Smart Weed, Water Pepper, Smartass, Arse Smart, Peachwort, Ciderage, Hung-la-liao, Hosoba-tade

Polygonum hydnopiper syn. Persicaria hydropiper

F. Polygonaceae

This information on Herbs is provided 
free from Isabell Shipard’s Herb book.

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Please see
Isabell’s book of herbs and their uses

 How can I use HERBS in my daily life?
for full text.

Herb Book Commendations


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Medicinal Uses

A herb with a tradition of uses: beneficial for colds, respiratory ailments, edema, hemorrhoids, ulcers, eczema, rheumatism, toothache, diarrhea, indigestion, heat stroke, spleen and liver malfunction, gout, thrush, mouth ulcers, hypochondria, cholera, jaundice, vertigo, gallstones, lethargy, epilepsy, hemorrhaging, menstrual pain, and to strengthen the stomach.


It is said, heating or drying the plant can destroy the properties, therefore, an infusion is preferable with 2 teasp. of finely chopped fresh leaves added to a cup of cold water; stir vigorously and leave to steep 5-10 minutes. Take 1-3 cups a day. Honey may be added to sweeten, as the herb has a pungent peppery taste that tickles the tongue, which is reflected in some of the common names of the plant. It is not as hot as chillies and the hotness only lingers on the tongue for a short time.
Tinctures, like for an infusion, should be prepared with the fresh plant. For toothache, try a few bruised leaves placed between cheek and gum. For thrush, mouth ulcers and sore throat, gargle using a cold infusion. Externally, tade has been applied as a poultice or infusion for bruises, inflammation, ulcers, proud flesh, felons, hard to heal wounds, gangrene and tumours.

Sufferers from rheumatism will benefit by using an infusion in their bath water, as well as drinking 2 cups of tea a day. Crushing some fresh leaves and dabbing in the ear on a cotton bud may relieve earache.

A folk use for this smart weed was to put a handful of the herb under the saddle of your horse if you wanted it to travel long distances. It is said the herb would spur the horse on and also allay thirst. If you are one to procrastinate, or have lost your get up and go, try a handful of smart weed (also called smartass) in your pants, it just might be enough, to spur you on!

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