The major constituents of fo-ti are anthraquinones, phospholipids (e.g., lecithin), tannins, and tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside. The processed root has been used to lower cholesterol levels in Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to animal research, it helps to decrease fat deposits in the blood and possibly prevent atherosclerosis. However, human clinical trials are lacking to support this use. Test tube studies have suggested fo-ti’s ability to stimulate immune function, increase red blood cell formation, and exert an antibacterial action. None of these effects has been studied in humans. The unprocessed roots have a mild laxative action.