Bistort comes from Polygonum bistorta, a member of the Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). This plant is native to Europe and naturalized in North America. The most prized parts, the root and rhizomes (underground stems), are gathered In the fall. The leaves are gathered in the spring.
Rich in starch, bistort root has been roasted and eaten as a vegetable. Different folk cultures use different parts of bistort.
Common doses of Bistort
Bistort comes as a powder, dried or cut root, and tea. Some experts recommend the following dose:
- For diarrhea, 1 teaspoon of the powdered root combined with 1 to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water, taken orally. Don’t take more than 3 cups daily.
Why people use Bistort herb
- As an antidote for certain poisons
- Bleeding from the respiratory tract or stomach
- Canker sores
- Excessive respiratory secretions
- Gum problems
- Insect bites
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Small burns or wounds
- Sore throat
- Stomach ulcers
- Tapeworm, pinworm, and other worm infections
- To stop external and internal bleeding
- Ulcerative colitis
- Vaginal bleeding or discharge
Side effects of Bistort
Call your health care practitioner if you experience stomach upset. Bistort also may cause liver damage.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking
Important points to remember
- Don’t use bistort if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Don’t take this herb internally for more than 3 weeks at a time.
What the research shows
Bistort shows some promise in easing inflammation, relieving arthritis symptoms, and treating diarrhea in children. It also may have value as an astringent to use in poultices. However, few scientific studies support these uses. Until clinical trials can precisely define bistort’s therapeutic value, medical experts can’t recommend it.
Other names for Bistort : –
Other names for bistort include adderwort, common bistort, Easter ledges, Easter mangiant, knotweed, oderwort, osterick, patience dock, snakeroot, snakeweed, and twice writhen.
No known products containing bistort are available commercially.