Fo-ti, also known as Ho-shou-wu, was originally called jiaoteng, referring to its form: an intertwining vine (jiao = intersecting, teng = creepers). The newer name came from a story called Heshouwu Lun (Notes on Ho-shou-wu) by Li Ao, written around 813 A.D. According to the story, Mr. Ho from Hebei Province, at age 58, had not been able to father a child. A monk advised him to eat jiaoteng gathered from a mountain, which Ho then did, and consumed regularly. Soon after, he was able to father several children, his hair turned from gray to black, his vision improved, and his body became more youthful. He lived to age 130 (some say 160), still with black hair. Since then, the herb has been called Mr. Ho’s hair is black (shou = head; wu = black). The functionality of Ho-shou-wu in traditional chinese formulas is to nourish the blood, liver and kidneys. This would help support the health of the skin, hair, and support overall energy levels
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