He Shou Wu, also known as Fo-Ti or Polygonum multiflorum is one of the most powerful and popular herbs in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia system. It has a long list of pharmacological studies which point to its ability to successfully treat various diseases including liver injury, cancer, diabetes, hair loss, sleep disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Exploring the pharmacological actions behind these benefits, we find that He Shou Wu has a few primary abilities that make it so therapeutic. Let’s look at some of the science behind He Shou Wu’s abilities to promote health, longevity and physical beauty and find out why we use it in our Alitura Revitalize.
The Science of He Shou Wu
One of the major factors in disease, aging and the deterioration of our physical beauty (wrinkles, skin and hair problems) is inflammation.
It is well known that chronic inflammation contributes to many physiological and pathological processes. This is by overly stimulating the immune system, local vascular system, and various cells within the damaged tissue. Prolonged inflammation is caused by many different factors, including pathogenic infections, physical, chemical, nutritional and biological stressors like poor diet, dehydration, lack of sleep, physical injury and others.
The classical signs of inflammation include pain, swelling, water retention, redness, which are characteristics of most skin problems.
Looking at He Shou Wu, it is found to safely suppress pro-inflammatory pathways and control inflammation-associated diseases. There are various studies that show the bioactive compounds in He Shou Wu have strong anti-inflammatory effects. They work by inhibiting of the expression of pro-inflammatory signaling factors such as nuclear factor-κB, tumor necrosis factor-α, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, chemokines, and cytokines. 1
The Beauty Benefits of He Shou Wu
As a potent anti-inflammatory He Shou Wu can successfully treat various problems of aging including wrinkling, hair loss and inflammatory conditions of the skin. Each of these is a problem of inflammation, which is a byproduct of poor cellular respiration. When this occurs, things like collagen production, circulation to the scalp, the regeneration of the hair follicle and skin cells become impaired.
• Hair Loss: He Shou Wu helps promote hair health in a few ways. The first again is by acting as an anti-inflammatory, which prevents the calcification of the scalp and ensures the hair follicles reach their energy requirements. He Shou Wu is also an antioxidant, which boosts SOD (superoxide dismutase) activity, a powerful natural antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals that usually cause inflammation. It is also a b-monoamine oxidase inhibitor, which prevents damage that would otherwise inhibit the body from the regenerative processes needed to produce new hair follicles.
• Skin Health: Traditionally speaking, He Shou Wu is a tonic to the liver and kidneys, the two major organs responsible for regulating the skin. As a tonic to these organs, he shou wu supports the health of the blood, which is the nutrition supply for the skin. When these organs are working properly, the blood stays free of impurities that otherwise lead to inflammation. Also, the liver is a major endocrine gland that produces many hormones that can effect skin quality. As we discussed in an earlier article on the Thyroid – Skin connection, if the liver isn’t functioning properly, thyroid function becomes poor. This can lead to dry skin and other issues associated with sluggish thyroid function.
He Shou Wu is typically found in powder form. Keep in mind, not all he Shou Wu products are created equally. For a therapeutic and effect dosage, the he shou wu must be prepared properly. This ensures the proper digestion of the herb as well as the elimination of irritants. He Shou Wu is a featured component of the Alitura Revitalize formula. We only use prepared he shou wu in our Revitalize formula. We invite you to try it!