BISTORT-May be used to control all bleeding.

BISTORT: The name Bistort (Latin bis = twice, torta = twisted) bears reference to the twice-twisted character of the root-stock, an old local name, ‘Twice-Writhen,’ being a literal translation of the Latin.  The underground stem or rhizome of Bistort after being dried was a favorite in old-time cough medicine because of its expectorant qualities (to expel mucus from lungs and respiratory tract). It is also a favorite for present day coughs. Apply topically to throat, lungs and back three to four times per day. Cover area with a white towel on the chest and back and wear with a high-necked natural fiber undershirt to aid Bistort by conserving body heat to help break the congestion loose. Bistort is assisted in its work by its antibiotic content of tannins (commonly known as bitter astringents) and Vitamin C.  Bistort root has never been carefully analyzed, but it is known to contain about 20 % tannins and a large amount of starch, as well as some Gallic acid and gum.   Bistort root is a strong astringent and highly styptic and may be used to control all bleeding, whether external or internal and wherever astringency is required.   Bistort has been used as an effective treatment in diarrhea, bowel complaints and also effective in dealing with hemorrhoids.

Bistort used as a diaphoretic promotes heavy sweating, which cools the body, reduces fever, and also helps to drive out poisons from the body through the skin.

Bistort used as a diuretic, further helps to clear toxins and infection from the system by promoting urine flow. Bistort’s antiseptic qualities also help to drive out infection in the increased urine.  This can be especially useful in cases of cystitis and urinary tract infections.

Precautions: Can cause GI irritation, Hepatic dysfunction and should not be used by pregnant or breast feeding women.

COMMON NAMES: Patience Dock, Snake Weed, Sweet Dock, Dragonwort, Red Legs, Easter Giant, Officinal Bistort.


Scientific classification

Kingdom:        Plantae

(unranked):      Angiosperms

(unranked):      Eudicots

(unranked):      Core eudicots

Order:             Caryophyllales

Family:            Polygonaceae

Genus:             Persicaria

Species:           P. bistorta

Patience Dock, Snake Weed, Sweet Dock, Dragonwort, Red Legs, Easter Giant, Officinal Bistort

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