Water-pepper smartweed. Pepper plant herb

Water-pepper smartweed. Pepper plant herb

Water-pepper smartweed. Pepper plant herb

Specification & Spread

Water-pepper plant herb — herba polygoni hydropiperis
Pepper plant – persicaria hydropiper (l.) Spach ( = polygonum hydropiper l.)
Buckwheat family — polygonaceae
Other names: water pepper, biting knotweed, red-knees, sickle-weed, marsh-pepper smartweed.

It is an annual herbaceous plant up to 70 cm tall.
The stem is green, reddening to autumn, with a sharp burning taste that disappears after drying. The stem from the base is moderately branched, naked, upright.
The leaves are alternate, oblong-lanceolate, with amphibious sockets, the lower – short-petiolate, the upper – sessile.
The beetles are brown, short-cut along the edge.
The flowers are small, inconspicuous, with a greenish-pink simple perianth,gathered in narrow intermittent drooping spiciform inflorescences.
The fruit is an ovate, obtuse-triangular nut.

The flowering and fruiting from July to October.

Spreading. Almost throughout the territory of Russia.

Habitat In damp places; near rivers, ponds, ditches, on damp meadows and arable lands, like weeds in vegetable gardens, along roadsides. It forms thickets, convenient for harvesting.


The chemical composition of pepper plant

Pepper herb contains:

  • flavonoids (2-2.5%): rutin, quercitrin, hyperoside, kaempferol;
  • methylated flavonols: isorhamnetin and ramnazine in the form of esters with potassium bisulfate.

It is also found:

  • tannins,
  • essential oil,
  • organic acids
  • vitamin K1,
  • ascorbic acid,
  • many trace elements.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The herb is harvested at the beginning of flowering. The leafy flowering shoots are cut with a sickle or knife at a height of 4-5 cm from the soil surface, leaving the rough lower parts of the stems. It is not recommended to harvest plants with strongly reddened stems (late harvest).

Security measures. To renew the thickets it is necessary to leave at least one well-developed specimen per 1 m2 of thickets.

Drying. The herb is dried in attics under an iron roof or under sheds, spreading it out in a thin layer (3-5 cm) on fabric or paper, often turning it over so that the raw material does not turn black. It is better to dry in dryers with artificial heating at a temperature of 40-50 ºС.

Whole raw materials

Whole or partially crushed flowering leafy shoots up to 45 cm long without coarse lower parts, with fruits of different degrees of maturity.
The stems are cylindrical with swollen nodes.
The leaves are alternate, short branch, oblong-lanceolate, pointed or obtuse, entire, bare, 3–9 cm long, up to 1.8 cm wide.
At the base of the petioles there are two stipules that are fused into membranous stem-wide cylindrical sockets with a length of up to 1.5 cm.
The surface of the sockets is bare, on the top edge with short (2 mm) cilia.
The inflorescences are thin intermittent brushes up to 6 cm long, flowers on short pedicels. The perianth is coronoid, 3-4 mm long, with 4-5 obtuse lobes covered with numerous brown dots (containers) visible under a magnifying glass.
There are 6 stamens, rarely 8, the pistil is with upper single-cuspid ovary and 2-3 columns.
The fruit is an ovoid-elliptical nut, on the one hand flat, on the other – convex, enclosed in the remaining perianth.
The colour of the stems is green or reddish, the leaves are green, the sockets are reddish, the flowers are greenish or pinkish, and the fruits are black.The smell is absent. The taste is slightly burning.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of leaves, stems and inflorescences of various shapes, passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter.
The colour is green or reddish green.
The smell is absent. The taste is slightly burning.


When harvesting the raw materials, pepper plant can be confused with other similar plants found in the same habitat

Jointweed (Persicaria minor (Huds.) Opiz = Polygonum minus Huds.) differs in smaller sizes, thin ascending or recumbent stems, narrower linear-lanceolate or linear leaves, short bells with long cilia along the edge and sparse hairs on the surface. The vessels in all organs are absent.

Mild pepper plant (Persicaria mites (Schrank) Opiz ex Assenov = Polygonum mite Schrank) is distinguished by thin, rising or erect stems, bells with long cilia along the edge and mostly densely pubescent. The reservoirs are available only in the leaf parenchyma; the hot pepper taste is absent.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Hemostatic (hemostatic) agent.
The pharmacological properties

Water pepper herb possesses:

  • hemostatic properties.

Hemostatic effect is manifested only in the conditions of the whole organism.

Water pepper:

  • reduces vascular permeability.

Water pepper extract:

  • strengthens the contraction of the muscles of the uterus, but its activity is inferior to ergot.

It has some analgesic effect.

Application of pepper plant

Pepper plant preparations – an infusion and a liquid extract – are used:

  • with postpartum uterine bleeding, after abortion, during heavy and painful menstruation,
  • with bleeding on the soil of uterine fibroids, inflammatory processes and hormonal dysfunctions,
  • as well as with small hemorrhoidal bleeding.
  • Hypersensitivity to the preparation,
  • pregnancy,
  • children under 12 years old,
  • individual intolerance.