He Shou Wu, better known as Fo-Ti root, has a lot of uses. Some of them include the use of its extracts in ointments and creams for treating skin conditions, shampoos to combat hair graying and its loss as well as brewing it into teas that are eventually made into pills.
However, this herb can also provide side effects when used. This article will list them down:
It can cause diarrhea. Since Fo-Ti root is known for its laxative properties that soften the stool. It can also be the reason for having diarrhea when people are sensitive to this herb.
It can cause numbness. Consuming too much he shou wu root amounts can cause numbness in arms and legs and may cause headaches as well.
It can cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Fo-Ti root can also lower a person’s potassium levels in the body, which leads to symptoms like muscle weakness.
It gives hypersensitivity to people with liver disease. In case of an existing liver disease, people experience symptoms of dark urine, vomiting, jaundice, nausea, abdominal and stomach pain, weakness, tiredness and appetite loss. Apart from “emodin” substance, Fo-Ti root also contains anthraquinones that also have laxative properties.
However, this substance may contribute to damaging the liver. According to National Library of Medicine in the United States, a lot of people who are taking he shou wu root reportedly experienced liver damage. However, most of them quickly recovered from it after discontinuation.
Its estrogenic effects are contraindicated for females who have cancer. Fo-Ti root has the ability to increase estrogen levels in women and an extended use of this ability may promote growth of cancer. For this reason, people with certain estrogen-related cancers in the breast, ovary, uterus and prostate should be very careful in taking this herb.
It may also contribute to skin rashes. Consuming high dosage of Fo-Ti herb can sometimes develop skin rashes and allergies in people who have sensitive skin.
Although it has side effects when consumed in high doses, there’s no proven effective or safe dosage for taking this herb in adults and children. It is not recommended for pregnant women to consume this herb and use other products that contain it as an ingredient.
Always exercise caution when taking Chinese herbs like the He Shou Wu and it is essential to consult a doctor first before trying it as a complementary approach for health.