Japanese knotweed

background

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), a perennial herb native to Japan, China and Korea, was imported into Great Britain and the United States in the 1800s as an ornamental plant. The shoots, leaves, and stems are edible, but contain oxalic acid, a chemical that may hinder calcium absorption. The three Latin names of Japanese knotweed are used in different regions of the world: Reynoutria japonica in much of Europe; Polygonum cuspidatum, in North America; and Fallopia japonica, in Britain.
Japanese knotweed is a common commercial source of resveratrol, a chemical well-known for its presence in red wine. Resveratrol, which is available as a dietary supplement, has reported antiaging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and lipid-lowering effects.
Traditional medicinal uses of Japanese knotweed root extracts include improvement of oral hygiene and cardiovascular health and treatment of acute hepatitis, high cholesterol, inflammation, skin rash, and constipation.

Related Terms

Anthraquinones, astringin, emodin, Fallopia japonica, flavonoid, fuyanke granule, Hu chang, Hu zhang, Phellodendron chinense, physcion, phytoalexin, phytoestrogens, piceatannol, piceid, polydatin, Polygonaceae (family), Polygoni cuspidati radix, Polygonum cuspidatum roots, Polygonum cuspidatum water extract, Polygonum cuspidatum, polyphenolic hydroxyanthraquinones, polyphenolic phytoalexin, Protykin®, resveratrol, Reynoutria japonica, stilbenes.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.