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Fleeceflower Root Infusion (Polygonum multiflorum)

Fleeceflower infusion (Polygonum multiflorum)

Fleeceflower (Polygonum multiflorum) is part of the Polygonaceae family, which includes rhubarb and buckwheat. It is also known as Fallopia multiflora, Chinese cornbind, Flowery knotweed and He-Shou-Wu.


Native to the Far East, it is a strong climber with red-brown stems, light green leaves and clusters of small, pink-tinted flowers. Its large roots can weigh up to 2.7kg.

The roots are very important in Chinese traditional medicine and have been used there at least since the Tang Dynasty (713 A.D). The heavy tubers resemble the shapes created by mandrake root and many of the traditional beliefs about fleeceflower root (or He-Shou-Wu, as it is known in China) relate to the appearance of the material. The roots are rich in starches.

Fleeceflower root has been given to people suffering from long-term degenerative illnesses to improve vitality and appetite, used to help reproductive and circulatory health and for weakened liver and kidneys. Ancient Chinese texts also record its laxative properties.

The Chinese name comes from a legend of Mr. Ho, who, according to the story, was advised by a monk to eat the root for his impotence and for his greying, lacklustre hair. After Mr. Ho followed the monk's advice, not only did he father several children and live to 130 years, but his hair turned from grey to black. The Chinese name literally means 'Ho's black hair' (shou = head, wu = black).

Along with ginseng, fleeceflower root is one of the most prominent herbs in Chinese medicine, believed to be bestowed with potent anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. It is heavily connected with Taoist immortality recipes and rituals. Fleeceflower root contains rhein, a compound known to cause laxative effects. Externally, the herb has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for alopecia.

We make our infusion by adding fleeceflowers to boiled water.

Fleeceflower root is rich in lecithin, which makes it a beneficial for use in cosmetics. Lecithin, in its isolated commercial form, is used as a granulated additive. Its thickening, emulsifying and antioxidant properties make it a widely used ingredient. It is a natural surfactant.

Lecithin softens the skin and helps the absorption of other ingredients. It is a highly conditioning and moisturizing ingredient for hair, which is why it's used in so many of our hair conditioners and masks. Adding a natural surfactant to the formula also reduces the need for synthetic ingredients and allows for more sophisticated blends of raw materials.