I'm sorry about this large posting, but this information I just found really blew me away...
Constant consumption of this famous “longevity herb,” also known as Fo Ti, is said in Asia to help return an aging person to youthfulness. It is one of the primary Jing tonic of Chinese herbalism and is unsurpassed in its ability to provide deep, primordial energy (Jing, essence) to the cells of the body via the kidney systems. Fo-Ti supplements the human body’s “functional reserve.” Studies have shown it reduces senility, cholesterol, increases fertility, is anti-microbial and significantly reduced tumor incidence in rats.
Fo-Ti Root is believed to rejuvenate the body and prevent premature ageing and counteract fatigue and exhaustion. Fo-ti is used for its rejuvenating and toning properties, to increase liver and kidney function and to cleanse the blood. It can increase fertility, increase blood sugar levels and relieve muscle aches. It is widely used as a tonic to prevent premature aging by tonifying the kidney and liver functions, toning up, nourishing the blood, and fortifying the muscles, tendons and bones. It is widely used in Asia to maintain the youthful condition and color of the hair.
Fo-ti also has a calming, grounding effect on the nervous system and for this reason it has been consumed by almost every Taoist that has ever lived, and is fundamental to the practice of the Taoist inner arts. Large doses of fo-ti has a drug-like effect of completely relaxing and calming the body. Almost a high ensues. The Chinese claim its a miracle herb.
Fo-Ti Root has a rejuvenating effect on the liver, reproductive, urinary and circulatory systems. It is used to clear toxins from, as well as support, a weak liver and kidneys. The herb is believed to have beneficial effects on the blood by helping improve blood deficiency and increasing red blood cell formation. Improved red blood cell production may significantly help to play a strong role in the immune system, helping the body to ward off infection and disease.
Studies have clearly shown that Fo-Ti creates positive changes in life expectancy, especially in mammals. One study on the survival ability of mice in conditions of extreme cold showed that the group being fed prepared Fo-Ti root could withstand colder temperatures for a longer period of time. This showed how Fo-Ti enhances the adrenocortical function (the adrenals and thyroid are responsible for withstanding external temperature changes). Fo-Ti root has also been shown to increase the body’s production of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD).
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is the king of antioxidants (even above resveratrol)
since it can prevent the damage to our DNA, which is the fundamental cause of all aging. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a critical antioxidant enzyme that your body makes as a defense against superoxide. Superoxide is one of the most dangerous free radicals that can occur in your body and Superoxide Dismutase is your body’s solution to its presence. Superoxide when left to do its thing will damage any type of tissue, but most notably has the ability to damage our DNA. Superoxide Dismutase levels decrease with age and this allows more opportunities for cells to incur genetic defects. These defects are then spread throughout the body as cells divide, eventually leading to all forms of disease.
Stilbene Glycosides are other powerful antioxidants present in Fo-Ti, that combined with the increased production of Superoxide Dismutase makes the Fo-Ti root better than any antioxidant supplement on the market. Plus it’s more absorbable since it’s a whole food. The increased production of SOD in the body along with the various stilbene glycosides is likely the most significant function the Fo-Ti root has for enhancing longevity in humans.
He Shou Wu has been shown to arrest cortisone-induced decrease in Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) in laboratory animals, and to restore it to the normal level. He Shou Wu has been shown to help maintain youthful levels of SOD in laboratory animals even as they age. For example, a study showed that after feeding He Shou Wu extract to mice for 7 consecutive months, the blood SOD level of 11 month old mice was maintained at the same level as that of 2 month old mice! It is widely believed that the SOD generating capacity of He Shou Wu is one of the reasons it has been found to have anti-aging and longevity increasing activity.
Stilbene glycosides in He Shou Wu strongly protect cells from damage due to free radicals. These molecules have more antioxidant potency than resveratrol, the well known antioxidant found in grapes. It has been shown that biomolecules known as stilbene glycosides are present in significant quantities in He Shou Wu. One particular stilbene glycoside present in He Shou Wu (“heshouwu super-glycoside”) has been proven to have exceptionally potent free radical scavenging, hydroxyl radical scavenging and superoxide anion scavenging actions. Heshouwu super-glycoside is especially potent at reducing lipid peroxide formation in liver, heart and brain.
