Information on Bistort

Latin NamePolygonum bistorta
Other NamesSnakeweed
Part UsedRoot, Rhizome
Herb FormsBulk herb, powder.
AffectsDigestive system
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoA short, compact perennial plant of wet meadows in the buckwheat family. The flowers are in short pink or white spikes.
DescriptionBistort root is highly astringent, and is used for diarrhea and hemorrhaging. The decoction is used as a mouthwash for gum problems, and the powder is sprinkled on wounds externally to stop bleeding. P. bistortoides is a common native U.S. species that can be used similarly.
Other dose forms: use as a wash for mouth problems or sore throat; 1 tsp/cup of water.

Bistort has a taste of ASTRINGENT and a temperature of COOL.


Powder1-2 gr powdered rhizome daily

Ailments Treated by Bistort

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Bleeding, internalastringenttea, tincture
Diarrheaastringenttea, tincture


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.