Centella: The famous wild vegetable of Asia

Centella (Centella asiatica): The famous wild vegetable of Asia

Wild vegetable: Centella asiatica

Centella asiatica juice used in Vietnam


Centella asiatica
Hydrocotyle asiatica L.
Trisanthus cochinchinensis Lour.

The names

Classificational name: Centella asiatica (L.) Urban.
Common name: Centella.
Regional names:
-Hindi: Brahmi booti.
-Chinese: Luei gong gen meaning "chipped big bowl", literally "thunder god's root".
-Tamil: Vallaarai.
-Sri Lanka: Gotu kola 
-Vietnamese: Rau má (mother vegetable).
-Philippinean: Yahong yahong.
-In India, it is popularly known by a variety of names: bemgsag, brahma manduki, brahmanduki, brahmi, ondelaga or ekpanni (south India, west India), sarswathi aku (Andhra Pradesh), gotu kola, khulakhudi, mandukparni, mandookaparni, or thankuni (Bengal), depending on region. 


Centella asiatica, commonly centella is a small, herbaceous, annual plant of the family Mackinlayaceae or subfamily Mackinlayoideae of family Apiaceae, and is native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. It is used as a famous wild vegetable and as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional African medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. Botanical synonyms include Hydrocotyle asiatica L. and Trisanthus cochinchinensis (Lour.).


The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish-green in color, connecting plants to each other. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.
The flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.
The crop matures in three months, and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually.


Centella grows along ditches and in low, wet areas. In Indian and Southeast Asian centella, the plant frequently suffers from high levels of bacterial contamination, possibly from having been harvested from sewage ditches. Because the plant is aquatic, it is especially sensitive to pollutants in the water, which are easily incorporated into the plant.

Culinary use

Centella is used as a leafy green in Sri Lankan cuisine, where it is called gotu kola. In Sinhalese gotu is translated as "conical shape" and kola as "leaf". It is most often prepared as malluma , a traditional accompaniment to rice and curry, and goes especially well with vegetarian dishes, such as dhal, and jackfruit or pumpkin curry. It is considered quite nutritious. In addition to finely chopped gotu kola, malluma almost always contains grated coconut, and may also contain finely chopped green chilis, chili powder, turmeric powder and lime (or lemon) juice. A variation of the nutritious porridge known as kola kenda is also made with gotu kola by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka. Kola Kenda is made with very well-boiled red rice (with extra liquid), coconut milk and gotu kola, which is pureed. The porridge is accompanied with jaggery for sweetness. Centella leaves are also used in sweet "pennywort" drinks.
In Indonesia, the leaves are used for sambai oi peuga-ga, an Aceh type of salad, and is also mixed into asinan in Bogor.
In Vietnam and Thailand, this leaf is used for preparing a drink or can be eaten in raw form in salads or cold rolls. In Bangkok, vendors in the famous Jatujak Market sell it alongside coconut, roselle, crysanthemum, orange and other health drinks.
In Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for ulam, a type of Malay salad.
It is one of the constituents of the Indian summer drink thandaayyee.

Medicinal effects

Centella is a mild adaptogen, is mildly antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerogenic, anxiolytic, nervine and vulnerary, and can act as a a cerebral tonic, a circulatory stimulant, and a diuretic.
Centella asiatica may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, and may be a promising anxiolytic agent in the future.
In Thailand, tisanes of the leaves are used as an afternoon stimulant. A decoction of juice from the leaves is thought to relieve hypertension. A poultice of the leaves is also used to treat open sores.
Richard Lucas claimed in a book published in 1966 (second edition in 1979) that a subspecies "Hydrocotyle asiatica minor" allegedly from Sri Lanka also called fo ti tieng, contained a longevity factor called 'youth Vitamin X' said to be 'a tonic for the brain and endocrine glands' and maintained that extracts of the plant help circulation and skin problems. However according to medicinal herbalist Michael Moore, it appears that there is no such subspecies and no Vitamin X is known to exist.
Several scientific reports have documented Centella asiatica's ability to aid wound healing which is responsible for its traditional use in leprosy. Upon treatment with Centella asiatica, maturation of the scar is stimulated by the production of type I collagen. The treatment also results in a marked decrease in inflammatory reaction and myofibroblast production.
The isolated steroids from the plant also have been used to treat leprosy. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that it may have nootropic effects. Centella asiatica is used to revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat aging. Centella asiatica also has antioxidant properties. It works for venous insufficiency. It is used in Thailand for opium detoxification.
Followers of Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra, commonly known as Satsangees, all over the world take one or two fresh leaves with plenty of water in the morning after morning rituals. This is prescribed by Sri Sri Thakur himself.
'Many reports show the medicinal properties of C. asiatica extract in a wide range of disease conditions, such as diabetic microangiopathy, edema, venous hypertension, and venous insufficiency. The role of C. asiatica extract in the treatment of memory enhancement and other neurodegenerative disorders is also well documented. The first report concerning the antitumor property of C. asiatica extract was on its growth inhibitory effects on the development of solid and ascites tumors, which lead to increased life span of tumor-bearing mice. The authors also suggested the extract directly impeded the DNA synthesis. "In our study, C. asiatica extract showed an obvious dose dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in breast cancer cells.