Things found in nature often resemble the things that they treat in the body. For example a tomato is red and has four chambers like the human heart, which it is known to help protect. This phenomenon is called the Law of Similars. The Fo-Ti root has a vine that spirals and coils much like how the double helix of human DNA. Interesting isn’t it?
Another tonic action of the Fo-Ti root is its blood-building qualities. It is higher in iron than Goji berries, which are known for their high content of iron. Iron is needed for the body to make red blood cells. Fo-Ti is also a rich source of lecithin which is suspected as the cause of its ability to strengthen the membranes of red blood cells (Lecithin makes up nerve tissue and 30% of the dry weight of the brain). This would explain its ability for improving memory and nerve function.
The prepared Fo-Ti root is an effective anti-aging herb for looking youthful and healthy and is able to reverse gray hairs and even balding. In a study of 36 people, 24 people had a complete gray hair reversal! 8 more of them were able to reverse gray hairs to a degree but not completely. The effective rate was 88.9%, which is incredible for something that few people believe is even possible. It must be noted that Fo-Ti root should be taken for long periods of time to get these results, along with lifestyle changes such as learning ways to deal with stress so as to not cause more gray hair!
Fo-ti strengthens and stabilizes the lower back and knees. It will calm the nervous system. Because it has components that are potent antioxidants with gentle anti-inflammatory action in the liver, it can clear the eyes. Its strength comes from its remarkable ability to cleanse the body by cleaning the kidney and liver, which in turn clean the blood. Fo-Ti root is also considered a demulcent laxative that not only clears waste, but also soothes and softens damaged or inflamed gastrointestinal mucous membranes, which is particularly helpful for constipation in the elderly. As an internal astringent, Fo-Ti Root has been helpful in reducing excessive bleeding, particularly controlling menstrual flow. Externally used, its astringent properties are included in poultices to control bleeding wounds and sores.
Prepared or not prepared, that is the difference. Fo-ti must be prepared in order to be used as a regularly-consumed tonic herb. Unprepared Fo-ti (He Shou Wu) does not possess the tonic effects and can have unwanted side effects. The freshly picked tubers are sliced, stewed in black bean soup (in a proportion of 10 parts He Shou Wu to 1 part black beans) until the soup is exhausted. The “prepared” roots are then dried. Of course, no chemicals are used.
• Study 1: A decoction with He Shou Wu as the main ingredient prolonged the lifespan of fruit flies. At 0.1% strength, the decoction could prolong the lifespan by 5.83%. At 0.5% strength, it could prolong the lifespan by 12.03%.
• Study 2: A traditional Jing-replenishing formula with He Shou Wu as the main ingredient has been shown to slow down the aging of vital organs in aged animals, especially the reproductive organs, the ovary, the uterus and the testicle.
• Study 3: Shou Wu Kidney Tonic capsules were given to 60 aged humans who had been assessed in a Chinese clinic as experiencing Kidney deficiency (Jing deficiency). Out of the 60 cases, 18 cases were evaluated as “extremely effective” (30%) and 32 cases were considered “effective” (53.3%), with a total effective rate for 50 cases of 83.3%.
• Study 4: In an attempt to prove Fo-ti’s legendary reputation as being able to reverse grey hair to black, Shou Wu liquor (dilute alcohol extract) was given to 36 people with gray hair. 24 completely recovered their dark hair and 8 more showed improvement. The total effective rate was of 88.9%.
Fo-ti Inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO-B, one of two types of MAO, is closely associated with the aging process. researchers have found that among a number of herbs that affect MAO activity, He Shou Wu is the greatest inhibitor of MAO activity, with the inhibiting rate in laboratory animals reaching as high as 82% when the concentration is at optimal doses. Another study showed that after one month of continuous feeding of a He Shou Wu formula, aged mice experienced a significantly reduction in the MAO-B activity of in the brain.
He Shou Wu extract has been shown to have a significant inhibitory effect on the formation of oxidized lipids. In living organisms, lipids are used for energy storage, serve as structural components of of cell membranes, and are important hormones or contain essential fatty acids. The term “lipid” is often used as a synonym for fat, but is in fact a subgroup of lipids called triglycerides. Lipid peroxidation refers to the oxidative degradation of lipids (triglycerides). It is the process whereby free radicals “steal” electrons from the lipids in cell membranes, resulting in cell damage.
