Thursday, January 26, 2012

Garden Weed Or TCM Herb for Urological Problems

I came across this post on Persicaria capitata and it seems this weed is really a herb.

In many ways, I have often pondered on the fact- when is a weed a weed and when is it a herb?

Even certain grasses function as herbs for cats. My cat loves to chew on grass when she's feeling a bit under the weather. In the past, we used to bring home grass for her (we used to live in an apartment where grass was scarce!) and she was too scaredy to go down to the park to chew some grass, well at least the kind cats can use for stomach problems. 

Now Margaret has all the grass she can chew. We're still living in an apartment but it's on the ground floor and we have a tiny backyard where we grow quite a bit of herbs and stuff. The grass, all types, are plentiful. It's a veritable buffet.

With grass, comes weeds. 

What really are weeds anyway? 

Weeds are just a name we give to plants which we feel we have no proper use for. To Margaret, grass is a herb. If we humans find a use for a plant, it becomes less of a weed and more of a herb! That's my definition of weed versus herb. Correct me if I am wrong. 

Many years ago, my sis had some problem with her urinary tract where she would pee urine stained with blood. Mom got worried and took her to the Chinese sinseh. He recommended that she find this particular herb and boil with brown sugar and drink it as a tea.

Now living as we did in a small town of Banting, mom and dad went searching everywhere for this herb.

They had to peek at drain cracks and little patches of grassy plots to find the all elusive herb. Here's how it looks like.

Anyone knows what this is called?

Actually it is found in most grassy areas. It is a weed. I even have some in my garden (see above photo).

When mom visited me, she pointed out to me that the "weed" growing between crevices and cracks in the cement (near the drain) was the very herb she used to cure my sister's problem! The things I learn! 

Anyway, back to the Pink Knotweed or Persicaria capitata. It is also known as Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Smartweed and Pink Bubble Persicaria. I found some growing near my compost pots. I often wondered what kind of plant they were. Thanks to Gardening with Wilson, now I know. 

Pink knotweed 

Wilson states that this is a herb used in TCM for "for the treatment of a range of urological disorders, such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections." Pink Knotweed also contains antioxidants. 

Misai kucing herb

What do you know! 

Now besides my misai kucing or Java tea plant, I can use this to treat urinary tract infections. 

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