plants for medicine

plants for medicine

hi, i'm timothy scott the author of invasive plant medicine and i'm here to talk about my favorite plant here - japanese knotweed this is really my favorite plant and it's the plant that instigated this whole journey intowriting a book and i got to know japanese knotweed many years ago when i first started treating lyme disease and learned from stephen buhner that

that this was the most important herb to use in the treatment of lyme disease since then i've learned many things about the plant - not only how it's helping humans heal from disease but also how it helps rehabilitate lands where it lives and helps clean the environmentfor us and helps protect these areas that have been disturbed by human development and pollution so it's a very important plant and there's agood reason why it grows here

and flourishes where it does it's a warrior plant and it has no fear of shovel or poison or extreme environments - you can see it growing in basically any environment throughout the united states and various soil compositions, different elevations polygonum cuspidatum is the latin name for it studies in england have found that the plant is primarily a female plant and the japanese knotweed alliance has called japanese knotweed the largest female in biomass terms

and with this it does not spread so much by seeds - it spreads more by roots and fragments of roots and that's what we see here mostly in america these plants spread mostly by root fragments any little piece of the root that is broken free from the plant can set up whole colonies by themselves what most likely happened here is that down the river a ways just a little bit broke off and over time they've been able - the roots have spread throughout the land and into this area

and have created huge stands of this plant and if you take a look over here you can also see that some folks have tried to really... tried to get rid of this plant and in fact this is the second cutting they've done this year and it's still coming back in - and really, the cuttings don't do much to keep it in check - it just cuts them back and it still flourishes here the root is where we find the medicine i learned about six years ago from stephen buhner -

when he was writing the book "healing lyme" that japanese knotweed was the most important herbin treating lyme disease and since that time i - in my herbal practice it has been themainstay herb that i've been using and with really great success with folks now the plant has been used for thousands of years in far east medicine and is only now being sought after in the west for herbal medicine - and mainly with the work that buhner has done with lyme disease the roundabout way we've learned more and more aboutknotweed

is through the compounds that are found within the root the most notable compound in japanese knotweed root is resveratrol - resveratrol is an antioxidant that gained notoriety with the "french paradox" - the study that found resveratrol to bethe active component in preventing heart disease and other degenerative diseases and that was through looking at the diet of europeans who ate a rich, fatty diet, with the all-important red wine and in that red wine was found resveratrol and so that was the component that they found that was

helping prevent heart disease and other degenerative diseases not only does knotweed have resveratrol, but it has many other compounds in it that address various aspects of the body and healing the most important piece of knotweed for medicine is the root and what i have done is harvest the root and cut it into pieces and dry it and then further powder that and put it into capsules that has been the easiest way for me to provide that for folks some people do make tinctures out of it - though buhner does not recommend that in the treatment of lyme disease -

so i haven't pursued that much and you can always use it in it's raw form and make teas anddecoctions out of it by taking some of the roots, you know... a few ounces at a time and adding that to a pot of water and boiling for a good twenty or thirty minutes to extract these compounds from it another great potential for japanese knotweed is it being a potential source for biomass for electricity and energy needs and as you can see here grows prolifically and often grows right along roadsides so it's easy to harvest

it grows inches a day and the potential of harvesting a few times a year is there with simple alterations in equipment that's available already0:06:33.129,06:38.499these plants could be harvested and made use of for our energy needs - and that is another potential for communities with this plant