Overview of Our Fo-Ti Root
This herb is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is used to nourish the heart and calm the spirit. The English translation of the Fo-Ti Root name is “vine to pass through the night”. While the Chinese nickname for the herb is ho shou wu, meaning “Mr. He’s black hair”. Fo-To Root can be best used in teas and tinctures, and are sometimes consumed in a capsule. It has been used for medicinal purposes, treating ailments like constipation as well as certain skin conditions, and it has also been known to slow down the aging process.
Fo-Ti Root for Cooking
- Fo-Ti Root Tea Blend: Mix Fo-Ti Root, cinnamon, and wild cherry bark together in a tea bag or strainer. Place in a cup and pour 1-2 cups of boiling water over the mixture. Let steep for 20 minutes, strain the herbs, then add your sweetener of choice and enjoy!
- Fo-Ti Root Tincture: ½ part Fo-Ti powder and ½ part 80-100 proof vodka are mixed together in a one-quart glass jar. After being shaken vigorous for some time, the mixture is placed in a cool dark location to tincture for 2-4 weeks. After at least 2 weeks, the mixture is decanted with a fine mesh strainer. Be sure to extract all liquid before storing in a glass jar.
The History of Fo-Ti Root
Fo-Ti is a climbing plant that is native to China but can also be found in Taiwan and Japan. Fo-Ti is a root from the plant Ho-Shou-Wu. It was originally referred to as Jiaotong, meaning intersecting creepers. This was in reference to its form being an intertwining vine.
The story of the root comes from a Chinese man, Mr. Ho, was not able to father any children. At age 58, and with greying hair, Mr. Ho was instructed to consume fo-ti root regularly in order to reverse the aging process. Sure enough, his hair morphed from grey to black and he was suddenly able to father several children. He lived to 130 years old and still had black hair!
Since then, the herb became known as Mr. Ho’s Hair is Black.
Cultivating Fo-Ti Root
Ho-Shou-Wu, the plant of the Fo-Ti Root is a herbaceous perennial plant from China that prefers full sun or semi-shade and rich, moist soil. The plant can average 30 feet if left with room to grow.
The herb flowers creme colored flowers from September-October. Then it develops seeds that ripen from October-November. During the winter month, the plant needs protection from the cold. In the springtime, the seeds are sown. During the summer months, they are plants out in individual pots and cultivated after 3-4 years of growth. They grow fast and if not contained, they can become invasive in warm temperatures.
Where We Get Our Fo-Ti Roots
Our Fo-Ti Root comes from the soils of China because they are able to cultivate the herb in an ideal environment of moist vegetation. They are able to grow best in the sunlight overlooking the fields. At the end of spring and early summer, the roots are gathered on a cloudless day. They are then separated and parts are boiled with black beans to create red fo-ti. The other part is unprocessed and is known as white fo-ti. These parts help with different medicinal purposes. The edible parts of the plant are shipped and sold in markets. These consist of the leaves, seeds, and flowers. The roots can be sold whole, sliced, powered, and in capsules that can be shipped worldwide.