New pharmacology studies

-Constituents: The purported active components of gotu kola (Centella asiatica), accounting for 1-8% of the constituents, include asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, asiaticoside A, and asiaticoside B.The leaves of Centella asiatica have also been reported to contain 170mg calcium, 30mg phosphorous, 3.1mg iron, 414mg potassium, 6.58mg beta-carotene, 0.15mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 1.2mg niacin, and 4mg asorbic acid.
-Alzheimer's disease effects: Asiaticoside derivatives, including asiatic acid and asiaticoside 6, were shown to reduce hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death, decrease free radical concentrations, and inhibit beta amyloid cell death in vitro, suggesting a possible role for gotu kola in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and beta amyloid toxicity.
-Antioxidant effects: Asiaticoside derivatives, including asiatic acid and asiaticoside 6, were shown to reduce hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death, decrease free radical concentrations, and inhibit beta amyloid cell death in vitro, suggesting a possible role for gotu kola in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and beta amyloid toxicity.
-Anti-gastric ulcer activity: In rats, extract of Centella asiatica significantly inhibited gastric ulceration induced by cold and resistant stress, similar to the inhibition caused by famotidine and sodium valproate.The titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA) has been shown to have protective and therapeutic effects on gastric mucosal damage in rats. Fresh juice of Centella asiatica given in doses of 200 or 600mg/kg twice daily for five days was shown to have protective activity against gastric ulcers induced by ethanol, aspirin, cold-restraint stress, and pyloric ligation.7 The higher dose resulted in significantly increased mucin secretion and mucous formation, while significantly decreasing cell shedding.
-Anti-inflammatory effects: In rats, Madecassol was shown to decrease the severity of radiation-induced dermatitis vs. control.
-Anti-fertility effects: Animal study shows a consistent reduction of fertility in female mice after the ingestion of isothankuniside and its derivative BK compound, both of which are isolated from Centella asiatica.
-Antimicrobial effects: An in vitro study of Centella asiatica powder found no activity against the acid-fastness or viability of M. tuberculosis, despite its use in the treatment of leprosy (M. leprae). A subsequent in vitro study found asiaticoside to have little microbicidal activity against M. tuberculosis or M. leprae; however, when incorporated into liposomal form, the microbicidal activity of asiaticoside was greatly increased. Centella asiatica extract and asiaticoside are active against herpes simplex virus in vitro.
-Antineoplastic effects: In vitro, partially purified fractions of Centella asiatica crude extract significantly inhibit proliferation of cancerous cells in a dose-dependent fashion, with no toxic effects to human lymphocytes. In mice, oral administration of both crude extract ofCentella asiatica and partially purified fractions of the crude extract slow the development of solid and ascites tumors, and increase the lifespan of mice, with possible action directly on DNA synthesis.
-Anxiolytic properties: Bradwejn et al. performed a double-blind, placebo controlled trial to study the effects of gotu kola on acoustic startle response (ASR), a validated instrument used to measure levels of anxiety. At 30 and 60 minutes after intervention, subjects who consumed 12g dose of gotu kola (from crude herb capsules, Nature's Way Canada, Ltd.) mixed in 300ml of grape juice experienced a significant decrease in their ASR, suggesting the possible ability of gotu kola to decrease anxiety. The small sample size and use of healthy (non-anxious) subjects limit the application of these data, but do suggest that gotu kola may possess anxiolytic properties. Although gotu kola has been studied for anxiety, the exact mechanism of action remains unclear.
-Cardiovascular effects: In an investigation of oral Centellase (TTFCA 60mg three times daily) to stabilize carotid plaques, it was reported that TTFCA regulated and modulated collagen production over the 12-month study period.
-Hepatic effects: A randomized controlled trial showed that a combination product (CognoBlend® containing Bacopa monneria, Gingko biloba, cat's claw, gotu kola, rosemary) may be an effective adjunct treatment for patients with liver cirrhosis, although a mechanism of synergistic action in this study is unclear.
-Hepatic effects (hepatotoxicity): Researchers have hypothesized that gotu kola may contain di- or triterpenic active principles, which can produce hepatic injury by promoting apoptosis and altering cell membranes.
-Neuroprotective effects: The effect of chloroform: methanolic (80:20) extract of Centella asiatica (CA; 100 and 200mg/kg), was evaluated on the course of free radical generation and excitotoxicity in monosodiumglutamate (MSG) treated female Sprague Dawley rats. The extract showed significant improvement in catalase, super oxide desmutase, and lipid peroxides levels in hippocampus and striatum regions. Glutathione level was not altered with CA treatment. Similar observation was made with dextromethorphan. The general behavior, locomotor activity, and CAl a region of the hippocampus was significantly protected by CA indicating neuroprotective effect of CA in MSG induced excitotoxic condition. Hence it can be concluded that CA protected MSG induced neurodegeneration attributed to its antioxidant and behavioural properties. The researchers concluded that this activity of Centella asiatica can be explored in epilepsy, stroke and other degenerative conditions in which the role of glutamate is known to play vital role in the pathogenesis.
-Vascular effects: A controlled study in 21 subjects with postphlebitic limbs or lymphedema reports that daily Centellase (TTFCA) causes a significant decrease in both the lymphatic/plasma protein concentration ratio and distal edema. The total triterpenic fraction ofCentella asiatica (TTFCA) has been noted to reduce ankle edema, foot swelling, and capillary filtration rate, as well as to improve microcirulatory parameters (including resting flux, venoarteriolar response, PO2, PCO2) in subjects with reported venous insufficiency of the lower extremities. HU300 (containing 17.5mg of total triterpenoids derived from Centella asiatica), two tablets twice daily, is reported to decrease venous distensibility index, reduce venous congestion, and reduce supine venous pressure after eight months in subjects with venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, or perimalleolar leg ulcers.
-Wound/burn healing effects: Asiatic acid, madecassic acid, and asiaticoside have been shown to stimulate the in vitro synthesis of collagen, both alone and in combination.The titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA), asiatic acid, and asiaticoside were shown to increase remodeling of a wound collagen matrix after injection into an animal model, through the stimulation of both collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. Asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica increased hydroxyproline content, tensile strength, and collagen content of wounds after topical administration in an animal model. Asiaticoside was found to promote angiogenesis in chick chorioallantoic membranes in vitro.The application of topical 0.2% asiaticoside twice daily for seven days to cutaneous wounds in rats led to increased wound levels of antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, vitamin E, and ascorbic acid) and decreased lipid peroxide levels. Increased cellular proliferation and collagen synthesis was observed at wound sites after treatment with topical or oral extract of Centella asiatica in rats. An animal study found that application of topical Centella asiatica extract three times daily for 24 days to open wounds resulted in increased collagen content and tensile strength. An in vitro study of the effects of total triterpenoid fraction of Centella asiatica (TTFCA) on human skin fibroblasts found the extract to have no significant effect on cell proliferation, total protein synthesis, or proteoglycan synthesis; however, a significant increase in the percentage of collagen and cell layer fibronectin was observed. Asiaticoside was found to cause a dose-related increase in tensile strength after intramuscular administration of asiaticoside.
-Madecassol, an asiaticoside containing compound, inhibited the biosynthesis of acid mucopolysaccharides and collagens in an animal granuloma model. Madecassol also inhibited the proliferation of human embryo fibroblasts in vitro.


