HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Polygonaceae
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delarbre

Hung la-liao

Scientific names Common names
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delarbre Agagat (Bon.)
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Opiz Buding (Ig.)
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Spach Tuba (Bon.)
Persicaria vernalis Nakai Annual smartweed (Engl.)
Polygonum hydropiper Linn. Knotweed (Engl.)
Polygonum schinzii J. Schust. Marshpepper knotweed (Engl.)
  Pepperwort (Engl.)
  Red smartweed (Engl.)
  Smartweed (Engl.)
  Water pepper smartweed (Engl.)
  Water pepper (Engl.)
Polygonum hydropiper L. is a synonym of Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delarbre The Plant List
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delarbre is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Fulful El Mâ´, Zangabîl El Kilâb.
BENGALI: Biskatali, Pakarmul, Pakurmul, Panimarich.
BULGARIAN: Piperiče, Piperiche.
CHINESE: Shui liao, La liao cao, Liao, Hung la-liao.
DANISH: Bidende Pileurt.
DUTCH: Bitterplant, Bittertong, Duizendknoop, Waterpeper.
ESTONIAN: Mõru Kirburohi, Mõru Kirburohi.
FINNISH: Akantatar, Katkeratatar.
FRENCH: Curage, Piment D´eau, Poivre D´eau, Poivre D'eau, Renouée Poivre-D´eau, Renouée.
GERMAN: Pfeffer-Knöterich, Wasserpfeffer, Wasserpfeffer-Knöterich.
GREEK: Neropiperia.
HUNGARIAN: Borsos Keserűfű, Vízibors.
INDONESIAN: Si Tuba Sawah.
ITALIAN: Erba Pepe, Pepe D´asino, Pepe Del Povero, Poligono Acre, Poligono Pepe D´acqua, Poligono Pepe D'acqua, Poligono Piperino
JAPANESE: Asabu-tade, Azebu-tade, Benitade, Ta de, Yanagi tade.
KOREAN: Gaeyeoggwi, Kaeyogwi, Yeo-Ggwi, Yeo-Ggwi-Gwa, Yeoggwi, Yeoggwigwa, Yogwi,
MALAY: Daun kesum, Daun Senahun, Rumput Tuboh, Senahun, Tube Seluwang.
NORWEGIAN: Vaspeppar, Vasspepar.
PORTUGUESE: Erva-De-Bicho, Erva-Pessegueira, Persicária, Pimenta De Agua.
RUSSIAN: Gorec Perečnyj, Goretc Perichnyi, Gorets Perechnyj, Perec Vodânoj, Perets Vodyanoj, Vodjanoj Perec, Vodyanoii Peretc.
SPANISH: Pimienta Acuática, Pimienta Acuática, Pimienta De Agua
SWEDISH: Bitterblad, Bitterknäa, Bitterpilört, Bitterpilört, Jungfrutvål, Vattenpeppar, Vattensåpa.
THAI: Phak Phai Nam, Phakchi Mi.

Buding is a smooth, rather robust annual, with tufted or shortly creeping roots. Stems are erect, while the branches are ascending, rather stout and leafy, 30 to 45 centimeters high, often glandular. Nodes are often swollen. Leaves are lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, up to 7.5 centimeters long. Racemes are flexuous, leafy at the base, threadlike, decurved and interrupted. Flowers are pinkish. Nuts are usually three-sided.

- In the Benguet Province of Luzon, in open wet places, along streams, in old rice paddies, etc., at altitudes of 1,200 to 2000 meters.
- Occurs in warmer parts of the world.

- Seed contains polygonic acid and tannin.
- Leaves contain an essential oil, malic acid and phytosterine.
- Rootstock yield an essential oil, oxymethyl-anthraquinone.

- Screening of ethanol extract yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, and steroids. (see study below) (20)
- Leaves yield 7.5% protein, 1.9% fat, 8% carbohydrate, 2% ash. Also contains rutin.
- Study of whole plant yielded one new drimane-type sesquiterpenoid, 3 β-angeloyloxy-7-epifutronolide (1), and one new natural product, polygonumate (2), along with six known drimane-type sesquiterpenes-- [dendocarbin L, (+) winterin, (+) fuegin, changweikangic acid A, futronolide, and 7-ketoisodrimenin. (14)
- Various extracts and fractions yielded flavonoids such as (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, hyperin, and isoquercitrin; isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, rhamnazin and rutin; drimane-typed sesquiterpenes, such as 3-β-angeloyloxy-7-epifutronolide, 7-ketoisodrimenin, changweikangic acid A, dendocarbin L, (+)-fuegin, futronolide, polygonumate, and (+)-winterin; phenylpropanoid esters, including hydropiperosides A and B, and vanicosides A, B and E; and phenolic acids, such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and ρ-coumaric acid.  (16)

- Considered anti-inflammatory, astringent, carminative, contraceptive, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant, stomachic, styptic.
- Juice considered diuretic, carminative and anthelmintic.
- Root is bitter, tonic, and stimulating.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antifertility, anti-obesity and neuroprotective properties.

