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Bistort has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. It is found throughout Europe . The Latin name "bistorta" refers to the root which appears to be twice twisted. It is sometimes used for making puddings. The root is rich in starch and can be eaten as a vegetable or ground to make flour. The leaves also can be eaten as a vegetable.

Bistort is high in tannin content. Since it is one of the strongest natural astringents of all herbs bistort is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow.

It has been used as a mouthwash and gargle for gum sores, inflammation of the mouth and sore throat. It helps stop bleeding. It expels worms from the body.  Historically it was used as a remedy for nasal polyps, diarrhea, dysentery, heavy menstrual bleeding and mouth and throat irritations, a douche for excessive vaginal discharge, and an ointment for hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Internally, bistort has been taken to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and conditions such as dysentery and irritable bowl syndrome. It has been used to treat small wounds and insect bites.

 CAUTION: Bistort may cause stomach upset. Bistort also may cause liver damage. 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.


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