-Absorption: An animal study found that madecassoside, asiaticoside, Asiatic acid, and madecassic acid have a bioavailability between 30 and 50%.
-Distribution: Bosse et al. reported that peak plasma levels are reached 2-4 hours after oral ingestion, intramuscular injection, or topical application of Madecassol, a gotu kola preparation. Grimaldi et al. also found no difference in time to peak plasma concentration with different dosages or single versus chronic dosing in a crossover study of the total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (TTFCA). The area under the curve significantly increased in a dose-dependent fashion after single doses of either 30mg or 60mg TTFCA in humans.
After chronic treatment for seven days with either 30mg or 60mg TTFCA twice daily, it was observed that peak plasma concentrations, AUC0-24, and half-life were significantly higher than after single dose administration, possibly explained by the fact that asiaticoside is transformed into asiatic acid in vivo.
-Metabolism: A study in 12 healthy volunteers found that asiaticoside is converted to asiatic acid in vivo by hydrolytic cleavage of the sugar moiety.
-Elimination: Madecassol is predominantly eliminated in the feces within 24-76 hours after ingestion, injection, or application, with a small unspecified amount metabolized by the kidneys.
                                                                              Edited and posted by Hồ Đình Hải


Prostrate knotweed: Polygonum aviculare



Core eudicots
Polygonum aviculare L.
-Polygonum aviculare subsp. Aviculare.
-Polygonum aviculare subsp. depressum (Meisn.) Arcang.
-Polygonum aviculare subsp. rurivagum (Jord. ex Boreau) Berher in Louis.
The names
Common names: Protrate knotweeed, Knotgrass.
Latin name: Polygonum aviculare L.
Other names: Knotweed, Birdweed, Pigweed, Lowgrass, Centinode, Ninety-knot. Nine-joints, Allseed, Bird's Tongue, Sparrow Tongue, Red Robin, Armstrong, Cowgrass, Hogweed, Pigrush, Swynel Grass, Swine's Grass, Wireweed.


            Weed Description 
Knotgrass can be found on fields and wasteland all around the world
Knotgrass is an annual plant, growing up to 2 meters in height.  It has a woody, branched root and much branched stems, varying in size. When it grows on a suitable soil and clear of other vegetation, the stems are prostrate with large leaves; when it grows crowded by other plants, stems are upright and the leaves are smaller. Leaves are arranged alternately, lanceolate or oval, and usually stalkless. Tiny flowers are formed in clusters of two to three, in the axils of the stem. They vary in color: pink, red, green, or pale white. The plant is in flower from May to October.
A prostrate summer annual with small, elliptic leaves that is primarily found in compacted areas of turfgrass such as pathways or sports fields.  Prostrate knotweed is found throughout the United States.
Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) is a low-growing, broad-leaved (non-grass) annual that germinates very early in spring. The mass of young seedlings are sometimes mistaken for grass or crabgrass, but as they grow they branch and spread widely across the ground.
This low-growing plant is anchored by a thin, white taproot. Tough, wiry branch stems are covered by small, oval, blue-green leaves. When stems or leaves are broken, any sap that exudes from the wounds is clear, not milky. At each point along the stem where a leaf is attached, there is a small, papery sheath.
Prostrate knotweed strongly prefers soil that is hard, compacted, and poorly aerated. It also seems to be rather salt tolerant, but not shade tolerant. Thus it typically is found along streets where plows have piled road salt-laden snow and slush, along paths and sidewalks, and hard trampled, sunny areas in lawns.
It is also called birdweed, pigweed and lowgrass. It is an annual found in fields and wasteland, with white flowers from June to October.
-Roots:  A taproot.
-Stems:  Branching, growing prostrate along the ground, ranging from 4 to 24 inches in length.  Stems are swollen at the nodes with a thin membranous sheath (ocrea) encircling the stem at each leaf base.
Prostrate knotweed's branches do not root to the ground as they grow. They may extend a foot or more in length, so one sprawling plant could extend over two feet across.
-Leaves: Arranged alternately along the stem, lanceolate in outline, approximately 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long and 1 to 8 mm wide.  Leaves have short petioles and a distinctive thin membranous sheath (ocrea) that encircles the stem at the leaf base.
-Flowers:  Occur in the area between the stems and leaves (leaf axils).  From 1 to 5 flowers occur in clusters and are very small and inconspicuous, white to pinkish-white in color.
The flowers of knotweed are small pink to white and form in clusters in the leaf axis. Flowers form in late spring. Knotweed spreads by seed.
-Fruit:   A dark red to brown achene.
-Seedlings: Cotyledons are narrow, linear in outline, often resembling and being mistaken for a grass.  The stem below the cotyledons (hypocotyl) is often reddish in color.

