Bistort root, especially when ground and mixed with echinacea, myrrh, and goldenseal, is a great dressing for cuts and other wounds. It is also a powerful astringent, used by mixing a teaspoon in a cup of boiled water, and drunk several times a day, as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The same mixture can be used as a gargle for sore throats. Bistort is used with other herbs to rid the body of infectious disease, and is effective for stopping all internal and external bleeding. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C.
Bistort prefers damp soils, such as in cultivated fields, and likes partial to full sun. It is native to Europe, and has been grown in Nova Scotia and as far south as Massachusetts. It is a perennial that grows up to 30 inches tall.