Fo-ti is a plant native to China that is used in Chinese herbal medicine. It also grows in Japan and Taiwan. The vine of the herb was called ye jiaoteng, referring to its form, an evening intertwining vine (ye = evening, jiao = intersecting, teng = vine). It is also known by its Latin name, Polygonum multiflorum. The Chinese-sounding names fo-ti-teng and fo-ti were made up by U.S. businesspersons.
The roots and rhizomes (underground stem of plant) of fo-ti are harvested from 3-4 year-old plants, dried, and then used in an unprocessed or processed form (processing involves steaming the dried roots in black soybean juice). The vine of fo-ti is also used in Chinese medicine. Unprocessed fo-ti (also known as "white" fo-ti) is taken by mouth as a laxative. Unprocessed fo-ti is also applied to the skin to treat conditions such as acne, athlete's foot, skin inflammation, razor burn, and scrapes. Processed fo-ti, also known as "red" fo-ti, is used to prevent or delay heart disease.
Currently, high-quality human studies supporting the use of fo-ti for any condition are lacking.

Related Terms

2,3,5,4'-Tetrahydroxystilbene-2-beta-D-glucoside, 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydtoxystilbene-2-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-beta-D-glucoside, 2-acetylemodin, 2-methoxy-6-acetyl-7-methyjuglone, 6-OH-emodin, Achyranthes, anthraquinone, anthrone, chein, Chinese climbing knotweed, Chinese cornbind, Chinese flowery knotweed, Chinese knotweed, chrysophanol, cis-E-3-butylidene-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-6,7-dihydroxy-1(3H)-isobenzofuranone, citrus, Cuscuta, Danggui Yin Zi, E-2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, E-2,4,6,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, emodin, emodin-1-6-dimethylether, emodin-8-beta-D-glucoside, emodin-8-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, emodin-citrosein, fleeceflower, flowery knotweed, fo ti, foti, fo-ti root, fo-ti-teng, fo-ti-tient, gallic acid, He Ren Yin, he shou wu, heshouwu, ho shou wu, hoelen, hoshouwu, ho-shou-wu, lecithin, Lycium fruit, Multiflora preparata, multiflori, N-transferuloyl-3-methyldopamine, N-transferuloyltyramine, physcion, physcion-8-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, polygonimitin B, Polygonum, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum multiflorum Thunb., Psoralea, Qibao Meiran Dan, questin, questinol, radix Polygoni, radix Polygoni multiflori, radix Polygoni Shen Min, "red" fo-ti, rhapontin, rhein, Shen Min, Shenwu, Shou Wu, shou wu pian, shou xing bu zhi, Shou-Wu, Shouwu, shou-wu-pian, show-wu-pian, starch, stilbene glucoside, stilbene glycoside, tang-kuei, tannin, tetrahydroxystilbene-glucoside, trans-E-3-butylidene-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-6,7-dihydroxy-1(3H)-isobenzofuranone, tricin, "white" fo-ti, Yangxue Dingfeng Tang, ye jiaoteng (Chinese), zhihe shou wu, Zhihe Shou Wu, Zhihe-Shou-Wu, zhiheshouwu, zi shou wu, Zi-Shou-Wu, zishouwu.
Note: Fo-ti is not contained in the product Fo-ti-Tieng®.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Alzheimer's disease/ cognitive decline (Grade: C)
Combination fo-ti has been shown to stop cognitive decline and improve memory and daily functioning in people with mild cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease. Although this is promising, available evidence is limited by the use of fo-ti combination therapies. A firm conclusion about the effect of fo-ti in this area is unable to be determined, and further research is needed.
Hepatitis B (chronic) (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that a combination decoction (extract from boiling in water) with fo-ti, is superior to Jinshuibao capsule for the treatment of hepatitis B-associated liver fibrosis (excess connective tissue). Although this is promising, further research is needed.
Neurodermatitis (itchy skin disease) (Grade: C)
Early research has suggested that the mixed-herb decoction (extract from boiling in water) Yangxue Dingfeng Tang, partly made up of fo-ti, has short- and long-term treatment effects when given with localized plumb-blossom needle tapping. Due to the small amount of available research, a firm conclusion about the effect of fo-ti for hepatitis B is unable to be determined. Further research in this area is needed.