For example, when LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) is oxidized in the arterial wall, it becomes “oxidized LDL”. Macrophages, aggressive white blood cell scavengers, quickly go after oxidized LDL and form the plaques characteristic of atherosclerosis. Oxidized LDL induces inflammation in the arterial walls, further contributing to the development of atherosclerotic plaque. Vicious cycles, or negative chain reactions, of this nature are common in the body. They result in aging of the body, degeneration of the mind, and ultimately in death.
Extended consumption of He Shou Wu significantly lowered lipid peroxidation level in the heart, brain, liver and blood of mice. One study showed that a large dose of He Shou Wu suppressed lipid peroxidation by 95%, without side effects.
He Shou Wu has been shown to lower the lipofuscin content of heart tissue. Lipofuscin is a brown pigment composed of oxidized lipid-containing residues of cellular digestion and metals such as aluminum and iron. Lipofuscin is considered to be an aging or “wear and tear” pigment. “Liver spots” commonly associated with aging are superficial lipofuscin deposits in the skin. Lipofuscin is commonly found in the heart muscle, smooth muscles, liver, kidney, adrenals, nerve cells, and ganglion cells.
He Shou Wu enhances adrenocortical function. He Shou Wu has been found to improve adrenal gland functioning. He Shou Wu significantly increases the survival ability of mice in extremely cold conditions, an indication of adrenal fortitude. This supports prepared He Shou Wu’s traditional function as a Kidney tonic. Jing controls the functions of adrenal cortex.
He Shou Wu enhances the proliferation of blood producing cells. Scientific research supports He Shou Wu’s traditional function as a blood tonic. Prepared He Shou Wu can greatly enhance the hematopoietic (blood producing) function of the body.It does this by directly promoting the blood generating hematopoietic stem cells. He Shou Wu is a rich source of lecithin which is an important raw material of red blood cell and other cell membranes (lecithin is also a major component of nervous tissues).
He Shou Wu Protects the Liver. Fo-ti is considered a Liver tonic. Since the liver is the major detoxification organ of the body, protecting it is to a large degree akin to supporting its proper functioning. Throughout our lifetime liver cells continually replenish themselves. Adult humans do not die with the same liver they were born with. Furthermore, researchers have found that this herb can stabilize liver cells by improving membrane mechanism. He Shou Wu’s rich content of plant lecithin may also play a major role. People with fatty liver show a significantly lower level of lecithin. Providing a direct source of lecithin or helping the body’s synthesis of lecithin can help.
Effect on Memory. It was found that mice fed with He Shou Wu extracts had better active shuttle avoidance response, fewer vacuole numbers, less lipofuscin (aging residue) in the hippocampus, and lower MDA concentrations in the brain. These results suggest that dietary supplementation with either ethanol or water extracts of He Shou Wu can reduce brain pathological changes and promote learning and memory ability.
The Toxicity Difference. Prepared He Shou Wu has extremely low toxicity. He Shou Wu has been used for over two millennia as a tonic herb in China and other Asian regions. In Asia, He Shou Wu is considered to be extremely safe and suitable for long term use. Tests for prepared He Shou Wu resulted in NO DEATHS, even after 1000 g/kg. On the other hand, the LD_50 of raw (Unprepared) He Shou Wu is 50g/kg, This means even if rats consume their body weight worth of Prepared He Shou Wu, they will still survive. Prepared He Shou Wu is one of the safest herbs or foods known to science.
He Shou Wu is classified as a tonic to the Kidney Yin Jing as well as to the Blood. It’s also said to have a stabilizing and grounding effect to the heart and nervous system and its for these reasons that many experience a calm sense of upliftedness after consuming this revered tonic herb. The good news is that modern science has revealed some mechanisms why which this effect may be occurring. One top candidate is he shou wu’s ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase or MAO-B. Researchers have found that of all herbs studied, he shou wu is the greatest inhibitor of MAO activity.
He Shou Wu is very unique among plants as a Monoamine Oxidase B inhibitor. It specifically inhibits MAO-B activity, which is associated with the onset of geriatric senility. The primary benefit of MAO-B inhibition is an up-regulation of dopamine, which declines with age and is vital for mood, growth hormone release, sexual function, and coordination. After the age of 45 or 50, MAO-B activity increases significantly in the tissues of the brain. In one animal study, an MAO-B inhibition effect of over 80% was noted, suggesting that this is one of he shou wu’s important anti-aging effects.
