Although Japanese knotweed may sound like something you’d want to ignore, this plant is quite incredible. Japanese knotweed contains high concentrations of resveratrol, and many resveratrol supplements use Japanese knotweed over grapes for the production and formulation of these pills. Keep reading to learn what Japanese knotweed is, what its relationship to resveratrol is and how resveratrol provides the body with health benefits.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese knotweed is a plant native to China, North and South Korea and Japan. Originally, it was introduced as an ornamental plant with its wide oval-shaped leaves and hollow stems, but it has since been used for a wide range of purposes. Japanese knotweed is not cultivated around the world and can be found growing along the rivers of the United States and Canada. For centuries, Japanese knotweed was used as a laxative, which led to the discovery of its medicinal properties. Although Japanese knotweed is edible, and is said to have a taste similar to rhubarb, many people only use Japanese knotweed to harvest its incredible antioxidant, resveratrol.
Japanese Knotweed and Resveratrol
Many people associate resveratrol with red wine, and there is a good reason. The skin of grapes is a well-known source of resveratrol, but Japanese knotweed is a more potent source of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a potent flavonoid and is praised for its many health benefits. While many assume that resveratrol supplements are made primarily using grapes, Japanese knotweed is the preferred source for many manufacturers. Part of the reason that Japanese knotweed is preferred to the skin of grapes is that this plant can be grown year-round and is more consistent with its levels of resveratrol, making it a more effective source of resveratrol.
Benefits of Resveratrol
The health benefits of resveratrol are wide-ranging and research regarding this antioxidant is constant. Three of the most important health benefits of resveratrol include:
- Anti-Aging – Resveratrol is well-known for its anti-aging properties and its use for this purpose is common. As an antioxidant, resveratrol fights harmful free radical damage and can be incredibly beneficial when applied topically. However, your skin is not the only area of your body that resveratrol can aid with regards to aging. Resveratrol affects the activity of sirtuins, which are enzymes in your body and this interaction has a positive effect on age-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
Cancer Prevention – Perhaps most miraculously, resveratrol has been shown to effectively reduce tumors in size and weight, and in a study involving mice, it was also shown to inhibit lung metastasis with highly metastatic lung carcinoma. The cancer-fighting benefits of resveratrol continue to be studied.
- Weight Loss – Health experts note that calorie restriction is important to losing and maintaining a healthy body weight. Resveratrol has been shown to have effects similar to following a calorie-restricted diet, thus helping people to lose weight. Resveratrol is currently the most potent compound that activates SIRT1, which is what produces the calorie restriction effects. Of course, resveratrol should not be the only thing one relies on to lose weight, but adding a resveratrol supplement can help significantly when combined with proper nutrition and exercise.
Japanese knotweed is one of the best sources of resveratrol, and is used in the formulation of many resveratrol supplements. Adding resveratrol to your diet can help delay the effects of aging, both physical and mental, help you lose and maintain weight and may be a powerful anti-cancer agent. Taking a resveratrol supplement can be an easy and effective way to maintain optimal health.