The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Xu Duan
Dipsacus japonicus is a Biennial/Perennial up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Wild places and roadsides in China[
]. Sunny places at elevations of 300 - 1500 metres in central and southern Japan[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in sun or semi-shade.
Young leaves - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[
The roots contain alkaloids, tannins and sugars[
]. They are antirheumatic, cancer, emmenagogue, galactofuge, haemostatic, hepatic and tonic. It is used as a kidney tonic[
]. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthralgia, traumatic injuries, backache and weak knees, seminal emissions, polyuria and also to secure abortions[
The seed is diuretic[
The plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism[
]. It also has a long history of folk use in the treatment of breast cancer[
Seed - we have no details but suggest sowing it in a greenhouse in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.