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23rd April 2020

The dreaded invasive species Japanese knotweed is usually the last thing you want on your property, however new research shows it could have a more positive side than we initially thought.

Researchers have recently been studying the potential use of Japanese knotweed to alleviate the symptoms of Lyme Disease.

Recent studies have shown that Lyme Disease is rapidly increasing in the UK, infecting as many as 8,000 people per year. Spread by ticks, the most common sign of infection is redness on the skin, headaches, fever and muscle joint pain. With one in five people not responding to antibiotics, a more effective treatment option is needed.

Testing the effectiveness of a number of plant-based extracts, it has been found that Japanese knotweed was one of the strongest contenders, alongside Ghanaian quinine, with a solution containing just one percent being enough to kill the bacteria that causes the disease.

Containing polyphenol resveratrol, Japanese knotweed has been found to have anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory effects on the heart and nervous system. It is already used as a traditional medicine across India and China and now scientists are looking into the plant as a herbal remedy for alleviating the symptoms of Coronavirus, although that being in its very early stages.

We are finding more and more about how Japanese knotweed can be used in our everyday lives, it’s in medicines, alcohol, beauty products, I even saw an article on it being used as a flavouring at the 2020 World’s Original Marmalade Awards, not too sure how I feel about that, although it’s definitely original!

You may not want it on your property, but you’ve got to admit, it does have its uses and could just be the answer for those suffering the effects of Lyme Disease.

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