MAO is essentially an enzyme that breaks down dopamine. There are two types of MAO “A” and “B.” Some studies have shown that the two types of MAO activity, A and B, appear to have different domains of activity in the body and the brain has both types of activity. These two types of activity are mediated by different enzyme molecules and are regulated independently by endogenous and exogenous factors including genetic determinants, hormones, and aging.
In humans, inhibition of MAO-A activity can lead to mood uplifting. Having low levels of MAO-B has been associated with an increased susceptibility to mental imbalance and mental distress. This could be due to having low levels of dopamine caused because the body is recycling it to fast due to a shortage of MAO-B.
He Shou Wu enhances the adrenocortical function (the adrenals and thyroid are responsible for withstanding external temperature changes).
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and well-being and that is also helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but also to take action to move toward them. So from this we can see how having low levels of this chemical and easily open the door for mental distress and imbalance. We can also why this is a great herb for helping to uplift the spirit by inhibiting monoamine oxidase B, which in turn can help us to have a greater amount of dopamine available in our system.
Raw and prepared Fo-Ti roots are understood to be two different herbs in Chinese herbalism. These differences have been validated by modern science. Although raw foodists like myself might like the idea of taking raw He Shou Wu, its tonic effects are absent when un-prepared and it is actually a strong laxative. Prepared Fo-Ti roots, which are stewed in a black bean soup and then dried, have been shown to have the strongest beneficial effects in both human and animal studies.
Resveratrol is a type of stilbenoid and a phytoalexin produced naturally in certain plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi. In other words, it is the plants S.W.A.T. team or task force, ready to guard and protect the well-being of the plant. He Shou Wu (at a 16:1 concentration), happens to contain an alarming 8% stilbene content, which means that for every half teaspoon, you are getting 160mg of a more potent, higher quality stilbene than any resveratrol supplement.
One of the most popular benefits of all stilbenes is hands-down, the life-lengthening factor. It has been proven in experiments with first yeast, then a worm, soon then for a fish in 2006. This fish was seen to have its life more than double in span! After lab tests were confirmed, surveys branched out to humans, and studied the connection between life-span and red wine consumption. Stilbenes activate a cell-survival defense enzyme, which actually allows your cells more time to repair broken DNA.
Stilbenes have been seen to be more powerful of an antioxidant than Vitamin C and E, and also have shown to greatly inhibit the cellular damages caused by free radicals. Stilbenes have a unique anti-oxidative quality, where they can rush the free radicals out of your system by donating electrons to them, making them unstable, while they remain strong and balanced. Stilbenes’ anti-inflammatory qualities are neroprotective, helping to maintain healthy cells in the brain, as well as increasing blood flow and oxygen though its astounding cardiovascular attributes.
He Shou Wu is very rich in zinc. The zinc content of prepared He Shou Wu is as high as 42 mg per 100 g of the herb. This is several dozen times higher than that of most herbs. Animal type foods are considered to be high in zinc, but they only have 3-5 mg per 100 gram, much lower than the 42 mg in He Shou Wu. Zinc is an essential trace mineral required by all forms of life.
Animal foods that are considered high in zinc usually have 3-8mg per 100g (with the exception of oysters which are on par with Fo-Ti root), whereas Fo-Ti contains 42mg per 100g! Numerous aspects of cellular metabolism are zinc-dependent. Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction. Fo-ti shares the position as the primary essence (Jing) tonic of Chinese herbalism with Lycium fruit (Goji berry).
Numerous aspects of cellular metabolism are zinc-dependent. Zinc plays important roles in growth and development, the immune response, neurological function, and reproduction. On the cellular level, the function of zinc can be divided into three categories: (1) regulatory, (2) catalytic, and (3) structural.
• Regulatory functions of Zinc: Zinc participates in the synthesis of nucleic acids (the components of DNA and RNA) and protein. Certain proteins with zinc ?fingers? have been found to regulate gene expression by acting as transcription factors (binding to DNA and influencing the transcription of specific genes). Zinc also plays a role in cell signaling and has been found to influence hormone release and nerve impulse transmission. Zinc plays a role in apoptosis (gene-directed cell death), a critical cellular regulatory process with implications for growth and development, as well as a number of chronic diseases.
