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Making green tea with Japanese Knot Weed

Posted by Leslie Price 
Making green tea with Japanese Knot Weed
July 02, 2021 08:12AM
Hello, Im wondering if anyone here has experience making green tea with Japanese Knotweed?
I've been using Regalia regularly for a couple of years as a recolonizer after the use of Oxidate. It is fairly expensive and has just gone up another 5.00 a gallon. The main ingredient in Regalia is Japanese Knotweed and I have an unlimited supply of this very annoying plant so I thought I would give making tea from it a try. I have also, large supplies of Horsetail and Nettle and have made green tea successfully from these.
My experience, so far, is that the Horse tail and Nettle ferment and break down rapidly to almost no solids, with no forced air, and in 3-4 days are at a ph below 3.5. When Knotweed is added to the mix however, by volume 25% nettle, 25% horsetail, 50% knotweed, 25 gallons water, the horsetail and nettle fermented as expected but still at day10 the knotweed only has changed color, leaves are still intact.
Im wondering if I need to cut up the plant to a finer degree or maybe introduce something to kickstart the breakdown of the plant. As someone who has used many different things to poison Knotweed over the years I do know that there is no problem with absorption into the plant.
Re: Making green tea with Japanese Knot Weed
July 02, 2021 04:27PM
I've been using Japanese knotweed stalks in the fermented plant extract (FPE) for silica, along with horsetail. I deliberately remove the leaves and cut the stalks into short lengths (say 3-5 inches) to facilitate nutrient absorption into the brew. Those stalk pieces do not dissolve to nothingness, as you report, Leslie, but do become somewhat rubbery and pale which indicates to me that the silica content has been taken up. This current brew is made with 80% horsetail and 20% knotweed. Nettle was used solely in the Calcium FPE as it was not yet in its seeded stage when silica levels in nettle skyrocket. And just to be clear, I'm fermenting my first round of herbal concoctions separately (one with a calcium focus, the other for silica) as I need two drums' worth for my three Comp applications anyway.

So why just the stalks of knotweed? Different parts of a chosen plant may have desired constituents while other parts not so much. Hypericin is in St. John's Wort flower buds but not at all in the brittle stems, for instance. Knotweed stalks are hard and upright while it's leaves are soft and supple, which leads me to think (but not necessarily know) that greater silica levels are in the stalk. The herbal explanation to choose the right plant parts runs along these lines: a menstruum (the water, in this case) has room to hold only so many constituents that are extracted from the marc (the plant material) and thus why we utilize the correct plant parts when particular purposes are the goal. But it's totally your choice and it's great you're trialing your own slant on fermented plant extracts.

Regalia would be something maybe we all can figure out. When using knotweed for tick-induced Lyme disease in human medicine, its actually the rhizome (root) used for its resveratrol content and not the upper part of the plant. There's also a debate in the herbal community if resveratrol is best extracted as a water infusion or an alcohol-based tincture. Growers could possibly straddle that line by using a water-vinegar menstruum. Any of this may be relevant to the making of Regalia... but I really don't know. I will add friends of ours harvest knotweed rhizomes with a backhoe as this is one challenging plant part to get out of the ground!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Making green tea with Japanese Knot Weed
July 03, 2021 08:18AM
Thats very interesting info Michael. I had no idea what the major constituent was in Knotweed that I was shooting for. So your thinking a diversity of sources for silica is of benefit for the extra effort? Also interesting to know that Regalia uses the rhizome rather than above ground portion. I actually find the rhizome pretty easy to extract from the ground here on my farm, sandy/loam to loamy/sand. By the creek the patches are growing very shallow. It may be programed into the plant for survival. During flood events the rhizomes tear out of the ground with stalks and float downstream to start a new life somewhere else.
I may just try a batch of rhizome brew but I wont be doing it together with any of the rapid fermenting plants anymore.
Re: Making green tea with Japanese Knot Weed
July 03, 2021 03:55PM
Just to clarify... I have no knowledge of what Marrone Biological Innovations actually does to make Regalia. So it may be the rhizome of giant knotweed and I would bet good money that it is but this is merely an intuitive guess. Regalia acts primarily as an immune (phytochemistry) stimulant so it makes sense that resveratrol might be the key constituent. Nevertheless, how cool if growers could figure this out by crafting a brew in certain fashion and then get similar results upon application in the orchard. That's the one and only way we subjective types ever "know" something is worth doing.

As for silica, Equisetum arvense (horsetail) is a known source of soluble monosilicic acid. Adding knotweed shoots and seeded nettle adds to the potential but I'll always rely on horsetail being the major part of any FPE for silica. Marsh grasses, bamboo, and similar stiff plants provide other bioregional prospects. I've actually dried a bin of horsetail this year (finally!) to be able to brew an early season tea as well. Biodynamic growers are big on that earlier timing. My round two sap tests show silica now approaching the sweet spot so fermented plant extracts definitely prove effective. I expect a spring horsetail tea will push this up even further.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2021 04:02PM by Michael Phillips.
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