Identifying Characteristics 

 Prostrate-growing plants with small lanceolate leaves that are primarily found in hard compacted areas of turfgrass and landscapes.  Some of the spurges like Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia maculata) may be confused with prostrate knotweed, however the spurges do not have an ocrea and emit a milky sap when cut unlike prostrate knotweed.
Prostrate Knotweed is a summer annual, which forms dense patches. Prostrate knotweed is probably the earliest of the summer annuals to germinate in the spring. Prostrate knotweed is often confused with first-leaf crabgrass. Prostrate knotweed is a prostrate weed that produces a thin tap root and multiple branched stems. Even though knotweed does not root down at the nodes of the stems, a single plant can form a dense mass up to three feet across. Prostrate knotweed tolerates extremely compacted soils and is often found in high traffic areas. The leaves appear alternately on the stems, and differ in the color of green depending on the age of the leaf, with older leaves being a less intense green. The stems will be knotty and have a paper like sheath.

Knotgrass is used as food and drinks

In Vietnam, where it is called rau đắng đất, it is widely used to prepare soup and hot pot, particularly in the South region.
Resveratrol was discovered by scientists that monitored that habits of the French. They were boggled that the French consume such high fatty foods, yet do not seem to have the heart and health problems of this lifestyle. The consumption of red wine was the link that researchers were looking for to make the connection about longevity.
If you are looking for a resveratrol recommended dosage for a specific health problem, you might ask a practitioner of traditional Japanese or Chinese herbal medicine about the appropriate dose of Japanese knotweed. Of course, they would only recommend the plant for use as a laxative, to relieve constipation or promote regularity.
Japanese knotweed is the most concentrated source of resveratrol and is the source for most dietary supplements. It is found in grape skins and peanuts, too. But, the supplement only appeared on shelves after news reports proclaimed that it was “the” compound in red wine that accounted for the health benefits of the beverage.
Later, conflicting research concluded that it could not account for the benefits, because the concentration was too low. That result never made it to the mass media. When the studies about red wine were released, vineyards wanted to have it classified as a “health food”.
A liter of red wine with the highest concentration would only contain 12.59mg of the compound. The dried knotweed root contains as much as 187mg/kg or 187mcg/gram. So, if a practitioner suggested 24 grams to relieve severe constipation, the patient would only receive about 4.48mg of resveratrol.
At higher dosages, which are found in some of the supplements on the market, all of the known health benefits of this potent antioxidant are negated, because it becomes a pro-oxidant, meaning that it is something like a free radical, which is what antioxidants normally neutralize. 
See more on: http://ctta.net/health/?cat=76

Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) is used as medicines

Knotweed is an herb. The whole flowering plant is used to make medicine.
In Asia, knotweed is used in the rural medicines to cure many diseases such as : Bronchitis; cough; lung diseases; skin diseases; decreasing sweating with tuberculosis; increasing urine; redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, mouth, and throat; and preventing or stopping bleeding.
Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence. The plant is anastringent, coagulant, diuretic and expectorant.
Modern herbalists use it to treat dysentery, excessive menstrual flow, lung disorders,  bronchitis and jaundice, and gall and kidney stones.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. 
http://health-from-nature.net/Medicinal_Herbs_INDEX.html for more informations.
In China and South-east Asian countries are now used Prostrate Knotweed Polygonum aviculare as local medicines:
Parts used: Aerial parts, gathered in summer and dried.
Useful components: Tannins, flavonoids, mucilage, coumarins, siic acid, phenolcarboxylic acids
Medicinal use: Knotgrass is considered to be astringent, diuretic, emetic, purgative, vulnerary and styptic. It has been used for centuries in folk medicine for diarrhea, coughs, bronchial catarrh, inflammations of the mouth and upper respiratory tract, liver and kidney disorders. The decoction made from Knotgrass was administered to kill worms. The fresh juice has been used for nose bleed. An ointment made from the plant is an excellent remedy for sores. 
Safety: Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.
Kidney Deficiency Treatment
For weakened kidneys, drinking a mixture of prepared rehmannia root, wolfberry fruit, dogwood fruit, achyranthine root, bighead atractylodes rhizome, eucommia bark, cinnamon bark, pilose Asiabell root, lysimachia and climbing fern spore can help clean and restore strength to the kidneys.
Chinese Medicine for Kidney Pain
Pain from kidney stones or other disorders can be excruciating, and while Western medicine offers some good treatment options, others are choosing approaches in favor in the East. For instance, Chinese medicine has its own unique, effective way of treating ailments and diseases.
This a treatment option for pain brought on by small kidney stones. Its aim is to promote circulation of the qi (life force) and induce diuresis, which is the increase of urine production by the kidney. By using various herbs and plants, such as rhubarb, radish seeds and pyrrosia leaf, the body is cleaned and the stones dislodged.
Damp Heat Type
This method involves diluting lysimachia, prostate knotweed, Chinese pink herb, talc, phellodendron bark, Cape jasmine fruit, plantago seed, rhubarb and licorice root tip in water and drinking it. This method is best for treating more serious cases, in which the patient sees blood or pus in his urine or has a fever.
Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture therapy can also aid in relieving kidney pain, as this process releases painkilling endorphins that attack the source of the discomfort.
Electrotherapy is also an effective form of Chinese medicine helpful in easing kidney pain. The same acupuncture points are used, though an electrode is used to stimulate the body to speed healing.

