Japanese Knotweed: Snapshot

Resveratrol has been studied extensively in cancer cells of leukemia, oral squamous carcinoma cells, neuroblastoma cells, and skin, breast, and prostate cancer cells. Because resveratrol is an anti-inflammatory compound, it may be effective for preventing cancer in the three stages of cancer development. It has been shown to slow the development of atherosclerotic plaques and to protect the heart.

Botanical Name

Polygonum cuspidatum

Part Used


Common Names

Mexican bamboo, Japanese fleeceflower, giant knotweed, Huzhang.

Brief History

Polygonum cuspidatumIn China, the root was used medicinally to treat menstrual and postpartum difficulties. In recent years, the Chinese have been using huzhang in the treatment of burns and acute viral hepatitis with considerable success. Researchers have found that some of its chemical components have antibacterial, antiviral, liver protectant and antioxidant effects. The unique broad, traditional and modern properties which include detoxicant, anti-burn, wound healing, astringent, antimicrobial and antioxidant, have been utilized in skin care cosmetics and environmental products.


Resveratrol (100x more than Red Grapes)

Therapeutic Properties

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumour, antiageing.

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Cool

Moisture: Dry

Therapeutic Indications

To slow the ageing process, cardiovascular disease prevention, cancer prevention, osteoarthritis, constipation, Leukopaenia, tonsillitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Metabolic syndrome X.

Primary Uses

Bladder cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancer.

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago reported in the prestigious journal Science that resveratrol stops not one but three major stages of cancer development. It stops cancer initiation, the stage in which the antioxidant defences of the body are overwhelmed by cancer-causing chemicals. It stops cancer promotion, the stage in which a tumour secretes inflammatory chemicals essential for it to establish its own nutrient supplies and spread via the bloodstream. And in leukemia, it promotes differentiation, a process by which the unrestrained multiplication of cancer cells is stopped and white blood cells are returned to their normal life cycle. Since this announcement, more than 1,300 scientific studies have attributed other cancer-fighting effects to resveratrol.

Scientists at the Chungang University in Seoul, Korea, found that it deactivates some forms of the liver enzyme p450. This enzyme is necessary to transform many chemicals into a carcinogenic form. This enzyme system is related to hormone-sensitive cancers such as estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and prostate cancer. As such, resveratrol should be avoided because it may stimulate the proliferation of tumour cells. However, others have found that resveratrol reduces cell migration and invasion in breast cancer cells. It is clear that more work is needed before it can be recommended for patients with, or at risk, for breast cancer.

Scientists at National Taiwan University discovered that resveratrol acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to lessen the inflamed tissues surrounding a tumour and is essential for leukemia viruses to activate leukemia. Resveratrol inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX) activity by releasing cytokines from macrophages in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A research team at the New York Medical College observed that resveratrol triggered apoptosis, or “cellular suicide,” in prostate cancer cells. Men who drink a glass of red wine a day may cut their chances of prostate cancer in half. Men who drink four or more 4-ounce glasses of wine per week have a 60 percent lower incidence of more aggressive types of prostate cancer. Resveratrol also has been shown to inhibit the enzymes CYP1A1, CYP1A2, and CYP1B1 in tumour cells. This may be one of the mechanisms by which resveratrol affects cancer cells.

Coronary artery disease (CAD).

Resveratrol has been shown to slow the development of atherosclerotic plaques, thus reducing the risk of CAD. Recently, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol. Another study has shown that resveratrol, as well as some flavonoids, inhibits platelet aggregation, thus helping to forestall the formation of clots in the blood vessels.

Dosage (Divided Daily)

Dried Root: 7,500 – 30,000mg

• Standardised Extract: 100 – 500mg (95% Resveratrol)


Resveratrol should be avoided by those with hormone-sensitive cancers because this compound activates estrogen and androgen receptors, which leads to stimulation of cancer cells that are hormone sensitive.

Side effects

None known

Interactions with other drugs

Resveratrol should not be used in conjunction with antiplatelet drugs.

Buy Japanese Knotweed Extract Capsules  Loose Powder
Dried Jap. Knotweed Root

  1. Balch, P. A., & Bell, S. J. (2012). Prescription for herbal healing (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Avery.
  2. Bone, K. (2007). The ultimate herbal compendium: a desktop guide for herbal prescribers. Warwick, Qld.: Phytotherapy Press.
  3. Herbalpedia (2013)
  4. Skenderi, G. (2003). Herbal vade mecum: 800 herbs, spices, essential oils, lipids, etc., constituents, properties, uses, and caution. Rutherford, N.J.: Herbacy Press.

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