Persicaria, also known as smartweeds – feared weeds but with many health benefits


This plant troubles many gardeners and lawn owners. Sure that are many other weeds you should worry about too, however the most well-known and the most dreaded one is Persicaria, also known as smartweeds or knotweeds. It is a plant with small green leaves, a fairly long main root, which grows down and deep, and small white or purplish flowers. Where can you find smartweeds and how can you use it to your benefit? Well, the answer is in the following lines.

An invincible hero among other weeds

It is actually one of the most stubborn weeds and it can cover a large space relatively quickly. It grows from a small base, but it quickly spreads around using shoots. It creates a kind of an umbrella where the centre is the strong and deep root. It is only about 5 cm high, but it can cover a very large area quickly and prevent grass and other plants from growing. It is not easy to get rid of it. You need to grab it and pull it out manually, including the root. You can actually do that if the soil is not compacted. Smartweeds will also grow between paving stones. We all hate it, so to learn that it actually offers medical benefits is very surprising.

smartweedsPhoto: Radek Štěpán

Many healing effects

If you are looking for an herb with strong detoxification properties, you got it. Just for your information, here is a small list of issues smartweeds may help you with:

  • diarrhoea,
  • catarrh,
  • inflammation,
  • urinary stones or sand,
  • bleeding,
  • gout,
  • joint diseases,
  • menstrual bleeding,
  • respiratory tract diseases,
  • rheumatism,
  • poorly healing wounds
  • and with many other problems.

Smartweeds are mainly used to treat urological problems. It has significant diuretic effects, so it is used to make tea. It is an excellent prevention against kidney stones but it is also used when stones have already formed and treatment has been started.

Photo: Radek Štěpán

Smartweeds are used both internally and externally

In addition to tea, smartweeds are also used for enemas, rinses and to make various cleansing mixtures. They are successfully used to treat abrasion wounds, eczema and other skin problems including bedsores or toe fungus. Further, excellent herbal baths are prepared from this plant. It can also strengthen blood vessel walls and capillaries.

smartweedsPhoto: Radek Štěpán

Preview photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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