• Enzymatic functions of Zinc: Zinc-dependent enzymes can be found in all known classes of enzymes. Zinc plays an indispensable biological role as a catalyst. Astoundingly, zinc is required for the biological function of more than 300 enzymes in the human body.
The single mineral-nutrient zinc is pivotal in achieving healthy longevity. Zinc is a trace element required for most of the functions of human life because it directly affects our ability to maintain homeostasis. These mechanisms include the fundamental functions of oxidative stress response and immune efficiency. As we age, continuous oxidative stress and inflammation (well defined characteristics of aging) result in systemic zinc deficiency. The zinc release from MT further limited, and this leads to increasingly low zinc ion bioavailability for stress and immune response. Thus a vicious cycle is perpetuated where inflammation further develops, resulting in accelerated aging. Scientists now call this process “inflamm-aging.”
The lifelong exposure to stressors (both physical and psychological) is responsible for the chronic activation of the inflammatory response as the first line of defense. Inflammation is critical to successful longevity. On the other hand, an excessive responsiveness (as occurs in older people) is detrimental due to a marked inflammatory status which favors age-related diseases and disabilities. It has now been established that centenarians maintain well balanced MT regulation (similar to younger adults) and good zinc bioavailability, and thus satisfactory innate immune response. It appears certain that those who become centenarians have experienced less chronic inflammation than those who do not succeed at achieving such longevity.
Higher intake of zinc in older individuals may ensure optimal function since several of the proteins involved in DNA repair in humans are zinc-associated proteins. Since diminished capacity to repair DNA is a trademark characteristic of aging, organic zinc supplementation is likely to prove critical in extending lifespan.
• Structural functions of Zinc: Zinc plays a key role in the structure of proteins and cell membranes. The structure and function of cell membranes are also affected by zinc. Loss of zinc from biological membranes increases their susceptibility to oxidative damage and impairs their function. Zinc plays a critical structural role in our innate antioxidant system. It is a life-essential component of a major type of SOD known /copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD).
Zinc is important to our sexual and reproductive functions. Zinc is critical to male reproductive health. It is often referred to as “the male mineral.” It helps maintain normal sexual function and supports sperm production and sperm motility. It is now generally believed that zinc plays a critical role in the development of the male reproductive system, including the seminiferous tubules, and in the body?s ability to make testosterone. Zinc deficiency has been linked to low sperm count and low sperm density, an almost epidemic problem for men in the United States. zinc aids in the metabolism of testosterone, and enhances sperm quality and motility.
Here are a few important facts and functions of zinc in connection to your longevity potential:
Male semen has a high concentration of zinc. When semen is lost without replenishing zinc through a longevity diet, it will soon lead to a deficiency for men, especially after a lifetime of reckless ejaculation. A zinc deficiency will cause low libido, low fertility and a greatly increased risk of prostate cancer! This is definitely one of the top fertility herbs for men!
The synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins requires zinc. Many of the proteins that help with DNA repair are zinc-associated (contain zinc or require zinc to function).
A common quality in people who live to be centenarians is that they rarely exhibit zinc deficiencies in these advanced years.
Zinc is a critical component in the body’s response to inflammation caused by free radicals. Metallothioneins are special proteins which bind to and then release zinc in areas of oxidative stress which then signals for the activity of superoxide dismutase!
• Intake recommendations: We are only recommending 6-12 capsules (about 3-6 grams) of He Shou Wu per day as a long term tonic dose. Potential adverse effects of this herb are mainly digestive canal reaction, with thin stool seen in the majority of cases, and occasional light abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Adverse effects are not common with extracts of properly prepared He Shou Wu. Raw, unprepared He Shou Wu is a laxative and should not be consumed as a tonic herb, i.e. on a long term basis.
• Where to buy: Hyperion Herbs 16:1 (16 to 1 concentration). There is no resveratrol supplement available that can compare to the 160mg per half teaspoon you get from this whole food, herbal extract of Hyperion’s He Shou Wu, and again, the stilbene contained within is tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside, which is higher quality and more potent than resveratrol.