Japanese knotweed – Fallopia japonica

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Japanese-knotweed---Fallopia-japonica

Japanese knotweed Quick Facts
Name: Japanese knotweed
Scientific Name: Fallopia japonica
Origin Eastern Asia
Shapes Winged, shiny, triangular, small; Length: 1/10 inch (Fruit)
Health benefits Cognitive problems, Heart ailments, Lowers blood pressure, Gastrointestinal health, Prevent cancer
More facts about Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed is the flowering plant in the Buckwheat family Polygonaceae. Common names include Fleece Flower, Monkeyweed, Himalayan Fleece Vine, Hancock’s Curse, Tiger Stick, Pea Shooters, Sally Rhubarb, Donkey Rhubarb, Mexican Bamboo, Huzhang or Japanese Polygonum. It is extensive cultural, culinary, medicinal and ceremonial herb for the Asian cultures by the centuries. It is found in riparian areas, coastlands, and wet grasslands.

Fallopia japonica is a vigorous herbaceous shrub growing to 1-3 m (3-10 ft). The flowers are small, white to green which is 1/6-1/8 inch long. The stems are hollow, smooth, purple to green of 2.5cm (1”) diameter. Leaves are arranged alternately, oval-triangular, 10-17 cm long and 7-10 cm wide. It has fleshy and red tinged shoots which is 30 cm x 30 cm across. It produces small, winged, shiny, triangular fruit which is 1/10 inch long. It is a perennial plant which has dark brown, with interior bright orange rhizomes.

History

Japanese knotweed is native to Eastern Asia. It is also available in the Europe, British Isles, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Newfoundland.

It was introduced as an ornamental plant in 19th century to Ireland.  In the late 1800’s, it was introduced to United States. It got introduced in England as an ornamental plant in 1825 where it spread rapidly which become a problem weed. In spite of this, it was introduced in the late 19th century to North America as an ornamental to control erosion and as forage. Japanese knotweed becomes a threat. It was introduced in 1825 to the United Kingdom from Japan. Japanese knotweed appears in the Midwest and Western states.

Health Benefits of Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. It also offers potassium, zinc, phosphorus and manganese. It is a great source of resveratrol which lowers bad cholesterol and chances of heart attacks. It also acts as anti-inflammatory which assist immune system to fight infections, relieves arthritis and prevents the body from neurotoxin damage.

  1. Cognitive problems

Japanese knotweed has positive effect on the cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is due to resveratrol content in this herb. It provides preventative effect on the neurodegenerative process which affects the neural pathways. Antioxidants eliminates free radicals and plaque which affects the mental function. Resveratrol energizes the brain pathways which prevents the health ailments. (1)

  1. Heart ailments

The food rich in fat increases the chances of heart problems and cardiovascular conditions such as high cholesterol. Japanese knotweed possesses resveratrol which helps to deal with such conditions. Red wine is drunk in large amounts in France due to which heart conditions are not common there. One should add Knotweed to the diet to get the heart protective properties. (2)

  1. Lowers blood pressure

Resveratrol is able to reduce the fat and balances the blood pressure. It reduces the heart strain, stress and also reduces the blood pressure which lowers the chances of strokes and heart attacks by dilating the blood vessels and arteries hindering blood clots. (3)

  1. Gastrointestinal health

Japanese knotweed helps to treat the stomach problems such as bloating, constipation, inflammation, bloating, chronic pain and cramps. Resveratrol found in Japanese knotweed reduces the gastrointestinal distress and acts as a laxative which assists in the normal process of digestive system. (4)

  1. Prevent cancer

Japanese knotweed possesses anti-cancer properties. Resveratrol is beneficial against carcinogens which lead to cancer such as colon, prostate, thyroid and breast cancer. Research is still going on but the early found results are satisfactory which adds a reason to use in order to prevent health. (5)

  1. Controls insulin

The poor diet is responsible for the improper regulation of insulin levels and prosper insulin resistance. It results in diabetes and health ailments. The addition of Japanese Knotweed helps to avoid these conditions. Japanese knotweed possesses resveratrol which prevents the development of insulin resistance and also regulates the level of blood sugar. (6)

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