Polygonum punctatum Elliott

  • Maria Izabela Ferreira
  • Gabriela Granghelli Gonçalves
  • Lin Chau MingEmail author
Part of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World book series (MAPW, volume 5)


Polygonum punctatum Elliot is found all over on the American continent in areas of flooded, sandy or fertile land. It belongs to Polygonaceae family and it is popularly known in Brazil as erva-de-bicho, cataia, persicária do Brasil, pimenteirad’água. In Spain is known as ajicillo, erva do bicho, caa-tai and in the United States of America dotted smartweed, water smartweed and water pepper. It is widely used in folk medicine and the uses of P. punctatum are referred in literature to treat hemorrhoids and rheumatism, besides presenting diuretic, abortive and emmenagogue action. There is a range of secondary metabolites groups in aerial parts, like tannins, free anthraquinones, saponins, pelargonidin, flavonoids and acids, polyphenols, coumarins, glycosides, terpenoids, sesquiterpenes and the major components, the sesquiterpenes polygodial and isotadeonal are the main active compounds. Pharmacological pre-clinical studies of the hydroalcoholic extract showed antihistaminic activity, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and hypotensive activities emphasizing the popular indication for the treatment of intestinal pains and as a disinfectant in the treatment of skin infections. So, this species has potential to develop into an herbal medicine. Presently, however, there are just a few studies aimed at growing and improving its chemical quality.


Polygonum punctatum Polygonaceae Erva-de-bicho Antihemorrhoidal drugs Dotted smartweed 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Izabela Ferreira
    • 1
  • Gabriela Granghelli Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Lin Chau Ming
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Horticulture Department, School of Agronomic Sciences,Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)BotucatuBrazil

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