Houttuynia cordata leaves

One good thing I enjoy as a researcher is the privilege of identifying new things and learning new knowledge.

The fact is that there are loads of amazing important leaves, herbs and plants all over the world that most of us have never ever tapped into or bothered to identify so as to tap into all the amazing benefits they can offer.

One of such plants is the Houttuynia cordata, which is mostly popular in the Asian part of the world especially Vietnam, China, Japan, Manipur and Korea. Houttuynia cordata is a very popular plant especially in this part of the world due to its supposedly incredible medicinal benefits that are attached to it. While some countries refer to Houttuynia cordata as a poison-blocking plant, others see it as bishop’s weed, fishy-smelly herb, chameleon plant, fish mint, toningkok, heartleaf, ja mardoh, Court Jester, giấp cá and lizard tail etc. Houttuynia cordata belongs to the genus Houttuynia emeiensis and it is a herbaceous plant that usually grows perennially.

Houttuynia cordata is distinguished for its ability to invade the entire farmland and spread closely all over the ground. When this plant eventually invades a farmland, it usually proves difficult to destroy except when tackled with tough elimination methods. The plant is capable of growing approximately up to 80cm tall with the distal part protruding vertically.

Houttuynia cordata is characterised by greenish-yellowish color leaves that often grows up to 10 cm long × 6 cm wide in shady places and moist areas. The leaves are alternated with heart-shaped appearance while the stem usually produces adventitious roots. The plant bears horizontal rhizomes, which connect the erect aerial stems with each other.

The cordate alternate leaves have a sheathing base, which is synonymous with certain species of Piper (Piperaceae). The inflorescences of Houttuynia cordata comprises of dense spikes of very tiny flowers without petals, with each of the inflorescence bearing four white bracts at the base. Below are some of the amazing benefits of Houttuynia cordata you ought to be aware of.


1. Diabetes Treatment
A comprehensive study by Kumar et al., (2014) on constant administration of ethanolic extract of Houttuynia cordata for a period of 3 weeks on diabetic rats showed a significant reduction of FPG level on these rats. Their finding suggests that Houttuynia cordata contains anti-diabetic properties thus can be a potential cure for diabetic patients. Interestingly, this plant is currently being experimented and examined in order to determine its pharmacological abilities in regulating blood sugar level in human beings.

2. Weight Management
Studies reveal that Houttuynia cordata contains anti-obesity properties thus can be regularly eaten to shed excess weight.

3. Culinary purposes
Houttuynia cordata serves as green vegetables for preparing and garnishing assorted meals such as salad and eromba etc.

4. Diuretic benefits
Houttuynia cordata can be used for preparing traditional medicines that are used for treating diuresis.

5. Detoxification Ability
Houttuynia cordata can be used for detoxifying the body systems due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties.

6. Pnuemonia treatment
Houttuynia cordata can be used for treating pneumonia, abnormal lung symptoms and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome).

7. Treatment of infectious diseases
It can be used for treating infectious diseases due to its anti-viral and antibacterial properties.

8. Herpes treatment
Houttuynia cordata can be given to patients suffering from herpes virus since the plant contains properties that are capable of inhibiting pseudorabies herpes virus.

9. Antipoison Properties
Houttuynia cordata is also known as a poison-blocking plant due to its ability to neutralize poisonous substances.

This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.


1. Kamiya K, Hamabe W, Harada S, Murakami R, Tokuyama, S. and Satake, T. (2008), Chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia roots exhibit hypoglycemic effects in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 31(5): pp.935–937.

2. Kumar, M., Prasad, S. K., Krishnamurthy, S., and Hemalatha, S. (2014). Antihyperglycemic Activity of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, p. 7.

3. Ruy José Válka Alves, Débora Medeiros, Ricardo Loyola de Moura, Luiza Carla Trindade de Gusmão , Nílber Gonçalves da Silva, Kelly Antunes, Carolina Matozinhos and Mario A. Blanco, (2013), First report of naturalization of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. 1783 (Piperales: Saururaceae) in South America, Journal of species lists and distribution, 9 (3), pp. 642-643.

4. Shin, S., S.S. Joo, J.H. Jeon, D. Park, M. Jang, T. Kim, H. Kim, B.Y. Hwang, Kim, K. and Kim, Y. (2009), Anti-inflammatory effects of a Houttuynia cordata supercritical extract. Journal of Veterinary Science 11(3): pp. 273–274.

5. Yamaoka, K. (2015), Houttuynia cordata, accessed online [] [Accessed online: 27/09/2015]

Xu, Y. W., Zeng, J. W., Zou, Y. T., Husaini, A. M., Yao, R. Y., Wu, D. G. and Wu, W. (2011), Combined effect of dark and wounding on regeneration
potential of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. leaves. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 49: pp. 540–543.

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  • John Westfall

    Am very interested in houttuynia Cordata thunb and how I can receive it or order it from USA and anything to fight cancer .
    Thank you and very nice to meet you

    • Hi John,

      thanks for taking your time to leave your comment.

      Honestly, I have no clue where you can get it from the United States because I don’t live there but maybe you can search on google or ask someone.

      All the very best in your endeavors.

  • Trang

    Hi John,

    In the US, It is sold in major Asian super market in the fresh herb section.
    Once you buy a bun of of it, you can soak the stems in water. the stems will grow roots, and can you can plant them in your yard. Once planted, they would grow like weeds, you would have a hard time destroying them.

    Wishing you good health.

    • Hi Trang,

      Many thanks for your candid suggestions! You really rock!

      Best regards!