This plant is a native of Europe and the north of Asia. Called “snakeweed” because it is supposed the leaves and the ROOTS have a powerful faculty to resist poison.
The ROOT is the official portion. The taste is astringent with no odor.
Bistort is one of the strongest astringents. It is used in gargles and in injections.
Useful in cases of diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera. If the bowels should be astringed, the following will be an excellent combination: infuse 1 oz. each crushed bistort root and raspberry leaves in 3/2 pts. boiling water. Keep hot for 1/2 hr., strain the clear hquid on 1 t. composition powder, (see bayberry) and cover. Dose—adults 3 T. every 1/2 hr. until the purging is arrested. This will clear the canker from the mucous membrane of the alimentary canal, leaving it toned.
Bistort is a good wash for sore and ulcerated mouth and gums and is useful in internal and external hemorrhages and in enuresis. As an injection in leucorrhea, use the infusion.
May be employed in the form of decoction or powder. The dose of the powder is 20 or 30 gr., 3 or 4 times daily.