Polygonum multiflorum, better known as Chinese knotweed or Flowery knotweed, is a widely used Chinese herb. It is said to rejuvenate the body, and is also commonly known as fo-ti, fo-ti-teng, ho shou wu, or he shou wu (何首乌). He Shouwu, a Chinese man who is reputed to have lived until the age of 132, is the first consumer of this herb to be reported.
The Chinese patent medicine called Shou Wu Chih has Polygonum multiflorum as one of its primary ingredients.
As a herb specimen, it is a quickly spreading vine that will cover anything rapidly. There are delicate flowers that appear in the fall.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), P. multiflorum is believed to:
- Tonify the kidneys
- Balance a fragile yin.
- Treat weak bones and premature graying of hair
- Protection of skin against UVB damage
When taken internally, P. multiflorum also has a laxative effect.
P. multiflorum contains stilbene glycosides similar sex to resveratrol and with superior antioxidant activity.  Resveratrol is extracted from P. multiflorum's close relative, Japanese knotweed (P.Cuspidatum) Resveratrol has been suggested to extend lifespan by a variety of mechanisms.
- Shinju, H., M. Higuchi, et al. (1994). Studies on cultivation of Polygonum multiflorum Thunberg (Part 1) on the methods of vegetative propagation. Natural Medicines 48(2): 126-130. Tsumura Cent. Res. Lab., 3586, Yoshihara, Ami-machi, Inashiki-gun, Ibaraki 300-11, Japan.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polygonum multiflorum.|
- Extensive article about Polygonum multiflorum, by Subhuti Dharmananda
- Illustration of Fo Ti Teng
- Fo Ti Teng can grow up to 4 metres