Pipsissewa was much used by many tribes of native North American Indians to induce sweating and treat fevers, including typhus[254, 257]. The plant contains hydroquinones which have a pronounced disinfectant effect within the urinary tract and modern day herbalism mainly employs the plant to treat urinary problems such as cystitis and urethritis[254]. The whole plant is alterative, antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic[4, 9, 14, 21, 46, 165, 213, 207, 222]. An infusion is used in the treatment of various problems related to the urinary system, it is also prescribed for more serious conditions such as kidney stones and gonorrhoea[254]. A decoction is very efficacious in the treatment of skin diseases[4]. Used externally, the fresh leaves are rubefacient and internally they are of great use in cardiac and kidney diseases, chronic rheumatism and scrofula[4, 238]. Only the leaves are officinal, though the whole plant is often used[4]. The plant is loaded with the biologically active compounds arbutin, sitosterol and ursolic acid[222]. Arbutin hydrolyzes to the toxic urinary antiseptic hydroquinone[222]. The plant contains glycosides and an essential oil that are used as an astringent and tonic[212]. The plant is harvested when in flower, and the leaves on their own can be harvested during the growing season. They are dried for later use[238]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[9]. It is used in the treatment of inflammations of the urinary system[9].