Japanese Knotweed is an herb that includes an excellent source of vitamin A, while the roots contain large amounts of the natural polyphenol known as resveratrol. That’s where the magic is for dogs.
Resveratrol is also commonly found in red wine which is one of the reasons why red wine is so good for you. However, since we avoid giving our dogs red wine or resveratrol from large amounts of grapes, a supplement containing Japanese Knotweed is an excellent alternative to supply resveratrol for your dog.
Additional Benefits of Resveratrol for Dogs
Japanese knotweed and resveratrol in supplement form tend to be pretty reliable for dogs, but it’s worth noting that clinical trials are limited. While there has been some exciting information regarding this herb and using it for dogs (especially dogs with cancer) most of the studies involve mice.
- One study illustrated a decreased rate of the spread of colon cancer in mice who took the polyphenol orally. It’s the anti-cancer application that tends to make the most headlines, with a mixed bag of reports to explore. Some are rather excited about the effects of resveratrol, with some evidence suggesting that the use of a resveratrol supplement having an impact on one or more stages of cancer development in dogs.
- There is some anecdotal evidence regarding Japanese knotweed and Lyme disease in dogs. Herbalist Stephen Buhner recommends using a Japanese knotweed supplement in his book Healing Lyme and notes that it is the only herbal treatment that blocks the bacterial phyla known as spirochetes, which lead to Lyme disease and other infections like bartonella. In fact, it’s believed by many that this herb is very helpful for those with lyme. If you need additional help for a dog suffering with this disease, please read our article called Natural Tips and Treatment for Dogs with Lyme Disease.
- Japanese Knotweed is also believed to include strong levels of antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some have reported increased energy levels and alertness in dogs who’ve consumed Japanese knotweed roots, but again, there’s not much in the form of clinical evidence. However, we have found that the best evidence often comes in the form of real life experiences. 🙂
Directions for Using Japanese Knotweed for Dogs
Despite this limited evidence, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that a small dosage of resveratrol in the range of five to seven milligrams per 30 pounds of body weight daily may do the trick. We share another option below for figuring out the dosage for your dog when using a human product. MAKE SURE YOU USE ORGANIC!
We recommend using Japanese Knotweed in tincture form and the brand we like is from Montana Farmacy. FYI, this particular formula does contain a small amount of alcohol at a 1:5 ratio of alcohol to water.
DIRECTIONS: It can be difficult to convert from milligrams to milliliters, etc. It’s often recommended to simply convert the human dosage into a canine dosage by doing the following:
Example: If your dog is 30 pounds, divide 30 by 150. This breaks down to 0.2 or 20%. So, you’d give your dog 20% of the human dosage. Montana Farmacy’s recommended dosage for humans is 30-40 drops 3 times a day. You need 20 percent of say 40 drops three times daily. 40 x 3 = 120 drops daily. 120 divided by 20 (percent) which gives you 24 drops for your 30 pound dog daily.
You can also visit our page here on additional information on dosing herbs for dogs.
- Avoid Japanese Knotweed when on blood thinners.
- May cause stomach upset.
- There are no known studies regarding Japanese knotweed and dogs that suggest any known toxic side effects in dogs, but again it must be stressed that research is limited. There have been some studies in rats, where higher doses of the supplement led to significant problems like dehydration, anemia and even kidney problems. Typically these studies use very high doses which aren’t the doses that would be used in typical daily situations.
More About Japanese Knotweed
Native to Asia, Japanese Knotweed arrived in the United States as an ornamental plant. If you live in the Northeastern United States, you probably know all about Japanese Knotweed – even if you aren’t sure what it’s called.
This edible weed is an invasive pain in the neck and can be found all over the place, but it’s particularly aggressive in certain areas and can be difficult to get rid of. It is especially widespread around the banks of many of our waterways.
Practical Self Reliance also offers great information on this herb.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen
Article last updated 6/14/22