Herbs & Plants

Persicaria amphibia

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Botanical Name :Persicaria amphibia
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. amphibia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: Water knotweed, Water smartweed, and Amphibious bistort.

Habitat :Persicaria amphibia is native to much of North America and Eurasia, but it is known on most continents as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed. It grows in many types of wet habitat, such as ponds, streams, and marshes.

Persicaria amphibia is a rhizomatous perennial herb which takes a variety of forms and is quite variable in morphology. It may be an aquatic plant, growing submerged or floating in water bodies, it may grow in muddy and wet areas which are periodically inundated, and it may grow in moist spots on land, such as in meadows. Dry-land and fully aquatic plants are sometimes considered different named varieties of the species.

The plant produces a thick stem from its rhizome. The stem may creep, float, or grow erect, rooting at stem nodes that come in contact with moist substrate. Stems are known to reach 3 meters long in aquatic individuals. The stems are ribbed and may be hairless to quite hairy in texture. Leaves are lance-shaped or take various other shapes and are borne on petioles. They may be over 30 centimeters in length. The inflorescence is a dense terminal cluster of many five-lobed pink flowers. Plants may have bisexual or unisexual flowers, with some plants bearing only male or only female flowers. The fruit is a shiny brown rounded achene around 3 millimeters long.

Medicinal Uses;
Various parts of this plant were used by several Native American groups as medicinal remedies and sometimes as food.
An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used to treat stomach pains and children with diarrhea.  The root has been eaten raw, or an infusion of the dried, pounded roots used, in the treatment of chest colds. A poultice of the fresh roots has been applied directly to the mouth to treat blisters.  As a cooling blood purifier this plant is preferred in France to Sarsaparilla.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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