Lizard Tail; Chameleon Plant, Houttuynia cordata


Other common names: fishwort, doku-dami (Japan), yu xing cao (China)

There are two forms of Houttuynia cordata: the variegated, which is often sold as an ornamental plant and the usual green form which is grown as a leaf vegetable and cooking herb in its native region South East Asia. The herb has an unusual fishy taste.

Lizard tail is an important medicinal herb used in Asian traditional medicine systems. It is used to fight cancer and has detoxifing, antiviral (even against HIV), antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, mildly laxative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties.

Houttuynia cordata is a creepy herbaceous perennial which likes moist shady places. In hotter areas the plant might be invasive. Can be used as a pomd or bog plant. Due to its possible invasiveness, keep it away from waterways - in doubt, grow it in a big pot, bathtub or kiddy pool!

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