Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Origin of the Name Fo-ti

The Origin of the Name Fo-ti:
  Many websites repeat the legend that "The name Fo Ti was given to the plant by a marketer in the early 1970s for the American herb business." If this was true then why the name Fo-ti? The Chinese name for Polygonum Multiflorum is "He shou wu". Fo-ti doesn't sound anything like that name and has no meaning in Chinese. Our East Earth Trade Winds herbalist says that one of his Chinese herb class teachers at the San Francisco College of Acupuncture (around 1982) told the following story about the origins of the name Fo-ti.
There was a discussion about a powerful herb, Fu zi (aconite), between a Chinese herbalist and an American. On learning that this herb could strengthen the heart, kidneys, and adrenal function the American wanted to buy it. The Chinese herbalist fearing that the American would injure himself or others because he wouldn't understand or appreciate how to use it properly sold him Polygonum Multiflorum instead. This "Fu zi" or "Fo ti" as it became known was still a powerful tonic herb but Polygonum multiflorum is very safe to use. The herb was marketed as Fo-ti and became popular and to this day it is known in the USA as "Fo-ti".

Thursday, December 11, 2014