Parts used
- All plant parts.


- Leaves and stems are edible, raw or cooked.
- Seeds made into a peppery condiment as substitute for pepper.
- Young seeds used as salad garnish.
- In Japan, young shoots used as spice and garnish with raw fish (sashimi). (
- Water or ethanol extracts used as food additive to preserve pickles, dressing and cooked food. (
- In China, juice is used for itches; also as diuretic, carminative and anthelmintic.
- Root used as tonic and stimulant.
- Decoction of whole plant used for diarrhea, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, and excessive menstrual bleeding.
- Bruised leaves used as poultice and cure for toothache.
- Used to regulate menstrual irregularities.
- Used for treatment of obesity.
- Among Russian peasant, used as hemostatic.
- Used in all cases of intestinal hemorrhage (pulmonary, gastric, hemorrhoidal, uterine) and used as sedative.
- In the United States, once used as an emmenagogue.
- In Assam, women used the roots for fertility control: Dried root powder used for termination of pregnancy; continuous use for more than a year reported to cause permanent sterility. (16)
- In Bangladesh, leaf juice used for menstrual pain and leaf paste to stop bleeding. (16) Used for the treatment of insomnia, depression and neurodegenerative illnesses. (
- In Vietnam, stems and leaves used for snake bites; also as diuretic and anthelmintic. (16)
- In Bangladesh, leaves used to treat rheumatic pain, gout, skin diseases (scabies, ringworm), abscesses, snake, dog, and insect bites. (1
7) Juice of leaves used for headaches, pain, toothache, liver enlargement, gastric ulcers, dysentery, dysmenorrhea and loss of appetite. (24)
- In Malaysia, decoction consumed to heal stomach ache; also used to treat dandruff. (
- In the Himalayas, leaf juice used in uterine disorders. The tribal people of Tripura and Bangladesh use the plant to treat headaches: the leaves are crushed with ten black peppers and taken through the nose. In Assam, leaf juice used for pains. Leaf extract applied externally to scabies. (
- Dye: Yields a yellow dye used as traditional fabric dye. (
- Repellent:
Dried plants used as insect repellent and to protect clothes. Leaf extract is sprayed against crop pests. (
29) Juice used to keep flies off livestock injury.
- Fish poison:
Used to stupefy fish. (