Knotweed is an herb that is very hard to kill

Herbicide applications should be timed to catch plants prior to prostrate growth; the best control results will be obtained in the spring when plants are still upright and actively growing, from seedling to flower stage.
Prostrate knotweed is a supreme indicator weed. Knotweed is the earliest germinating of all the summer annual weeds. Due to its early germination timing, knotweed is able to claim resources and invade damaged areas before other desirable grasses begin to grow.
Prostrate knotweed is commonly associated with soil compaction and can be seen in gravel roadbeds, sidewalk edges, crevices, paths and other high-traffic areas (like in front of soccer goals). When knotweed germinates in March is often resembles grass and can offer some false hope that those damaged areas are spontaneously repairing themselves where the snowplow missed the sidewalk. The root system of prostrate knotweed is extremely fine and can mine even the most compacted soils. Prostrate knotweed produces very diminutive pinkish-white flowers in the axils of the leaves and reproduces by seed.
The characteristics of the knotweed that creates knotweed resveratrol are many advantageous ones. Knotweed is considered an invasive species, just another term for weed. It’s in the 100 Worst Weeds list. This plant lives for more than two years. Knotweed is very hard to kill and to completely eliminate it from an area is almost impossible. The weed can live in both extreme cold and extreme hot temperatures. It even survives in -30 degrees F. The roots can go down to almost ten feet deep.
Knotweed may be physically removed, although compact soil conditions may make complete root removal difficult.
Broad-leafed herbicides can also be used to eliminate young knotweed. A mix of 2-4,D and MCPP (mecoprop), can work when used early in the season. It may have to be used more than once to achieve good control. A mix of 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba may be more effective, but be careful not to use it beneath young trees as it can be absorbed by their roots.
The best time to spray knotweed is in spring, when wind is calm and temperatures range between the high 50s and the low 80s and no rain is expected for 24-48 hours. The weeds must be growing actively. Be sure to read and follow the product's label instructions and precautions.
Lawn chemical application companies may be able to prevent knotweed with an early application of the pre-emergent herbicide isoxaben, which is not available to homeowners directly. Once established, knotweed is very difficult to remove with most herbicides.
                                                                             Edited and posted by Hồ Đình Hải
2-Knotgrass - Polygonum aviculare|Medicinal use…health-from-nature.net/Knotgrass.html 
3-Polygonum aviculare – Wikipedia… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonum_aviculare - 
4-Knotgrass - Definition and More…www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knotgrass  
5-Zodiac signs Astrology and Plants - Herbs Knotgrass www.findyourfate.com/.../knotgrass.html - 
6-Common Knotgrass | The Wildlife Trusts www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/common-knotgrass -
7-Knotgrass (Ray's) wildflowerfinder.org.uk/.../Knotgrass(Rays)/Knotgrass... 
8-Glossary - Knotgrass - Rigby Taylor www.rigbytaylor.com/Glossary
9-KNOTGRASS definition www.searchdictionaries.com/?q=knotgrass 

Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots

The classification


Kingdom  Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class  Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass  Commelinidae
Order  Cyperales
Family  Poaceae – Grass family.
Genus  Bambusa Schreb. – bamboo. More than 70 genera are divided into about 1,450 species.
Species: About 130 species.

+The important species

+The synonyms

1-Arundarbor Kuntze
2-Bambos Retz.
3-Bambus J. F. Gmel.
4-Dendrocalamopsis (L.C.Chia & H.L.Fung) Q.H.Dai & X.L.Tao
5-Ischurochloa Büse
6-Leleba Nakai
7-Lingnania McClure
8-Tetragonocalamus Nakai

+The commun names for bamboo shoots

+The English name = Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts 
+The local names:
-In Chinese = zhú sǔn jiān or simply sǔn jiān or as just sǔn .
-In Korean = juk sun, a commonly used form, the native word daenamu ssak.
-In Vietnamese = măng 
-In Japanese = take no ko
-In Nagaland= bas-tanga
-In Assam =gaz 
-In Nepal =tama
-In western orissa = kardi 
-In Jharkhand = sandhna.
-In Indonesian and Malay = rebung.
-In the Philippines = labong or tambo.
-In Mizoram (India)=  mautuai (mau means bamboo and tuai implies young).
-In Tripura= "Muya" in kokborok and "Baaser Korool" in Bengali.
-In Goa= kill.

Origin and distribution

Bambusa is a large genus of about 130 species of clumping bamboos. These species are usually giant ones, with numerous branches at a node and one or two much larger than the rest. They are found in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, especially in the wet Tropics.
Bamboo species are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical  regions.They occur across East Asia, from 50°N latitude in Sakhalin through to Northern Australia, and west to India and the Himalayas. They also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Americas from the Mid-Atlantic United States south to Argentina and Chile, reaching their  southernmost point anywhere, at 47°S latitude. Continental Europe is not known to have any native species of bamboo.
There have recently been some attempts to grow bamboo on a commercial basis in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa, especially in Rwanda. Companies in the United States are growing, harvesting and distributing species such as Henon and Moso.


Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. In bamboo, the internodal regions of the stem are hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement.The dicotyledonous woody  xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, even of palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering.
Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world, as some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system.
However, the growth rate is dependent on local soil and climatic conditions as well as species, and a more typical growth rate for many commonly cultivated bamboos in temperate climates is in the range of 3–10 cm (1-4 inches) per day during the growing period.
Some of the largest timber bamboo can grow over 30 metres (98 ft) tall, and be as large as 15–20 cm (6-8 inches) in diameter.
Unlike trees, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in a single growing season of 3–4 months. During these several months, each new shoot grows vertically into a culm with no branching out until the majority of the mature height is reached. Then the branches extend from the nodes and leafing out occurs. In the next year, the pulpy wall of each culm or stem slowly hardens. During the third year, the culm hardens further. The shoot is now considered a fully mature culm. Over the next 2–5 years (depending on species), fungus and mold begin to form on the outside of the culm, which eventually penetrate and overcome the culm. Around 5 – 8 years later (species and climate dependent), the fungal and mold growth cause the culm to collapse and decay. This brief life means culms are ready for harvest and suitable for use in construction within about 3 – 7 years. Individual bamboo culms do not get any taller or larger in diameter in subsequent years than they do in their first year, and they do not replace any growth that is lost from pruning or natural breakage. Bamboos have a wide range of hardiness depending on species and locale. Small or young specimens of an individual species will produce small culms initially. As the clump and its rhizome system matures, taller and larger culms will be produced each year until the plant approaches its particular species limits of height and diameter.
Many tropical bamboo species will die at or near freezing temperatures, while some of the hardier or so-called temperate bamboos can survive temperatures as low as −29 °C (−20 °F). Some of the hardiest bamboo species can be grown in places as cold as USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5-6, although they typically will defoliate and may even lose all above-ground growth; yet the rhizomes will survive and send up shoots again the next spring. In milder climates, such as USDA Zone 8 and above, some hardy bamboo may remain fully leafed out year around.
Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product.
Most bamboo species flower infrequently. In fact, many bamboos only flower at intervals as long as 65 or 120 years. These taxa exhibit mass flowering (or gregarious flowering), with all plants in a particular species flowering worldwide over a several year period. The longest mass flowering interval known is 130 years, and is found for all the species Phyllostachys bambusoides (Sieb. & Zucc.).
The mass fruiting also has direct economic and ecological consequences, however.


Now the wild bamboo varieties haven’t at some where of wild land very low population and were not the economic varieties. All most the bamboo varieties are now cultivated for the economic and useful aims.
Bamboo used for construction purposes must be harvested when the culms reach their greatest strength and when sugar levels in the sap are at their lowest, as high sugar content increases the ease and rate of pest infestation.
Harvesting of bamboo is typically undertaken according to the following cycles:
1) Life cycle of the culm: As each individual culm goes through a 5–7 year life cycle, culms are ideally allowed to reach this level of maturity prior to full capacity harvesting. Bamboo is harvested from two to three years through to five to seven years, depending on the species.
2)Annual cycle: As all growth of new bamboo occurs during the wet season, disturbing the clump during this phase will potentially damage the upcoming crop. Also during this high rain fall period, sap levels are at their highest, and then diminish towards the dry season. Picking immediately prior to the wet/growth season may also damage new shoots. Hence, harvesting is best at the end of the dry season, a few months prior to the start of the wet.
3) Daily cycle: During the height of the day, photosynthesis is at its peak, producing the highest levels of sugar in sap, making this the least ideal time of day to harvest. Many traditional practitioners believe the best time to harvest is at dawn or dusk on a waning moon. This practice makes sense in terms of both moon cycles, visibility and daily cycles.
Leaching is the removal of sap after harvest. In many areas of the world, the sap levels in harvested bamboo are reduced either through leaching or postharvest photosynthesis. Examples of this practice include:
1-Cut bamboo is raised clear of the ground and leant against the rest of the clump for one to two weeks until leaves turn yellow to allow full consumption of sugars by the plant.
2-A similar method is undertaken, but with the base of the culm standing in fresh water, either in a large drum or stream to leach out sap.
3-Cut culms are immersed in a running stream and weighted down for three to four weeks.
4-Water is pumped through the freshly cut culms, forcing out the sap (this method is often used in conjunction with the injection of some form of treatment).
5-In the process of water leaching, the bamboo is dried slowly and evenly in the shade to avoid cracking in the outer skin of the bamboo, thereby reducing opportunities for pest infestation.
6-Durability of bamboo in construction is directly related to how well it is handled from the moment of planting through harvesting, transportation, storage, design, construction and maintenance. Bamboo harvested at the correct time of year and then exposed to ground contact or rain, will break down just as quickly as incorrectly harvested material.

Regional uses of bamboo trees

In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America and by extension in the aesthetic of Tiki culture.
Many uses of  the bamboo body trees such as:
1-Use in construction to make simple houses, huts, walls, bridges, floors, beds, boat…
2-Use in household instruments as
3-Use as poles for boating, flagpoles.
4-Use to make furniture such as flooring, cabinetry,
5-Use in architectural buiding such as fencing, fountains, grates and gutters…
6-Use as paper in Chinese ancient socials
7-Use to make hard paper form bamboo fabric.
8-Use to make musical instrument such as bamboo flutes. 
9-Use to make fishing rods, bamboo filters and bamboo cannons.
10-Use in the bamboo goods industry.
11-Use as weapons in ancient wars.
12-Use to build thick-green bamboo hedges (lũy tre) in Vietnamese old villages.
Bamboo plays many important parts of the cultures of many Asian countries.

The uses of bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are used as food

Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are the edible shoots (new bamboo culms that come out of the ground) of many bamboo species including Bambusa vulgaris and  Phyllostachys edulis. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths. They are sold in various processed shapes, and are available in fresh, dried, and canned versions.
Shoots of several species of bamboo are harvested for consumption:
-Phyllostachys edulis  produces very large shoots up to 2.5 kilos. The shoots of this species are called different names depending on when they are harvested.
-Winter shoots are smaller in size, up to 1 kg in weigh per harvested shoot. The flesh is tender and palatable and commercially quite important; they are harvested in November and December in Taiwan.
-"Hairy" shoots are larger in size, but due to their toughness and bitter taste, they are generally used to make dried bamboo shoots. They are harvested between March and May in Taiwan.
-Phyllostachys bambusoides  produces shoots that are slender and long with firm flesh. Commonly consumed fresh, they are also made into dried bamboo shoots.
-Dendrocalamus latiflorus  produces shoots that are large with flesh that is fibrous and hard. As such, they are suitable mainly for canning and drying.
-Bambusa oldhamii produces valuable shoots that are large with tender and fragrant flesh. They are usually sold fresh and in season between late spring and early fall. Their availability depends on local climate. These shoot are also available in cans when not in season.
-Bambusa odashimae is considered similar to B. oldhamii, but highly prized due to its crisp flesh similar to Asian pears. It is produced mainly in Taitung and Hualien and consumed fresh.
A traditional forest vegetable in China for more than 2,500 years, bamboo shoots are not only delicious but are also rich in nutrients, and rank among the five most popular healthcare foods in the world. In Japan, the bamboo shoot is called the King of Forest Vegetables.
The properties of bamboo shoots were recorded in the book of Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with the following words: "It’s slightly cold, sweet, non-toxic, and it quenches thirst, benefits the liquid circulatory system, supplements Qi, and can be served as a daily dish."
The shoots (new culms that come out of the ground) of bamboo are edible. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms, in both fresh and canned versions. The bamboo shoot in its fermented state forms an important ingredient in cuisines across the Himalayas. In Assam, India, for example, it is called khorisa. In Nepal, a delicacy popular across ethnic boundaries consists of bamboo shoots fermented with turmeric and oil, and cooked with potatoes into a dish that usually accompanies rice (alu tama in Nepali).
In Indonesia, they are sliced thin and then boiled with santan (thick coconut milk) and spices to make a dish called gulai rebung. Other recipes using bamboo shoots are sayur lodeh (mixed vegetables in coconut milk) and lun pia (sometimes written lumpia: fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables). The shoots of some species contain toxins that need to be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely.
Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots.
The sap of young stalks tapped during the rainy season may be fermented to make ulanzi (a sweet wine) or simply made into a soft drink. Bamboo leaves are also used as wrappers for steamed dumplings which usually contains glutinous rice and other ingredients.
Pickled bamboo shoots (Nepali: tama) are cooked with black eyed beans as a delicacy food in Nepal. Many Nepalese restaurant around the world serve this dish as aloo bodi tama. Fresh bamboo shoots are sliced and pickled with mustard seeds and turmeric and kept in glass jar in sun for the best taste. It is used alongside many dried beans in cooking during winter months. Baby shoots (Nepali: tusa) of a very different variety of bamboo (Nepali: Nigalo) native to Nepal is cooked as a curry in Hilly regions.
In Sambalpur, India, the tender shoots are grated into juliennes and fermented to prepare kardi. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word for bamboo shoot, karira. This fermented bamboo shoot is used in various culinary preparations, notably amil, a sour vegetable soup. It is also made into pancakes using rice flour as a binding agent. The shoots that have turned a little fibrous are fermented, dried, and ground to sand-sized particles to prepare a garnish known as hendua. It is also cooked with tender pumpkin leaves to make sag green leaves.
The empty hollow in the stalks of larger bamboo is often used to cook food in many Asian cultures. Soups are boiled and rice is cooked in the hollows of fresh stalks of bamboo directly over a flame. Similarly, steamed tea is sometimes rammed into bamboo hollows to produce compressed forms of Pu-erh tea. Cooking food in bamboo is said to give the food a subtle but distinctive taste.
In addition, bamboo is frequently used for cooking utensils within many cultures, and is used in the manufacture of chopsticks.
In Indonesia, they are sliced thinly to be boiled with coconut milk and spices to make gulai rebung. Other recipes using bamboo shoots are sayur lodeh (mixed vegetables in coconut milk) and lun pia (sometimes written lumpia: fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables).
In certain parts of Japan, China and Taiwan, the giant timber bamboo Bambusa oldhamii is harvested in spring or early summer.
In Sikkim & Darjeeling, India, bamboo Shoots is know as Tama. Some varieties of bamboo shoots commonly grown in the Sikkim Himalayas are Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis and Bambusa tulda locally known as ‘choya bans’, ‘bhalu bans’ and ‘karati bans’, respectively are edible when young. These bamboo shoots are collected, defoliated and boiled in water with turmeric powder for 10-15 min to remove bitter taste of bamboo. Tama is ready for consumption. Tama is commonly sold in the local markets during the months of June to September when young bamboo shoots sprout.
In Assam, India, bamboo shoots are part of the traditional cuisine. It is called khorisa and bah gaj in Assamese.
In the Diyun region of Arunachal Pradesh, the Chakma people call it bashchuri. The fermented version is called medukkeye, which is often served fried with pork. The bamboo shoots can also be fermented and stored with vinegar.
In Jharkhand, India, they are used in curries, and commonly used as a pickle.
In Nagaland (India), bamboo shoot is both cooked and eaten as a fresh food item and fermented for a variety of culinary uses. Fermented bamboo shoot is commonly known as bas tinga. Cooking pork with a generous portion of fermented bamboo shoot is very popular in Naga cuisine.
In Manipur (India), it is known as u-soi. It is also fermented and preserved which is called soibum. It is used in a wide variety of dishes – among which are iromba, ooti and kangshu ar eto.
In Western Orissa or the Kosal region of India, it is a common ingredient. Since this region is dominated by the tribal population, bamboo shoots (kardi), is believed to have been in use for hundred of years. In this region, kardi achar (pickled bamboo shoots) and kardi baja (fried bamboo shoot strands) are also popular. Fresh kardi is best eaten as kardi bhaja. It is kept in bottles for use at later stages. Dried kardi. also called hendua, is also eaten in western Orissa. Itis best eaten with roasted or fried tomatoes.
In Nepal, they are used in dishes which have been well known in Nepal for centuries. A popular dish is tama (fermented), with (potato) and (beans). An old popular song in Nepali depicts tama as , which means, "my mother loves vegetable of recipe containing potato, beans, and tama".
In Vietnamese cuisine, shredded bamboo shoots are used alone or with other vegetable in many stir-fried vegetable dishes. It may also be used as the sole vegetable ingredient in pork chop soup.
In Philippine cuisine, they are called labong. The two most popular dishes for this are ginataang labong (shoots with coconut milk and chilies) and dinengdeng na labong (shoots in fish bagoong with string beans, saluyot, and tinapa). Bamboo shoots are also pickled in the same manner as the papaya dish, atchara.
The bamboo shoots are used as a special dish during the monsoons (due to seasonal availability) in Coorg (Kodagu) district, Karnataka, India. It is commonly known as kanile in the local language. It is usually sliced and soaked in water for two to three days, where the water is drained and replenished with fresh water each day to extricate and remove toxins. It is also used as pickle. It is used as a delicacy by all communities in Coorg.
In Uganda, bamboo shoots are called maleya or kamaleya among the Lumasaba tribe along Mt Elgon region in Uganda. Generally, they are called malewa by the rest of Ugandans. Since it is a seasonal crop, it is harvested once a year and preserved by smoking, then cooked by soaking. It is then washed, sliced and then boiled. It is eaten in ground nut sauce.
The bamboo has a very acrid flavor and should be sliced thin and boiled in a large volume of water several times. The sliced bamboo is edible after boiling. B. oldhamii is more widely known as a noninvasive landscaping bamboo.
The shoots of some species contain cyanide that must be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely. Slicing the bamboo shoots thinly assists in this leaching.
Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots. The shoots of the giant bamboo (Cathariostachys madagascariensis) contain cyanide. Despite this, the golden bamboo lemur ingests many times the quantity of toxin that would kill a human.
It is a low-calorie source of potassium. It is known for its sweet taste and as a good source of nutrients and protein.

