Water pepper (Polygonum punctatum) medicinal herb is a perennial plant that is native to Australia, North America, Asia and Europe. As the name suggests, it is peppery. It can really burn your tongue and mouth, so due care has to be taken when eating the leaves which are edible.
The entire plant may be used as herbal medicine and it is also used as a spice due to its pungent taste.
It is from the buckwheat or
Polygonaceae family and in Japan the leaves are utilized as vegetable.
They really eat the leaves in Japan. The seeds are also an addition to
Japanese horseradish. It thrives well in shallow water as well as moist
and damp areas.
The common names are Water-pepper, Polygonum
punctatum, Pepperwort, Marshpepper, Water smartweed, Smartweed,
Persicaria hydropiper, Culrage, and American water-pepper. It is
probably mostly known as Smartweed.
The medicinal properties are diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, tonic, antiseptic, diuretic, stimulant and emmenagogue. The constituents are polygodial, sesquiterpenoids, rutin and waburganal as well as essential oil. If the essential oil is not used properly it can cause skin irritation.
It is useful in the treatment of women conditions which includes scarce menstruation, as well as ailments of the womb. Therefore women should find its health benefits as very vital when suffering from the numerous ailments that plague them on a regular basis.
It is a good remedy for coughs, cold, kidney conditions, bladder gravel, bowel ailments, jaundice, cholera and ulcers.
Water-pepper medicinal herb uses also include the treatment of epilepsy, gout, and it can be used as herbal bath for rheumatism, arthritis and other joint pains.
It can even be used as an earache remedy by putting two to four drops in the ear to alleviate pain. Also, the root can be chewed to alleviate toothache.
Water pepper was once used as remedy to treat ulcers in animals.
Infused three tablespoonful of the herb in two cups of water pepper and consume one tablespoon three times per day.
Updated March 29, 2019