Beauty Tips Rooted with TCM for Natural Skin

How to get black healthy hair

Jul 31, 2019

How to get Black Healthy Hair??

You might have seen this black herb before in some TCM shops or supermarkets and wonder what is it : He Shou Wu, ( Polygonum multiflorum) is also known as Fo-Ti, comes from the root of a twining vine in the knotweed family. It is a plant native to China but also found in Japan and Taiwan. Different parts of the plant are used for different uses. The one most commonly used part is from the root. The raw form of the root is light brown in colour which may contain some toxins and is not commonly used for beauty. The cooked form is black in colour, as it has to be cooked in a stew of black beans to activate the positive effects and render other components harmless. The cooked black form is the one that we see commonly sold in shops for beauty and hair.

He Shou Wu has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It is bitter, sweet and slightly warm in nature. It works on the liver and kidney meridians. It is believed that there was an elderly man, Mr He who got lost in the forest and he lived on the root to survive. Not only did his strength and vitality grow stronger day by day, his grey hair also turned black. He went from being sterile to fathering more than 5 children and lived to a ripe old age. Hence the herb was named after him: Mr He’s Black Hair (He Shou Wu).

In TCM, our kidneys manufacture and stores ‘Vital essence’ or Jing (精). This energy fuels life, sexuality and drive. He Shou Wu is known to be a good kidney tonic, it stimulates the production of Jing, helps to promote healthy liver and kidney functions by boosting the blood circulation to different parts of the body. He Shou Wu also stimulates production of superoxide dismutase which is a powerful anti-oxidant that scavenges free radicals to prevent premature aging. It also balances and calms the nervous system making it an excellent anti-stress tonic for those facing high levels of stress. It is rich in iron and zinc, which helps boosts blood production and has immuno-protective effects.

The most researched use of He Shou Wu is for hair conditions, such as premature hair greying, thinning hair, hair loss, hair loss due to illness or postnatal hair loss, dry, itchy or oily scalp. Its effectiveness is due to its effect in boosting blood circulation and delivering nutrients and oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles.

Benefits of He Shou Wu

  • Blood tonic – promotes production of red blood cells and strengthens them

  • Great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, prevents premature aging and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis and neuro-degenerative diseases.

  • Adaptogen which creates balance and harmony - lowers stress levels, calms and protects nervous system during high stress periods due to its yin properties

  • Supplies blood and nutrients to nourish the scalp and hair follicles from within

  • Restores and maintains black, silky and healthy hair

  • Reduces hair and scalp problems like premature hair greying, hair loss, and thinning/dry/oily hair

  • Improves sex drive, testosterone level and sperm function

  • Helps with giddiness, insomnia and forgetfulness


Ways to eat/use He Shou Wu

It’s easy to incorporate this herb into your routine. It can be drank as tea, boiled in soups, porridge or stews. Average daily dose is around 6-15g. Just add the herb to the soup and boil for 30mins. The extracted juice can also be used externally for washing/rinsing hair.

Do ensure the herb you bought is the cooked/prepared root that has already been cooked in black bean and looks black and usually irregularly shaped.

It is also available in powdered form, capsules or tablets in some commercial preparations found in TCM shops or traditional chinese medical halls in Singapore.

He Shou Wu is commonly cooked together with Danggui, Red Dates, Goji Berries, Black Sesame, Black beans, Mulberry.

For external use, the powdered herb can be mixed with water or oil and used as a scalp massage oil/scalp mask. 

Immortal Porridge ( 仙人粥)

This porridge recipe is long known to help replenish blood and energy. It nourishes the liver and kidneys. It’s anti-aging and helps to nourish our hair and skin. Take it for 7 days and see a more radiant you.


  1. Glutinous Rice 100g ; 粳米 100g

  2. Red Dates 25g ; 红枣25克

  3. He Shou Wu 10g;制何首乌 10克

  4. Brown Sugar or Rock sugar ( to taste ); 红糖或冰糖适量

  5. Water 7parts ; 清水 7分


  1. Rinse the He Shou Wu . 何首乌洗净。

  2. Wash the glutinous rice and red dates. 粳米和红枣洗净。

  3. Boil the He Shou Wu with water for 30mins and strain. Add in the glutinous rice and red dates to the strained liquid and boil for another 30mins till rice is cooked and like porridge. Add in sugar to taste. It’s best to use a claypot and avoid using metal pot. 先将何首乌用砂锅煎取汁,去渣后加入粳米、红枣,文火煮粥,待粥熟,加入适量红糖或冰糖,再煮一二沸,乘热服食。

  4. Serve warm. Eat twice a day for 7 days in a row as a full course. 每天服1~2次,7~10天为一疗程。

Did you know nourishing our lungs can also help improve our skin? Read more at our blog - Healthy Lungs

Nutrition is very important to nourish our skin from the inside, do not forget to also nourish our skin from the outside with skincare from our Renew Collection, containing specially selected TCM herbs that nourishes and stimulates collagen production while balancing and restoring skin to its natural, radiant and healthy state.