You can’t have “superfoods” without the word “super.” We’re constantly oohing and ahhing over the nutritional powerhouses that come across our desks – and recently, the most super of them all have been the black and gold bottles from Sun Potion filled with what they call ”transformational foods.” These supercharged superfoods boast ingredients like tonic herbs, mushrooms, medicinal plants…the list goes on! Last month, brand founders Scott and Nitsa gave us the scoop on ashitaba (plus a cinnamony “beauty potion” we’ve been whipping up in lieu of our normal lattes!). This month, we’re learning about the three little words that make a huge difference in the way your body functions: He Shou Wu.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: He Shou Wu has a rich history of use as an anti-aging, blood-building, beauty and rejuvenation food. The prepared extract of the tuber (polygonum multiflorum) is considered a tonic for the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, sexual center and spirit. He Shou Wu may support healthy immune function, energy levels and graceful aging.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT: This plant is deeply nourishing and rejuvenative. He Shou Wu is considered a kidney jing tonic – kidneys being the battery packs of the body and jing being the primary essence in Oriental medicine. For the modern lifestyle (especially those of us who live in an urban environment or work in the digital world!) our jing is often depleted and this herb helps to replenish it by tonifying the kidneys and liver and strengthening their cleansing action. On an external level, the root extract is reputed to strengthen the nails and restore natural hair color; He Shou Wu translates literally as “Mr. He’s Black Hair.” He Shou Wu is an excellent source of iron and zinc and is believed to raise the SOD (super oxide dismutase) levels in the body, which assist in clearing free radicals from the system.
LET’S GET TOGETHER: The simplest way to take He Shou Wu is to place half a teaspoon in a glass of warm water or tea. As with all the tonic herbs, it is most effective if consumed in small, regular doses over a lifetime. For daily use, it is important to use a prepared, powdered extract of the herb from a source that is organically grown – or even better – harvested in the wild without exposure to contaminants. He Shou Wu makes an excellent addition to teas, elixirs smoothies, nut milk potions, raw chocolate (like the ganache recipe below) – even coffee!
Free + Native’s He Shou Wu Ganache
1 Tbsp Sun Potion Cacao
½ tsp Sun Potion He Shou Wu
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
½ Tbsp natural sweetener (like raw honey, maple syrup, molasses or jerusalem artichoke syrup)
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together until you reach a silky chocolate syrup texture.
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I just adore Sun Potion and their magical blends!
Be careful with taking this, also known as Chinese Knotweed. It has been proven to cause liver damage.