11 Feb What Herb can Return Grey Hair to its Original Colour?
A client I see in my acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinic, who grew up eating wild herbs in his native Caribbean country, had a friend dig up some knotweed roots and bring them back to Canada for him. He thought it would benefit him with his health although he did not suffer from any deficiencies.
In fact, given he already had a chronic gout condition, this herb only fed the damp-heat excess uric acid condition that causes gout, and his wife noted with humour that he became particularly virile!
Rather, I have found it a particularly effective herb as a blood tonic for women with chronic fatigue, poor concentration, hair loss, brittle hair, greying hair, and iron deficiency anemia.
He Shou Wu – Multiflower Knotweed Root or “Mr. He’s Black Hair”
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Polygoni Multiflori
In the year 812 in China, a 56-year old man by the surname of He was pruning his trees when two plants a few metres apart suddenly caught his attention. Mr. He thought it was very strange that the vines of these plants crossed over each other not unlike a man and a woman embracing each other in love.
“There’s got to be a good reason for these plants to be growing in this way,” he thought. He then dug out the roots of the plants and brought them home to cook and eat as food.
Mr. He had been so weak since childhood that he had never married. However, after consuming the roots for 7 days, he began to have a desire for marriage. After consuming the roots for a few months, he began to feel much stronger; and after one year of consumption, Mr. He’s grey hair returned to Image courtesy of Safe Herbs Guide
black colour and he began to look like a young man.
At that point, Mr. He got married and fathered a baby boy. Both the father and the son lived to over 130 years of age and his wife remained strong. The Chinese have called the root of this plant “Mr. He’s black hair” ever since.
From the point of view of modern medicine, the effects of He Shou Wu are similar to those of an adrenocortical hormone. It strengthens and corrects deficiencies in the liver and kidneys, balances yin and yang, rejuvenates the body, tonifies the blood and essence (i.e. semen and vaginal discharge), increases fertility and treats weak bones.
Image courtesy of Xing Fu
For more fascinating stories about the origin of Chinese herbs and how many got their names, visit Stories from the Sages.