Resveratrol in Japanese Knotweed (polygonum cuspidatum)

Japanese knotweed (P. cuspidatum)
Japanese knotweed (P. cuspidatum)

If you look at the labels on most resveratrol supplements, you will not find grape or wine extracts, despite these beverages' association with the anti-aging, healthful compound. Instead, you'll see a curious source for resveratrol: Japanese knotweed ( Polygonum cuspidatum).  Huh? Not a common part of your daily diet? Never finished off a plate of braised knotweed with a swig of 2008 knotweed wine?

Well, you're not alone, but there's nothing to worry about. Japanese knotweed is a common plant (some might even say invasive plant, or weed) that is exceptionally cheap to cultivate but which is very high in naturally-occurring resveratrol

Grapes, grape juice, and wine, the last especially, are generally far more expensive sources of resveratrol than knotweed, which, if processed properly, produces the exact same natural resveratrol (including the bioactive trans-resveratrol) as the sweet, red fruit and wine.

Are there any drawbacks to getting your resveratrol from knotweed? There is one, possibly: knotweed also has a high concentration of a substance called emodin, a natural laxative. So, along with your resveratrol, unpurified Japanese knotweed extracts will also help you "stay regular." In fact, in traditional Chinese medicine, knotweed is called hu zhang, and is prescribed for constipation.

Otherwise, knotweed is used by beekeepers as a great source of nectar for honeybees, and its stalks can even be eaten much like rhubarb, although its high levels of oxalic acid (a natural substance, in spinach and other foods as well, that can aggravate kidney stones) and emodin should caution anyone to consume it in moderation.

So, is there any reason to avoid resveratrol from Japanese knotweed in favor of wine, grapes, or other sources? Absolutely not, unless you have a very sensitive stomach and don't need anything with an even mild laxative effect added to your diet.

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Comments 15 comments

scla profile image

scla 6 years ago from Southern California

Thank you for pointing out additional products that contain Resveratrol. Good to know additional sources of this anti-aging product.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

You're quite welcome!

SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

Thanks for the info....of course, I would rather drink wine. Oh well.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

Nothing wrong with that! ;-)

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

Peanuts are an inexpensive source of resveratol and many, many other important nutrients/micro nutrients.

jstankevicz profile image

jstankevicz 6 years ago from Cave Creek

"eaten much like rhubarb..." hmmm, I'm picturing a slice of strawberry/knotwood pie ... thanks for the resveratrol insights!

livelonger profile image

livelonger 6 years ago from San Francisco Author

Pcunix: Yes, they are - good point.

Jstankevicz: Maybe not so appealing...but who knows! I'm waiting to see it on a menu somewhere...

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Cool hub! I learned a lot about what I should and shouldn't be consuming. Thanks for some great information.

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

sounds like a win win situation here. . I think I am just going to have to try some Japanese Knotweed. Thanks for sharing this. . great info!

Louis Taylor profile image

Louis Taylor 6 years ago from UK

Any source how to grow the knotweed? Im a gardener, wouldnt mind trying it :)

Medical Writer profile image

Medical Writer 6 years ago from Great Britain

Can this grow anywhere.

Vita 6 years ago

Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is very invasive. l would suggest you find it growing locally rather than planting it. l live in upstate NY and it is everywhere once you learn to recognize it. l have eaten the young shoots and juiced them, they have a rather lemony flavor.

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

They are trying to eliminate this plant as an invasive weed in the UK. I never knew it had this use though. A very informative hub!

Life at DrTom's profile image

Life at DrTom's 6 years ago from Ithaca, NY

Geesh, don't encourage people to cultivate this pest. It has taken over the banks of major rivers in the Northeast, and it is extremely aggressive. There is so much of it out there, simply harvest that.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Excellent information that I did not know. Thanks for this good hub.

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