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FO - TI

Other Names:

Chinese Cornbind, Chinese Knotweed, Climbing Knotweed, Flowery Knotweed, Fo Ti Tieng, Fo-Ti-Tient, He Shou Wu, Ho Shou Wu, Multiflora Preparata, Poligonum, Poligonum Multiflorum, Polygonum, Polygonum multiflorum, Polygonum Multiflorum Thunberg, ...
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He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Overview
He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Uses
He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Side Effects
He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Interactions
He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Dosing
He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Overview Information

Fo-ti is an herb. The processed (cured) root of the plant is used to make medicine.

Fo-ti is used for treating tuberculosis that has spread to the lymph nodes, cancer, inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), and constipation. It is also used as a liver and kidney “tonic”; as a blood and “vital essence” toner; and to fortify muscles, tendons, and bones. Fo-ti is also used for high cholesterol and other elevated blood fats, trouble sleeping (insomnia), limb numbness, lower back and knee soreness or weakness, premature graying, hair loss, and dizziness with ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Fo-ti is applied directly to the skin for sores, carbuncles, skin eruptions, and itching.

In manufacturing, fo-ti extract is used as an ingredient in hair and skin care products.

Don’t confuse fo-ti with the commercial product Fo-ti-Teng that contains no fo-ti.

How does it work?

Fo-ti cured root might affect the levels of various chemicals in the body which have been suggested to have anti-aging effects.

He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Liver and kidney problems.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Insomnia.
  • Lower back and knee soreness.
  • Premature graying.
  • Dizziness.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of fo-ti for these uses.


He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Side Effects & Safety

Fo-ti might be UNSAFE to take by mouth due to concerns that it might cause liver damage in both adults and children. Fo-ti has been linked to liver damage in several reports, including one case in a 5-year-old child.

There isn't enough information available to know if fo-ti is safe when applied directly the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Fo-ti might be UNSAFE to take by mouth during pregnancy. Fo-ti contains chemicals that can act like a strong laxative. The chemicals work by stimulating the intestine. Bulk-forming laxatives are a safer choice in pregnancy.

It might also be UNSAFE to use fo-ti if you are breast-feeding. The chemicals that have a laxative effect can pass into breast milk and cause diarrhea in some breast-fed infants.

Not enough is known about the safety of applying fo-ti to the skin during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It’s best to avoid using it.

Liver disease: Fo-ti has been linked to multiple cases of liver problems including hepatitis. There is a concern that fo-ti might make existing liver disease worse.

Surgery: Fo-ti might affect blood sugar levels, so there is concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using fo-ti at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with FO-TI

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Fo-ti might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking fo-ti along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking fo-ti, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates) interacts with FO-TI

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Fo-ti might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking fo-ti along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking fo-ti, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and pantoprazole (Protonix); diazepam (Valium); carisoprodol (Soma); nelfinavir (Viracept); and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with FO-TI

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Fo-ti might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking fo-ti along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking fo-ti, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications that are changed by the liver include diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), and piroxicam (Feldene); celecoxib (Celebrex); amitriptyline (Elavil); warfarin (Coumadin); glipizide (Glucotrol); losartan (Cozaar); and others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with FO-TI

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.

    Fo-ti might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking fo-ti along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking fo-ti, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

    Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking fo-ti along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

  • Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs) interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti might harm the liver. Taking fo-ti along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take fo-ti if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver.

    Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin) , lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.

  • Stimulant laxatives interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking fo-ti along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.

    Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti can work as a laxative. In some people fo-ti can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of fo-ti.

  • Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with FO-TI

    Fo-ti is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking fo-ti along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.

    Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDIURIL, Microzide), and others.


He Shou Wu (FO-TI) Dosing

The appropriate dose of fo-ti depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for fo-ti. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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