Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fo-Ti (He-Shou-Wu) and Reishi, adaptogens

I have been hearing a lot about 2 supplements lately.. the herb Fo-Ti and Reishi Mushrooms from different unrelated sources. Interestingly I have found that they are both known as supplements for longevity.

Fo-Ti, also called He Shou Wu, is one of the premier tonics of Oriental medicine.

Fo-Ti nourishs the vital essence (jing) and the blood. Jing is the Yin aspect of Oriental medicine and so Fo-Ti is used for deficient Yin.

(Jing, Qi & Shen translate very, very loosely into Body, Mind and Spirit)

As well as an overall longevity tonic it is specifically good for:
- fatigue, depression, stress..
- improves sex life
- used to treat impotence and virility
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Possibly inhibits tumor formation

Fo-Ti is often used with ginseng and dong quai in tonics
Tip – the darker the root the better

Reishi is known as the mushroom of longevity. It is just one of several important medicinal mushrooms (incl. maitake and cordycepts, one of my favs and shitake, which is good for the immune system and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol) The reishi is not a culinary mushroom, but a fibrous shelf mushroom. It is reddish, distinctive in shape and easy to identify.

The Reishi is an herb of spiritual potency. It is healing for the spirit, the essence of the person. It also nourishes the jing – the blood and energy and revitalizes major organs, esp. the liver and the heart. Just as mushrooms help recycle life in the forest, so they recycle waste and negativity in the body. Reishi is an adaptogen – goes where it is most needed.

Aaptogen from Wikipedia:
The word adaptogen, coined by Russian Scientist Dr. I.I. Brekhman in 1947, refers to a natural herb product that increases the body's resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety and bodily fatigue. The guidelines Lazarev created for a herb to be considered an adaptogen are:

-It must cause only minimal disorders in the body's physiological functions;
-It must increase the body's resistance to adverse influences not by a specific action but by a wide range of physical, chemical, and biochemical factors;
-It must have an overall normalizing effect, improving all kinds of conditions and aggravating none.
-It is claimed that adaptogenic herbs are unique from other substances in their ability to balance endocrine hormones and the immune system, and they help the body to maintain optimal homeostasis.

Most herbal adaptogens that have been identified are used in either Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Adaptogens with a significant level of scientific research confirming their use include: Ashwagandha, Cordyceps, Dang Shen (Codonopsis pilosula), Eleuthero, Holy Basil, Ginseng, Guduchi, Jiaogulan, Licorice, Maca, Reishi, Rhaponticum, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra, Shilajit and Suma.
Possible adaptogens with less scientific research include: Amla, Astragalus, He Shou Wu, Lycium, Maca, Prince Seng and Shatavari.


Red Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum), commonly known as Ling Zhi in Chinese, is a herbal mushroom known to have miraculous health benefits.
It has been used in Japan and China for over 2,000 years and thus making it the oldest mushroom known to have been used as medicine. Since ancient times, the Reishi mushroom was reserved for emperors and royalties. It has been revered as nature’s rarest and most beneficial herb. In the Superior category of Shen Nung Ben Cao Jing, the oldest and most famous medical text on Oriental herbal medicine, red Reishi is ranked as the number one herb, ahead of ginseng, because of its following qualities:
1. It is non-toxic and can be taken daily without producing any side effects.
2. When it is taken regularly, it can restore the body to its natural state, enabling all organs to function normally.
3. Immune modulator - regulates and fine tunes the immune system.


Anonymous said...

have you seen this web-site ?

Robin said...

actually, yes.. one of the people who were telling me about Reishi & Fo-Ti mentioned this site. I had forgotten about it.. thank you for reminding me.

& now I am there reading it.. the instructins and meet Ken page.. really interesting site!

Thanks again, : )