Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow[254]. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic[4, 218]. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried[4]. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc[4, 9, 13, 21, 147, 165, 172]. It is also taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including catarrh, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and excessive menstruation[238, 254]. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc[238, 254]. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats[254]. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds[4]. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet [301]. Considered useful in diabetes [301].