Hydropiperoside / Antifertility Activity:
Study of methanol extract yielded a novel coumaryl glycoside, hydropiperoside, with other known compounds and an unidentified lactone possessing antifertility activity. (1)
Antioxidant Flavonoids: Study isolated ten flavonoid compounds from the dried leaves of P. hydropiper. The isolated flavonoids were shown to possess strong antioxidative capabilities. The most powerful was galloyl quercitrin. (2) Study showed good antioxidant activity on ORAC assay. (20)
Antibacterial / Antifungal: Study of root extract showed significant antibacterial activities against four gram-positive (B subtilis, B megaterium, S aureus and E aerogenes) and four gram-negative (E coli, P aeruginosa, S typhi and S sonnei) bacteria, with antifungal activity against A fumigatus, A niger, A flavus, C albicans, Rizopus oryzae and T rubrum. (3)
Lens Aldose Reductase Inhibition: Sulfated flavonoids in Polygonum hydropiper showed potent inhibition against lens aldose reductase. Among the flavonoids, the most potent was isorhamnetin 3,7-disulfate. (4)
Antifertility: Study of the methanolic extract of root showed anti-fertility activity in female albino rats. The estrous cycle of the extract treated rats became irregular resulting in failure of gestation. Results suggest the root of PH contains steroidal / estrogenic compounds which affect female reproduction in rats. (6)
Insecticidal: Study of 5 kinds of Polygonum hydropiper organic solvent extracts showed the ethyl ether extract to have the strongest insecticidal effect. The insecticidal substance was identified as eugenol. Eugenol showed to have stomach toxicity and contact action; it suppressed AchE and GST activity. (7)
Tyrosinase Activity Inhibitor: Study isolated taxifolin, a tyrosinase inhibitor from the sprout of Polygonum hydropiper. Compared to cosmetic agents arbutin and kojic acid, taxifolin's tyrosinase inhibitory effect was equal to the latter, more than the former. (8)
Cytotoxic Activity: Study showed cytotoxic activity, yielding cytotoxic compounds soluble in both water and ethanol. Results suggest a therapeutic potential in antitumor therapy. (11)
Estradiol-like Effects: In a study of crude extract of roots , P. hydropiper mimics the effect of estradiol-17ß in the uterine protein profiles of adult female albino rats. (12)
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Study of methanol extract of Polygonum hydropiper showed strong anti-inflammatory activity. There was dose-dependent suppression of release of nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a, and prostaglandin (PGE2) IN RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharide. (13)
Phytoremediation / Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Study showed the mining ecotype (ME) of P. hydropiper removed as high as 87.47% of total nitrogen and 97.63% of total phosphorus. Results show a theoretical basis for use of P. hydropiper for N and P removal from livestock wastewater and presents as a promising species for the phytoremediation of eutrophic waters. (15)
Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study evaluated the antinociceptive activity of methanol extract of leaves in both heat- and chemical induced pain models in mice. Results showed significant antinociceptive activity with both central and peripheral mechanisms. Pretreatment with naloxone significantly reversed the antinociceptive produced by the MEPH suggesting involvement of the opioid system. (17)
Antimicrobial / Insecticidal: Crude extracts of P. persicaria showed significant activity against E. coli. A leaf extract showed significant activity against A. niger and moderate activity against A. flavus, H. maydis, and A. solani. It showed insecticidal activity against T. castaneum, S. oryzae, R. dominica and C. analis. (18)
Anthelmintic / Antiproliferative / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated aerial parts of Persicaria hydropiper for anthelmintic and antiproliferative activity. Results showed in vitro anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma. Study also showed in vivo antiproliferative activity against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma with significant (P>0.05) decrease in tumor weight, increase life span, and reduced tumor cell growth. (19)
• Anti-Obesity / Quercetrin / Inhibition of Differentiation of Adipocyte 3T3-L1 Cells: Evidence suggests Wnt/ß-catenin pathway can potentially control adipogenesis related to obesity. Study screened eleven plant extracts activating the Wnt/ß-catenin signaling reporter gene. Study showed the isoquercitrin in P. hydropiper suppresses the adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells via inhibition of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling. P. hydropiper and isoquercetrin may have potential as therapeutic agents for obesity and its associated disorders. (22)
• Insect Deterrent Drimanes / Drimenol Synthase and Drimenol Oxidase / Cinnamolide: Study isolated a drimenol synthase (PhDS) and a cytochrome P45) drimenol oxidase (PhDOX1) from P. hydropiper. In agro-infiltration in Nicotiana bethamiana leaves, drimenol was converted into cinnamoide and other drimenol derivatives. In vitro assays showed conversion from drimenol to drimendiol which was further oxidized and converted to cinnamolide. Purified cinnamolide was showed to be an effective deterrent against both whitefies and aphids with ED50 of about 200-400 µg g-1 fresh weight. (23)
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: In a study of five Malaysian herbal extracts,P. hydropiper showed high antioxidant and antibacterial activities. It showed the highest antioxidant activities in FRAP and ORAC assays with 1676.67 mM TE/g EW and 11.20 mmol TE/g EW, respectively. (see constituents above) (20)
• Antihyperglycemic / Antinociceptive / Leaves: Study of various doses of ethanolic leaf extract of P. hydropiper in glucose-loaded mice showed significant reduction of blood glucose levels by 48.8% to 52.2% (p<0.05) compared to standard glibenclamide with 42.1% reduction. In antinociceptive activity testing, there was reduction of abdominal writhings by 14.10 to 41.02% compared to standard drug Aspirin. Brine shrimp naupili toxicity testing showed LC50 of 16.22 µg/ml, compared to control. (24)
• Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory Activity / Antioxidant: Study evaluated methanol extract fractions for total phenolic content and antioxidant activity by DPPH, ferric thiocyanate and XO inhibition assays. Butanol and EA fractions showed higher phenolic content of 224.38 and 68.95 mg GAE/100g dry extract, respectively. Both showed DPPH radical scavenging activity with IC50 of 28.61 and 25.55 µg/ml. Both fractions inhibited xanthine oxidase activity with IC50 of 28.72 and 165.25 µg/ml. (25)
• Antimicrobial / Weak Antimalarial Activity: Study of two crude extract and two fractions from Polygonum hydropiper was evaluated for antimicrobial and antimalaria activity. Results showed weak antimalarial activity. Antimicrobial testing showed activity against Aspergillus fumigatus and mild activity against K pneumoniae, E. coli and C. neoformans. (26)
• Sedative and Anxiolytic / Leaves: Study of methanol extract of leaves of Persicaria hydropiper in mice showed sedative and anxiolytic effects. Sedative effect was evaluated using open field hole cross, rota rod and thiopental sodium-induced sleeping time , while anxiolytic activity was evaluated using elevated plus maze, light-dark box, hole board and marble burying test. (27)
• Larvicidal against Ae. aegypti / Dengue Fever Vector: The larvicidal efficacy of nine medicinal plants collected from Western Ghats, india, was assessed against fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti. The larvicidal assay was done according to WHO standard protocol with acetone, methanol, petroleum ether, and water extracts. Two of nine, Persicaria hydropiper and Plectranthus hadienses showed significant larvicidal efficacy with LC50s of 489.278 Mg/L and 414.746 Mg/L, respectively, against 4th instar larvae of the dengue fever vector. Results suggest the plants has potential as a natural insecticide for mosquito control programs. (28)

