Japanese Knotweed: Compounds, Advantages, and Security

Japanese knotweed is a medicinal plant that’s been used for hundreds of years in conventional medication techniques in Asia to deal with quite a lot of illnesses.

It’s often called Hu Zhang in Conventional Chinese language medication (TCM) and is usually prescribed together with different TCM herbs to deal with situations together with coughs and liver points.

Though this plant might provide a couple of well being advantages, scientific research investigating its results are nonetheless missing. Little conclusive proof is understood about its security or potential unwanted effects.

This text tells you every thing you must find out about Japanese knotweed, from its vitamin to its potential well being advantages.

Japanese knotweed, also called Fallopia japonica, Reynoutria japonica (R. japonica), and Polygonum cuspidatum (P.cuspidatum), is a perennial plant native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and North and South Korea (1).

This plant was first launched to Europe within the mid-Nineteenth century by a Bavarian unique plant seller. Japanese knotweed was possible delivered to the US within the 1800s. Yow will discover it in 42 U.S. states in addition to in 8 provinces in Canada (2, 3, 4).

Japanese knotweed reaches as much as 15 ft (4.5 meters) tall and grows in dense rows. Due to its bamboo-like stems, it’s typically referred to as Japanese bamboo (4).

Adapting to quite a lot of habitats and spreading shortly, the plant requires little or no to outlive, pushing out native plant species. The roots of the plant can unfold as much as 65 ft (20 meters) or extra.

This is the reason Japanese knotweed is on the listing of the 100 most invasive alien plant species (5).

Though this plant is very invasive and poses a menace to native plant species, it does include quite a lot of useful plant compounds and is a crucial medicinal plant in conventional medication techniques in China, Japan, and Korea (5).

For instance, the dried root of Japanese knotweed has been used for medicinal functions in China for hundreds of years.

The dried root of Japanese knotweed is called Hu Zhang within the Pharmacopoeia of the Individuals’s Republic of China, an official compendium of medicine, which incorporates each Conventional Chinese language medication (TCM) and Western medication (6, 7).

TCM practitioners prescribe Hu Zhang — normally together with different TCM herbs — to deal with quite a lot of medical situations together with coughs, jaundice, inflammatory problems, congestion, excessive blood lipid ranges, and even snake bites (7, 8).


Japanese knotweed is a extremely invasive plant that’s been used as a pure therapy in conventional medication techniques like TCM for hundreds of years.

TCM practitioners prescribe the roots of Japanese knotweed as a result of they supply concentrated sources of therapeutic plant compounds.

For instance, Japanese knotweed proves wealthy in resveratrol, piceatannol, polydatin, and different anthranoids like emodin (9).

It additionally comprises flavonoids together with quercetin, rutin, apigenin, isoquercitrin, reynoutrin, hyperoside, and kaempferol (1, 7).

Nevertheless, essentially the most studied compounds of Japanese knotweed rhizomes are emodin and resveratrol.

Analysis reveals that these compounds have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and neuroprotective qualities (1).

Plus, research might recommend that extracts from varied elements of the Japanese knotweed plant together with the roots, rhizomes, and stems might provide therapeutic advantages.


Japanese knotweed is a concentrated supply of therapeutic plant compounds like polydatin, emodin, physcion, and resveratrol, which can provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant advantages.

Though Japanese knotweed is usually used to deal with illnesses in conventional medication techniques like TCM, human proof supporting its medicinal worth stays inconclusive.

Whereas some take a look at tube and rodent research recommend that Japanese knotweed might provide well being advantages, there are only some human research that examine the consequences of Japanese knotweed dietary supplements.

An older examine in 20 male basketball gamers discovered that 6 weeks of supplementation with 200 mg of Japanese knotweed considerably diminished markers of irritation in comparison with a management group (10).

Remember that this extract was standardized to include a excessive stage of resveratrol, which has potent anti-inflammatory results. The consequences of this therapy might very properly have been from the resveratrol alone — not the Japanese knotweed (11).

One other examine in 20 wholesome adults discovered that therapy with 200 mg of Japanese knotweed diminished irritation markers in contributors’ blood ranges in comparison with a placebo group (12).

Check tube research have demonstrated that Hu Zhang extract (HZE) has highly effective anti-inflammatory results, particularly suppressing inflammatory proteins from forming in your blood (13).

Findings from different test-tube research recommend that Japanese knotweed extracts and compounds derived from Japanese knotweed might provide antiviral advantages as properly (14, 15).

Due to the plant’s excessive content material of anti-inflammatory compounds, some rodent research have discovered that Japanese knotweed extracts might defend towards blood vessel injury, ulcerative colitis, and different inflammatory situations (16, 17, 18, 19).

Though these outcomes are promising, extra human analysis is required.


Restricted analysis in people means that Japanese knotweed dietary supplements could also be efficient for suppressing inflammatory markers, however extra research are crucial to find out how this plant impacts human well being.

Sadly, there’s at the moment no analysis investigating both the security or toxicity of Japanese knotweed dietary supplements.

Nevertheless, a examine investigating the consequences of Hu Zhang granules in folks with gouty arthritis — a kind of inflammatory situation that impacts the joints — is at the moment underway in Shanghai and is anticipated to be accomplished by 2023.

Hu Zhang granules is a TCM prescription that comprises Japanese knotweed in addition to 11 different components together with Angelica and Notopterygium (20).

The examine will examine the efficacy and security of the therapy and should assist establish unwanted effects associated to the ingestion of Japanese knotweed.

It’s necessary to notice that Japanese knotweed has been utilized in TCM for hundreds of years and hasn’t been related to severe unwanted effects.

The few human research investigating the consequences of oral supplementation with Japanese knotweed didn’t report antagonistic unwanted effects (10, 13).

Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that Japanese knotweed dietary supplements are protected or applicable for everybody.

As a result of inadequate info exists on unwanted effects, remedy interactions, and protected dosage, people who find themselves taking remedy, those that are pregnant or breastfeeding, kids and youths, and people with medical situations shouldn’t take Japanese knotweed merchandise.

If you happen to’re occupied with taking Japanese knotweed, it’s necessary to seek the advice of a trusted healthcare supplier first to study of any potential dangers.


Though the few latest human research carried out haven’t reported antagonistic unwanted effects associated to Japanese knotweed supplementation, extra analysis on the security and potential toxicity of Japanese knotweed is required.

Japanese knotweed has been used as a therapy in conventional medication techniques for hundreds of years.

Though restricted proof from human, rodent, and test-tube research recommend that Japanese knotweed offers anti-inflammatory advantages and different therapeutic results, extra analysis is required to totally perceive its security and results in your well being.

If you happen to’re occupied with utilizing Japanese knotweed merchandise, it’s necessary to get recommendation from a healthcare supplier who’s acquainted with natural dietary supplements.

They might help decide whether or not Japanese knotweed dietary supplements show to be protected, efficient, and wholesome additions to your nutritious diet and life-style.

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