He Shou Wu and the black hair
According to a Chinese legend, there was once a man whose life was difficult at 60. When he finally comes across a promising plant, this changes suddenly: After self-therapy, he reaches a proud age of over 130 years. He is bubbling over with vitality and even fathered four children in the second half of his life. Until his last day, his hair was shiny black. This plant that the man with the black hair is said to have come across is Fo-Ti. In Asia, the plant is therefore also called He Shou Wu. Translated, this name stands for “The man with the black hair.”
The climbing plant, which is over four meters high, is native to China, Vietnam, Korea, and Taiwan. It is also found in the wild in Japan. Since it is relatively insensitive to its place of growth, it also occurs as an ornamental plant in European climates. You can pull Fo-Ti just as easily in your own home. All the plant needs are moist soil, a partially shaded location, and moderate temperatures. It also has no objection to a little space to spread out and a climbing aid. If these requirements are met, the seeds will begin to germinate after a short time. As soon as summer comes to an end, white, hermaphrodite flowers sprout on the branching stems between the heart-shaped leaves.
As autumn progresses, the flowering period comes to an end, and the seeds begin to ripen. These can be used wonderfully for growing a new plant. They are also ideal as a snack between meals or as an ingredient in meals. You can pack the lush green leaves of the Fo-Ti right away. With the onset of cold temperatures, the leaves also go into hibernation, and we dedicate ourselves to that part of the plant that lies comfortably warm under the ground: the roots. This is the part that is used in traditional Chinese herbalism.