Botanical Name: Dipsacus japonicus
Common Name: Xu Duan
Habitat:Dipsacus japonicus is native to E. Asia – northern and eastern China, Japan, Korea. It grows on the grassy slopes, roadsides; at elevations up to 2,600 metres. Sunny places; at elevations from 300 – 1,500 metres in central and southern Japan.
Dipsacus japonicus is a spiny, biennial to perennial plant growing from a taproot. It produces a basal rosette of leaves and an often branched flowering stem up to 150cm tall. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
Cultivation: Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in sun or semi-shade. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Propagation: Through Seed – It is suggestede to sowing it in a greenhouse in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Edible Uses: Young leaves – cooked and eaten. A famine food, used when all else fails.
The roots are anodyne, antirheumatic, cancer, demulcent, emmenagogue, galactofuge, haemostatic, hepatic and tonic. It is used as a kidney tonic. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of various conditions including rheumatoid arthralgia, traumatic injuries, backache and weak knees, chilblains, hepatic and renal hypofunction, seminal emissions, polyuria and also to secure abortions.
The roots contain alkaloids, tannins and sugars.
The roots, areharvested in autumn, well washed and then dried in the sun or in dryers.
The seed is diuretic.
The plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism. It also has a long history of folk use in the treatment of breast cancer.
Other Uses: Not known to us.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.