets all over the body that seep yellow fluid. Fang Feng expels wind-dampness and Ku-Shen dry dampness.


Radix Polygoni Multiflori zhi He Shou Wu 何首烏      8 g
tonify liver & kidney , nourishes blood and jing,

Rx. Ginseng Ren Shen 人參                                               2 g
tonify stomach qi, spleen qi, lung qi, heart qi

Rx. Dioscoreae Shan Yao 山藥                                            8 g
tonify spleen qi, lung qi, kidney yin, stomach yin

Fr. Lycii Gou Qi Zi 枸杞子                                                    4 g
tonify yin , blood , jing – lung, liver , kidney

Rx. Rehmanniae Preparata Shu Di Huang 熟地黄           8 g
Nourishes blood, liver and kidney yin, jing – enters marrow

Ganoderma Ling Zhi 靈芝                                                    2 g
tonify heart qi, lung qi, nourishes heart blood,

Rx. Chuanxiong Chuan Xiong 川芎                                     4 g
invigorates blood and promotes movement of qi

This combination had been called longevity herbal formula. It is a great tonic for those 40+ . It basically covers all the zang fu yin organs. It also covers the qi, blood, jing and shen. Shen comes under the heart qi. Also good for those with weak constitution or are recovering from a major ailment. One of the more pronounce effects would be an increase in sexual function. It is well-known in TCM that our health correlated well with our sexuality. Our sense of well-being will also correspondingly improve.

If we were to work, eat , rest and love sensibly this tonic will help us remain healthy for a long time.

The above tonic could be decocted from 3 bowls to 1 bowl. Repeat with 2 bowls boil down to 1 bowl. The 2 bowls of liquid could be mixed together and then drink 1 bowl a day . Tonics should always be taken in the morning after meal.

Whenever we consume any medication or herbs long term we should take a periodic break otherwise toxicity will set in at some point. This is to allow the body to metabolise the active ingredients. If not these active ingredients could accumulate to a level that can be toxic. While all these herbs are from the “emperor” category where toxicity is very low and mild we still need to take periodic breaks.

For this formula taking a 2 day break every 5 days of consuming the herbs would be a good plan.

Happy , healthy and peaceful living .


Clinical Manifestation

Common to ALL Eczema


For Chronic Case:

a. Red, scaly, rough, thickened skin (lichenification) which is
dry and sometimes fissured

b. Desquamation (skin peeling)

c. Pigment sedimentation

d. Distinct borders

e. Frequent severe itching

f. Frequent acute flare ups

g. Lesions frequently appear on the face, behind the auricles
of the ears, shanks or on the scrotum

h. Lesions may appear anywhere

Herbs for Making Wash

Ku Shen                  苦参           30g
Sang Ye                   桑叶           30g
She Chang Pu       石菖蒲        15g
Huang Bai             黄柏            15g
Shan Dou Gen       山豆根       15g

Put all the herbs into a ceramic pot and add 1.5 litre of water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for at least half an hour with the pot covered.

Filter and cool the decoction until comfortable to touch, preferably warm and wash affected areas.

We sell the above herbs. We also provide a service of decoction and then dehydrating it. We then powderised it and placed in a tea bag. All you needed to do is just to add hot water without the need to boil.


Clinical Manifestation

Common to ALL Eczema


For Acute Case:

a. Lesions appear abruptly on the interior aspects of the four
extremities (cubital and popliteal creases)

b. They may affect the face and neck

c. They can appear on the dorsal aspect of the hands and
feet and scrotum

d. There is erythema

e. They may appear as bright red and swollen plaques with
papules or pustules, vesicles or watery blisters

f. There is suppuration which eventually form scabs

g. Two or three types of lesions may present simultaneously

h. The border is always indistinct

i. They are intensely itchy

j. Acute lesions are often confused with contact dermatitis

Herbs for Making Compress

Ku Shen              苦参              30g
Huang Bai          黄柏             30g
Bai Xian Pi          白鲜皮         15g
Cang Zhu             苍术             15g
Gan Cao               甘草             30g

Put all the herbs into a ceramic pot and add 2 litre of water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for at least half an hour with the pot covered.

Filter and cool the decoction until room temperature.

Use a cotton cloth or a bandage and soak it in the decoction. Squeeze and then place the compress over the area and gently tap it with the hand. And repeat over other areas.

We sell the above herbs. We also provide a service of decoction and then dehydrating it. We then powderised it and placed in a tea bag. All you needed to do is just to add hot water without the need to boil.  Please send a message and we will respond as soon as possible.