Redshank

Persicaria minor (Huds.) Opiz

OVERVIEW

The plant is an aromatic plant in the family Polygonaceae, which grows mostly in temperate regions. The plant originates from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in South-East Asia, where it is commonly used in the food industry as a spice and flavouring agent.

VERNACULAR NAMES

Kleiner Knöterich (German), empreinte-la-vierge (French), Phakphai (Thailand), Chakong-machain (Manipuri-India), Rau ram (Vietnam).

AGROECOLOGY

In tropical to warm temperate zones, this plant succeeds. It is likely to withstand light frost. It needs a damp soil that succeeds in shallow water. For optimal development, fertile soils with sufficient soil moisture are indispensable. It grows best under partial shade, but if sufficient humidity is available, maximum sunlight is tolerated. It requires well distributed rain during planting and growing with a total of 2,500-3,000 mm annually. The areas with dry period or more than one month are not suitable for growing unless irrigation is made available.

MORPHOLOGY

  • Roots – fibrous.
  • Stems – cylindrical, green and slightly reddish having short internodes with nodes that are easily rooted.
  • Leaves – long and lanceolate measuring 5-7 cm long and 0.5-2.0 cm wide, dark green aromatic and arranged alternately on a stem.
  • Flowers – small, white or light reddish in colour, arranged in heads (capitate); inflorescence axillary.
  • Fruits – triangular, 1.5 mm long, acuminate at both ends, smooth and shiny. Mature fruits are brown.
  • Seeds – small, black, sour tasting.

CULTIVATION

  • Propagated by seed.
  • Stem cuttings with 5-7 internodes (15-20 cm long) taken from the top of mature stems are easily propagated by the plant.
  • The cuttings are soaked for 7-14 days in water to induce rooting before field planting.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS

  • Alkaloids, flavonoids, β- carotene, aliphatic aldehid, decanal, dodecanal, tannins, gallic acid, rutin, coumaric acid, quercetin, furanone, benzenedicarboxaldehyde.

TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL USES

  • Antioxidant, in vitro inhibition of LDL oxidation, antiulcer activity, analgesic activity, anti-inflammatory activity, in vitro activity. of antiplatelet aggregation, antimicrobial activity, property of digestive enhancement and cytotoxic activity were demonstrated by the plant.
  • The leaves are used as an anti-aphrodisiac, febrifuge, febrifuge and diuretic. The fresh leaves seem to have abortive properties.
  • Traditionally, decoction of leaves is used to help in digestion, getting rid of scalp, and as tonic taken after birth.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the roots have been used for a range of therapeutic purposes.
  • The juice prepared from the crushed leaves is taken as an antidote to the poisonous snake bite and the residue of the leaves is coated with the bite.
  • The crushed leaves are externally applied to treat fever, vomiting, ringworm and phagedaena.

Reference Sources

  1. Flowers of India. (No date). Chinese Knotweed. http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/
    Chinese%20Knotweed.html 2-12-20020.
  2. Globinmed. (No date). Kesum. https://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79360
    :kesum 02-12-2020.
  3. PFAF. (No date).Polygonum minus – Huds. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+minus. 22-04-2021.
  4. Asanai MF, Haron N, Camalxaman SN, Mohamed E, Rambely AS. 2020. A review on medicinal benefits of Persicaria minor. Health Scope. 3(2).