- Wild-crafted.
- Dried herbs in the cybermarket.

Updated August 2020 / June 2017 / November 2015

                                                   PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Dense patch of Marsh Waterpepper / :2013 / © Peter M Dziuk / click on photo to go to source page / Minnesota Wildflowers
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Fowers / :2013 / © Peter M Dziuk / click on photo to go to source page / Minnesota Wildflowers
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:356 Polygonum tomentosum, Polygonum hydropiper.jpg / «Bilder ur Nordens Flora» Stockholm / Carl Axel Magnus Lindman (1856-1928) / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: ILLUSTRATION /Polygonum hydropiper L. marshpepper knotweed / USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 670./ USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Hydropiperoside, a novel coumaryl glycoside from the root of Polygonum hydropiper / Yoshiyasu Fukuyama et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 22, Issue 2, 1983, Pages 549-552 / doi:10.1016/0031-9422(83)83043-X
Antioxidant flavonoids from leaves of Polygonum hydropiper L. / Zhao Feng Peng et al /
Vol 62, Issue 2, January 2003, Pages 219-228 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(02)00504-6 |
The Determination of Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Polygonum hydropiper (L.) Root Extract / M F Hasan, R Das et al / Advances in Biological Research 3 (1-2): 53-56, 2009
Effect of Polygonum hydropiper Sulfated Flavonoids on Lens Aldose Reductase and Related Enzymes / Hiroyuki Haraguchi et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1996, 59 (4), pp 443–445 / DOI: 10.1021/np9601622
Persistency of bioactive fractions of Indian plant, Polygonum hydropiper as an insect feeding deterrent / A K Tripathi et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 13 Issue 3, Pages 239 - 241 / Published Online: 26 May 1999
Effects of crude root extract of Polygonum hydropiper on estrous cycle and induction of reversible sterility in female albino rat / Hazatika A and Sarma H N / J Endocrinol Reprod 11 (2007) 1: 36 - 40
Study on Insecticidal Constituents of Polygonum Hydropiper Linn / China Papers
Inhibitory compound of tyrosinase activity from the sprout of Polygonum hydropiper L. (Benitade)./ Miyazawa M, Tamura N / Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Mar;30(3):595-7.
Polygonum hydropiper / Plants For A Future.
Polygonum hydropiper (Annual Smartweed) / Common names / Zipcodezoo
O. T. OLARU, V. ISTUDOR / Medicine in Evolution Volume XVII, No. 4, 2011
Polygonum hydropiper crude root extract mimics estrogenic properties in females: Evidence of uterine protein profiles studied by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis / AJIT HAZARIKA, HIRENDRA N. SARMA / Reproductive Medicine and Biology, Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 155–160, June 2006 / DOI: 10.1111/j.1447-0578.2006.00136.x
In vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities of Polygonum hydropiper methanol extract.
/ Yang Y, Yu T, Jang HJ, Byeon SE, Song SY, Lee BH, Rhee MH, Kim TW, Lee J, Hong S, Cho JY. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 31;139(2):616-25. / doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 13.
Drimane-type sesquiterpenes from Polygonum hydropiper. / Rajia Sultana, Rashadul Hossain, Achyut Adhikari, Zulfiqar Ali, Sammar Yousuf, Muhammad Iqbal / Planta Medica (impact factor: 2.15). 06/2011; 77(16):1848-51. DOI:10.1055/s-0030-1271178 pp.1848-51
Accumulation characteristics of and removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from livestock wastewater by Polygonum hydropiper / Zheng, Z.C., Li, T.X., Zeng, F.F., Zhang, X.Z., Yu, H.Y., Wang, Y.D., Liu, T. / journal Agricultural Water Management., Volume (Year): 117 (2013)