The main nutrients in bamboo shoots

The main nutrients in bamboo shoots are protein, amino acid, fat, sugar and inorganic salt. They are rich in protein, containing between 1.49 and 4.04 grams (average 2.65g) per 100g of fresh bamboo shoots.
The bamboo protein produces eight essential and two semi-essential amino acids. Although the fat content is comparatively low (0.26-0.94%), it is still higher than in many other vegetables, and the shoots contain rich essential fatty acids. The total sugar content, 2.5% on average, is lower than that in other vegetables. The water content is 90% or more.
Many Asian recipes incorporate bamboo shoots. They appear in soups, dumplings, and stir fries. There is a slightly crunchy, crisp texture retained through cooking which compliments dishes with an assortment of vegetables and meats. Bamboo shoots may also be pickled and used as a garnish, as is especially common in China. Shredded fresh bamboo shoots can appear plain on salads and noodle dishes as well.
Not all species of bamboo produce tasty edible shoots. Some of the best choices are big node, giant timber, sweet shoot, and red margin bamboos. Moso-chiku bamboo is also used to produce edible shoots. Many of these cultivars are also easy to grow and attractive to look at, for cooks who would like to be able to use bamboo shoots fresh from the garden.
The following table shows the main nutrients on bamboo shoots comparing to some other normal vegetables:

Ash Content (g)
Bamboo shoots*
Chinese cabbage
Garlic sprout
White turnip

The following table shows all the nutrients of bamboo shoots:
Amounts per 1 cup (120g)

Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Calories 13.2 (55.3 kJ)                     1%
From Carbohydrate 6.5 (27.2 kJ)
From Fat 2.2 (9.2 kJ)
From Protein 4.5 (19.3 kJ) 
Total Carbohydrate 1.8g              1%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g                           5%
Fats & Fatty Acids
Total Fat 0.3g                                  0%
Saturated Fat 0.1 g                         0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g 
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Total Omega-3 fatty acids 18.0 mg 
Total Omega-6 fatty acids 99.6 mg 
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving  %DV
Protein 1.8g                                      4%

Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV
Riboflavin 0.1 mg                        4%
Niacin 0.4 mg                               2%
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg                       6%
Folate 2.4 mcg                             1%
Pantothenic Acid 0.1 mg           1%

Amounts Per Selected Serving     %DV
Calcium 14.4 mg                            1%
Iron 0.3mg                                     2%
Magnesium 3.6 mg                      1%
Phosphorus 24.0 mg                    2%
Potassium 640 mg                       18%
Sodium 288 mg                            12%
Zinc 0.6 mg                                   4%
Copper 0.1 mg                              5%
Manganese 0.1 mg                      7%
Selenium 0.5 mcg                         1%
Amounts Per Selected Serving     %DV
Water 115 g
Ash 1.0 g
                                Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21. 

Bamboo in animal diets

Soft bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves are the major food source of the giant panda of China, the red panda of Nepal and the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar. Mountain gorillas of Africa also feed on bamboo, and have been documented consuming bamboo sap which was fermented and alcoholic; chimps and elephants of the region also eat the stalks.

Bamboo shoots are uses as medicines

Bamboo is used in Chinese medicine for treating infections and healing.
In Ayurveda, the Indian system of traditional medicine, the silicious concretion found in the culms of the bamboo stem is called banslochan. It is known as tabashir or tawashir in Unani-Tibb the Indo-Persian system of medicine. In English, it is called "bamboo manna". This concretion is said to be a tonic for the respiratory diseases. It was earlier obtained from Melocanna bambusoides and is very hard to get. In most Indian literature, Bambusa arundinacea is described as the source of bamboo manna.
Modern research finds that the bamboo shoot has a number of medicinal benefits, from cancer prevention and weight loss to improving appetite and digestion. It is also low in sugar and therefore can be used for treating hypertension, hyperlipemia and hyperglycemia.
Japanese scientists recently discovered that bamboo shoots contain anti-cancer agents and making them a regular part of your diet effectively eliminates the free radicals that can produce dangerous carcinogens.
With the economic development and the improvement of people’s living standards, demand for natural foods, especially organic food, has greatly increased. Moso bamboo does not contain toxic substances and its products are made in strict accordance with the food safety standards, so it is an ideal resource for natural foods.
3-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bambusa From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
6-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia