There Are Health Benefits of Japanese Knotweed


Ah Japanese knotweed, what comes to most people’s minds is “that’s an obnoxious weed.” It is a prolific and invasive plant, but Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) has great medicinal and food value!

The spring shoots are eaten when they are young and tender about 4-8″ tall. The taste is similar to rhubarb and is used in dessert recipes, pies, candies, quiches, curries, and pickles. I think cooked knotweed tastes more vegetable- like than rhubarb.

Japanese knotweed root modulates and enhances immune function, it is anti-inflammatory for both arthritic and bacterial inflammations. Its compounds cross the blood-brain barrier where they act on the central nervous system as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and as protectants against oxidative and microbial damage.

Cognitive Disorders

Japanese knotweed has an effect on cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The resveratrol content in the herb’s root helps in cognitive disorders. Resveratrol has shown a measurable preventative effect against the progressive degeneration or death of neuron cells that can affect neural pathways.

Knotweed contains many powerful antioxidants that can help prevent and in some cases reverse neuronal plaque buildup in the brain.

Heart Disease 

The antioxidant properties of knotweed have preventative effects against cardiovascular disease. If you consume high-fat, rich foods, there is a much greater chance of developing heart disease and high cholesterol. By adding knotweed to your diet, you can benefit from the heart-protective qualities resveratrol offers. Resveratrol is known for being heart-friendly because it reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and prevents blood clots and damage to blood vessels.

Blood Pressure

Resveratrol is able to reduce fat and balance blood pressure. It reduces heart strain, stress and reduces blood pressure. This lowers the chance of strokes and heart attacks by dilating the blood vessels and arteries hindering blood clots.

Gastrointestinal Issues

This herb is high in resveratrol makes it great for healing GI inflammation, constipation, bloating, gas, cramps and other chronic digestive problems. When you add knotweed to your diet you significantly reduce any gastrointestinal distress. This herb is also a mild laxative which can help get your digestive processes back to normal.

Cancer Prevention

Resveratrol has a number of beneficial effects against carcinogens responsible for many types of cancer including breast, prostate, colon and thyroid cancers. Research is ongoing but these early results are very encouraging. Research is still going on but early results are satisfactory which adds a reason to use the powdered root in order to prevent cancer.

Lyme’s Disease

Very few compounds seem to help with Lyme disease but Japanese knotweed seems to ease the symptoms of the disease. For Lyme’s disease, many recommend using a teaspoon or more (some even recommend a tablespoon) of the powder 3 times a day mixed with juice, this is a much higher dose for Lyme’s disease.


Japanese knotweed can be found as powders, tablets, decoction, teas, fortified wines, tinctures, and capsules. The recommended dosage is from 10,000 to 15,000 mg of powder, tablets, or capsules daily.

Side Effects

Japanese knotweed does have side effects if used in very large doses. And of course like all other herbs Japanese knotweed should not be used by women who are pregnant, nursing, or by small children. Large doses can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and dry mouth.

Because knotweed is so invasive use this plant to your advantage for food and health benefits. There are many health benefits of using this plant. Instead of thinking of it as a weed, consider eating the young shoots and using the roots as medicine. How will you use the shoots in your recipes? I’m going to try them in a quiche or curry next.