Polygonum minus (Persicaria minor)

While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 6,7-4′,5′-Dimethylenedioxy-3,5,3′-trimethoxyflavone, 6,7-methylenedioxy-5,3′,4′,5′-tetramethoxyflavone, bistort, essential oils, flavones, flavonoids, jarak belanda, kelima paya dan cenohom, kesum, kesuma, knotgrass, knotweed, kunyit jawa, methyl flavonol, mile-a-minute, Persicaria minor, petite renouée (French), pinkweeds, Polygonaceae (family), Polygonum minus Huds., Polygonum minus Hudson, Polygonum minus var. subcontinuum (Meisner) Fernald, pygmy smartweed, small water pepper, small water-pepper, smartweeds, tear-thumb.

Background

  • Polygonum minus is a plant found in mild-weather regions of Canada, Europe, and the United States. Although the plant has been officially renamed Persicaria minor, it is still often referred to as Polygonum minus. It is also commonly known as pygmy smartweed.

  • Evidence is currently lacking to support the use of Polygonum minus for any human health condition.

Scientific Evidence

Uses

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.

  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, aromatherapy, cancer, dandruff, erectile dysfunction, stomach complaints, stomach disorders, ulcers.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for Polygonum minus in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for Polygonum minus in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with a known allergy or sensitivity to Polygonum minus.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • There is little information currently available on side effects of Polygonum minus.

  • Polygonum minus is likely safe when eaten in normal amounts found in the diet.

  • Use cautiously in people with fair skin or in those taking any agents that increase sensitivity to light. Sun allergy has been reported.

  • Use cautiously in people with a history of arthritis, excess acidity, gout, kidney stones, or rheumatism (joint pain and inflammation), and in those taking any drugs, herbs, or supplements to treat these conditions. Worsening of these conditions has been reported.

  • Use cautiously when consuming the leaves of Polygonum plants, due to their oxalic acid content. Oxalic acid is a compound that has been shown to bind minerals and prevent their absorption into the body. In theory, Polygonum leaves may contribute to kidney stone formation.

  • Avoid use in children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available safety information.

  • Avoid with known allergy or sensitivity to Polygonum minus.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Polygonum minus is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available safety information.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

  • Polygonum minus may interact with agents that increase sensitivity to light, alcohol, antibiotics, anticancer agents, and antifungals.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Polygonum minus may interact with agents that increase sensitivity to light, antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antifungals, antioxidants, and minerals.

Author Information

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Ahmad S. Research and development on functional foods in Malaysia. Nutr Rev 1996;54(11 Pt 2):S169-S171. View Abstract
  2. Baharum SN, Bunawan H, Ghani MA, et al. Analysis of the chemical composition of the essential oil of Polygonum minus Huds. using two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF MS). Molecules 2010;15(10):7006-7015. View Abstract
  3. Gattuso SJ. Structure and ultrastructure of the secretory glands in the genus, Polygonum (L.), section Persicaria (Polygonaceae). Biocell 2001;25(3):229-233. View Abstract
  4. Hamidun B, Noraini T, Noor M. Foliar anatomy and micromorphology of Polygonum minus Huds. and their taxonomic implications. Aust J Crop Sci 2011;5(2):123-127.
  5. Huda-Faujan N, Noriham A, Norrakiah S, et al. Antioxidant activity of plants methanolic extracts containing phenolic compounds. Afr J Biotechnol 2009;8(3):484-489.
  6. Kozyakov S, Osetrova I, Zil P. Medicinal species of the genus Polygonum L. in the Ukraine. Ukrains’kii Botanichnii Zhurnal 1991;48(2):42-45.
  7. Sumazian Y, Ahmad S, Mansor H, et al. Antioxidant activities, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and phenolic content of Malaysian vegetables. J Med Plants Res 2010;4(10):881-890.
  8. Qader SW, Abdulla MA, Chua LS, et al. Antioxidant, total phenolic content and cytotoxicity evaluation of selected Malaysian plants. Molecules 2011;16(4):3433-3443. View Abstract
  9. Urones G, Sanchez I, Gomez B, et al. Flavonoids from Polygonum minus. Phytochemistry 1990;29(11):3687-3689.
  10. Wasman Q, Mahmood A, Salehhuddin H, et al. Cytoprotective activities of Polygonum minus aqueous leaf extract on ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in rats. J Med Plants Res 2010;4(24):2658-2665.

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.