Ethnobotanical, Phytochemical, Pharmacological, and Toxicological Aspects of Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delarbre / A. K. M. Moyeenul Huq, Jamia Azdina Jamal, and Johnson Stanslas / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2014, Article ID 782850 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/782830
Antinociceptive effect of methanol extract of leaves of Persicaria hydropiper in mice / Ambia Khatun, Mohammad Zafar Imam , Md Sohel Rana / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, December 2015; 15:63 / https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-015-0558-y
Antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal activities of some selected medicinal plants of polygonaceae / Farrukh Hussain, Bashir Ahmad*, Ishfaq Hameed, Ghulam Dastagir, Parveen Sanaullah and Sadiq Azam / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(31), pp. 5032-5036, 2 August, 2010
Anthelmintic and Antiproliferative activity of aerial parts of Persicaria hydropiper / Md. Obayed Raihan, Md. Khalequeuzzaman, Afrina Brishti, Syed Mohammed Tareq, Aslam Hossain*, Sohel Rana / Pelagia Research Library Der Pharmacia Sinica, 2012, 3 (1): 104-110
Phytochemical Constituents and In Vitro Bioactivity of Ethanolic Aromatic Herb Extracts / NURAIN AZIMAN, NORIHAM ABDULLAH*, ZAINON MOHD NOOR, KHAIRUSY SYAKIRAH ZULKIFLI, & WAN SAIDATUL SYIDA WAN KAMARUDIN / Sains Malaysiana 41(11)(2012): 1437–1444
Review Article : Medicinal plants for the treatment of obesity: ethnopharmacological approach and chemical and biological studies / Luciano Mamede de Freitas Junior*, Eduardo B de Almeida Jr* / Am J Transl Res 2017;9(5):2050-2064 www.ajtr.org /ISSN:1943-8141/AJTR0051320
Persicaria hydropiper (L.) spach and its avonoid components, isoquercitrin and isorhamnetin, activate the Wnt/β‐ catenin pathway and inhibit adipocyte differentiation of 3T3‐L1 cells. / Lee SH, Kim B, Oh MJ, Yoon J, Kim HY, Lee KJ, Lee JD, Choi KY. / Phytother Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):1629-35 / doi: 10.1002/ptr.3469.
Identification of a drimenol synthase and drimenol oxidase from Persicaria hydropiper, involved in the biosynthesis of insect deterrent drimanes / Maurice G. L. Henquet et al / The Plant Journal (2017) 90, 1052–1063
A preliminary evaluation of cytotoxicity, antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive activity of Polygonum hydropiper L. ethanolic leaf extract / Arafat Rahman Oany, Al Ahad Siddikey, Mohammad Uzzal Hossain, Rafiad Islam and Abdullah-Al Emran / Clinical PhytoscienceInternational Journal of Phytomedicine and Phytotherapy, 2016, 2:2 / DOI: 10.1186/s40816-016-0016-5
Antioxidant and Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory Activities of Persicaria hydropiper / Noor Haslinda Noor Hashim , Faridah Abas , Khozirah Shaari & Nordin H. Lajis / International Journal of Food Properties
Volume 16, Issue 5, 2013
Evaluation of sedative and anxiolytic activities of methanol extract of leaves of Persicaria hydropiperin mice / Md. Shahed-Al-Mahmud & Shah Marzia Mahjabin Lina  / Clinical Phytoscience, 2017; 3(20) / https://doi.org/10.1186/s40816-017-0056-5
Screening of a Few traditionally used Medicinal Plants for their Larvicidal Efficacy against Aedes aegyptiLinn (Diptera: Culicidae), a Dengue Fever Vector / Anoopkumar AN, Sreedev Puthur, Sharrel Rebello and Embalil Mathachan Aneesh / SOJ Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 5(4) / e-ISSN 2372-0956 / DOI: 10.15226/sojmid/5/4/00181
An ethnomedicinal inventory of knotweeds of Indian Himalaya / Ritesh Kumar Choudhary, Sungrae Oh and Joongku Lee / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 18 May 2011; 5(10): pp. 2095-2103

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT