The Benefits of Polygonum cuspidatum

Polygonum cuspidatum is often known as Mexican bamboo or Japanese knotweed and is readily found in Asia and North America. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for bronchitis, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), jaundice and blood pressure. Polygonum cuspidatum has captured the attention of western researchers because of its high concentration of resveratrol. Resveratrol has previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral,  immunomodulatory, chemopreventive, and cardio-protective effects.

Researchers in New York decided to examine the effects of Polygonum cuspidatum on various biomarkers and clinical parameters of inflammation and oxidative stress (damaging pathological changes in the body due to harmful cytotoxic agents and free radicals) from blood samples. There were two groups of ten healthy-weight participants each; one group received a placebo and the other received 40 mg of Polygonum cuspidatum. The study lasted six weeks and blood samples were collected at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 weeks.

The researchers found that the group which received Polygonum cuspidatum had signficiant reductions in many of the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation. There was no significant change for the placebo group. The reserachers concluded that Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol has a beneficial suppressive effect on oxidative stress and inflammation. Thus, it could be a viable treatment option for diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty substances in the artery), which are affected by oxidative stress and inflammation.

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