Strange but True - Japanese Knotweed
Strange but True - Japanese Knotweed
London Japanese Knotweed - Strange but True
020 3488 0922.
Strange but True

London Japanese Knotweed - Strange but True

FOOD USES: Best when 6 to 8 inches tall, the intensely tart, tangy shoots (discard all the tough leaves) taste like rhubarb, only better. A tough rind that you must peel (good for making marmalade) covers the taller ones.

Slice the stems, steam as a vegetable, and simmer in soups, sauces, fruit compotes, and jam, or bake in dessert dishes. Use sparingly. I've made terrific applesauce and excellent strawberry compotes using just 1 part knotweed to 10 parts fruit.

You may even substitute cooked knotweed, which gets very soft, for lemon juice, transforming familiar recipes into exotic ones. Or use a chopstick to pierce the membranes that separate the segments of 1-foot-tall shoots, peel, stuff the stalks with sweet or savory stuffing, and bake in an appropriate sauce.

NUTRITION: An excellent source of vitamin A, along with vitamin C and its cofactor, the antioxidant flavonoid rutin, Japanese knotweed also provides potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. Itís also an excellent source of resveratrol, the same substance in the skin of grapes and in red wine that lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks. When I find the plant on tours with school classes, I tell the kids that the plant prevents heart attacks, and we do an experiment: I have a teacher, whom we all observe carefully, eat some knotweed. Then I proclaim: "See, he's not having a heart attack. it works!"

Resveratrol may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease or slow its progression. Normally, glial cells in the brain support the neurons (nerve cells) and apparently modify the way they communicate, but in Alzheimer's disease, an accumulation of gunk called amyloid plaques signals these helper cells to kill the neurons instead. Resveratrol seems to block this deadly signal. And resveratrol will also increase your lifespan by 30%, but only if youíre a fruit fly. It activates sirtuin genes, which increase cell longevity the same way a calorie-restricted diet does. Whether this might also slow human aging is still open to question.



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