Tag Archives: Polygonum

Polygonum erectum

Botanical Name :Polygonum erectum
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Polygonum
Species: P. erectum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonym:  Erect Knotgrass.

Common Name:  Erect Knotweed

Habitat:Polygonum erectum is  native Americans as part of the group of crops known as the Eastern Agricultural Complex.(British America, and Western and Middle States.)

Description:
Polygonum erectum is a perennial plant.It grows 10 to 50-(75) cm tall with many to few, non wiry branches.Leaves are smooth, broadly obvate, rather obtuse- 1 to 2 inches long – and about half as broad – either sessile or petiolate. The leaves have distinct veins and entire edges or have jagged cut edges. The pedicels are shorter or equal the length of the calyx and typically longer than the ocreae. Flowers bloom June to September in bunches at axils of the leaves.The closed flowers have a calyx that is typically 3 mm long, green in color and 5-lobed. Flowers in clusters of 1 to 5 in cymes that are produced in the axils of most leaves. The calyx segments are unequal with the outer lobes longer and not keeled and the inner ones narrowly keeled. The tepals are greenish, with yellowish tinting or sometimes with whitish tints. The seeds are produced in fruits called achenes that can be of two different types; one type is dark brown in color with a shiny surface and is broadly ovoid in shape, typically 2.5 mm long. The other achene type is dull brown in color, exsert and ovoid in shape, and 3–3.5 mm long. Late season fruiting is uncommon and if produced the achenes are 4 to 5 mm long .

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Medicinal Uses:
Polygonum erectum is highly astringent as an infusion or decoction; useful in diarrhcea as an injection and in children’s summer complaints; also as a good gargle and a valuable remedy for inflammatory diseases of the tissues.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonum_erectum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/k/knorus09.html

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Polygonum fagopyrum

Botanical Name :Polygonum fagopyrum
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms:Brank. Beechwheat. Le Blé noir. Sarrasin. Buchweizen. Heidekorm. French. Wheat. Saracen Corn.

Habitat: Polygonum fagopyrum  is a native of Central Asia, cultivated in China and other Eastern countries as a bread-corn and was first brought to Europe from Asia by the Crusaders, and hence in France is called ‘Saracen Corn.

Description:
It is a herbaceous plant, with a knotted stem a foot or two in height, round and hollow, generally green, but sometimes tinged with red, lateral branches growing out of the joints, which give off alternately from opposite sides, heart-shaped, or somewhat arrowshaped leaves, and from July to September, spreading panicles of numerous light freshcoloured flowers, which are perfumed. They are dimorphic, i.e. there are two forms of flowers, one with long styles and short stamens, the other with short styles and long stamens and are very attractive to bees. It is frequently cultivated in the Middle United States of Arnerica and also in Brabant as food for bees, and an immense quantity of Buckwheat honey is also collected in Russia. It gives a particularly pleasant flavour to honey.

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The nut (so-called ‘seed’) has a dark brown, tough rind, enclosing the kernel or seed, and is three-sided in form, with sharp angles, resembling the triangular Beech-nut, hence the name of the plant, Buckwheat, a corruption of Boek-weit, the Dutch form of the name, adopted with its culture from the Dutch, meaning ‘Beech-wheat’ (German Buchweizen), a translation of the Latin name Fagopyrum (Latin fagus, a beech).

By some botanists, the Buckwheat is separated from the Polygonums, receiving the name Fagopyrum esculentum (Moench).

The nut contains a floury endosperm, and though rarely employed in this country as human food is extensively cultivated for that purpose in Northern Europe, North America (where it also goes by the name of Indian Wheat) and in India and the East.

Buckwheat flour is occasionally used for bread, but more frequently employed for cakes, which when baked have an agreeable taste, with a darkish, somewhat violet colour and are a national dish throughout America in the winter. They are baked on gridirons and eaten with maple syrup as breakfast cakes. The meal of Buckwheat is also baked into crumpets, which are popular among Dutch children and are said to be nutritious and easily digested.

By the Hindus, Buckwheat, which is extensively cultivated in the Himalayas, is eaten on ‘bart’ or fast days, being one of the lawful foods for such occasions. Polygonum cymosum (Meism.), the Chinese perennial Buckwheat, and P. Tartaricum Ge.), the Tartary or Rough Buckwheat, also constitute an important source of flour in the East. In Japan, Buckwheat is called Soba, and its flour is prepared in various ways; kneaded with hot water to make a dough, Soba-neri; a kind of macaroni, Soba-kiri; and so on. The grains, steamed and dried, are eaten boiled or made into bread or Manju, a small cake. Its young leaves are eaten as a vegetable and its stalks are used to feed cattle.

In the Russian Army, Buckwheat groats are served out as part of the soldiers’ rations and cooked with butter, tallow or hemp-seed oil. In Germany it forms an ingredient in pottage, puddings and other food.

Beer may be brewed from the grain, and by distillation it yields an excellent spirit, in Danzig much used in the preparation of cordial waters.

The blossoms may be used for dyeing a brown colour.

Cultivation:  It is sown in May or June and ripens rapidly, thriving in the poorest soil. The flowers appear about July and the seeds ripen in October, but so tender are the plants that a single night’s frost will destroy a whole crop. As a grian, Buckwheat is chiefly cultivated in England to supply food for pheasants and to feed poultry, which devour the seeds with avidity and thrive on it – hence one of its local names: Fat Hen. Mixed with bran chaff or grain, its seeds are sometimes given to horses, either whole or broken. When used as food for cattle, the hard angular rind must first be removed. The meal is considered specially good for fattening pigs: 8 bushels of Buckwheat have been said to go as far as 12 bushels of barleymeal and a bushel of the seeds to go further than 2 bushels of oats, though all farmers do not quite agree as to the superior food value of Buckwheat. If it is given to pigs at first in too large quantities, they will show symptoms of intoxication. As compared with the principal cereal grains, it is poor in nitrogenous substances and fat, its nutritious properties are greatly inferior to wheat, though as a food it ranks much higher than rice; but the rapidity and the ease with which it can be grown renders it a fit crop for very poor, badly-tilled land which will produce scarcely anything else, its culture, compared with that of other grain, being attended with little expense.

When grown by the preservers of game as a food for pheasants, it is often left standing, as it affords both food and shelter to the birds during the winter. With some farmers it is the practice to sow Buckwheat for the purpose only of ploughing it into the ground as a manure for the land. The best time for ploughing it in is when it is in full blossom, allowing the land to rest till it decomposes.

Whilst green, it serves as food for sheep and oxen, and mixed with other provender it may also with advantage be given to horses. If sown in April, two green crops may be procured during the season.

The best mode of harvesting this grain is said to be by pulling it out of the ground like flax, stripping off the seeds with the hand and collecting these into aprons or cloths tied round the waist.

In the United States, Buckwheat is sown at the end of June or beginning of July, the amount of seed varying from 3 to 5 pecks to the acre. The crop matures rapidly and continues blooming till the frosts set in, so that at harvest, which is usually set to occur just before this period, the grain is in various stages of ripeness. There, after cutting, it is allowed to lie in swaths for a few days and then set up in shocks. Threshing is done on the field in most cases.

It grows so quickly that it will kill off any weeds.

Constituents: The leaves have been found by Schunch to contain a crystalline colouring principle (1 part in a thousand) identical with the Rutin or Rutic acid previously discovered by Weiss in the leaves of the common Rue and probably existing in the leaves of the Holly.

The seeds contain starch, sugar, gum, and various matters soluble in alcohol. A small amount of the glucoside Indican has been found.

Medicinal Uses: Astringent, acrid.

An infusion of the herb has been used in erysipelas, and a poultice made of the flour and buttermilk for restoring the flow of milk in nurses.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/buckwh81.html

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Polygonum persicaria

Botanical Name : Polygonum persicaria
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. maculosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms : Polygonum maculata, Persicaria maculosa.Polygonum ruderalis, Polygonum ruderalis, Polygonum vulgaris, Polygonum dubium, Polygonum fusiforme, Polygonum minus and Polygonum puritanorum.

Common Names :Persicaria, Redleg, Lady’s-thumb, Spotted Ladysthumb, Gambetta, and Adam’s Plaster

Habitat :Polygonum persicaria is native to Europe, it is an invasive species in the Great Lakes region where it was first spotted in 1843. Grows in roadside and damp places.

Description:
Polygonum persicaria is an annual/ perennial plant.It grows up to 1 m high, and has narrow, lancet-shaped leaves 8–10 cm long. The leaves often have a brown or black spot. The white, pink or red flowers are in dense panicles and flower from early summer to late autumn and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.It is hardy to zone 5.

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It is native to Europe and Asia, where it can be mistaken for Polygonum minus, but P. minus has narrower leaves, usually less than 1 cm wide, while its ear is slimmer.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self.The plant is self-fertile.

It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised in all mainland states, being found along roadsides, riverbanks, and on fallow ground. In the USA, it is very similar to Pennsylvania smartweed, but Redshank has a fringe of hairs at the top of the ocrea, something which Pennsylvania smartweed lacks.

Cultivation:      
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in situ.

 Edible Uses  
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. They contain about 1.9% fat, 5.4% pectin, 3.2% sugars, 27.6% cellulose, 1% tannin. Seed – raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent;  Diuretic;  Lithontripic;  Poultice;  Rubefacient;  Vermifuge.

The leaves are astringent, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. An infusion has been used as a treatment for gravel and stomach pains. A decoction of the plant, mixed with flour, has been used as a poultice to help relieve pain. A decoction of the plant has been used as a foot and leg soak in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed leaves have been rubbed on poison ivy rash.

The Anglo-Saxons used Polygonum persicaria as a remedy for sore eyes and ears.  They called it Untrodden to Pieces, perhaps because it was so hardy and though that it survived even being stepped upon or otherwise crushed.

Other Uses  
Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the plant when alum is used as a mordant.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonum_persicaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+persicaria
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Polygonum aviculare

Botanical Name :Polygonum aviculare
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Polygonum
Species: P. aviculare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms :  P. heterophyllum. P. littorale.

Common Name:Birdweed, Pigweed and Lowgrass,Prostrate Knotweed

Habitat :Polygonum aviculare  is native to   throughout Europe, including Britain, to Temperate Asia. It grows in the waste places, roadsides, railway embankments and the coast. A common garden weed.

Description:
A Polygonum aviculare annual with small, elliptic leaves that is primarily found in compacted areas of turfgrass such as pathways or sports fields.

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Seedlings: Cotyledons are narrow, linear in outline, often resembling and being mistaken for a grass.  The stem below the cotyledons (hypocotyl) is often reddish in color.

Roots: A taproot.

Leaves: Arranged alternately along the stem, lanceolate in outline, approximately 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches long and 1 to 8 mm wide.  Leaves have short petioles and a distinctive thin membranous sheath (ocrea) that encircles the stem at the leaf base.

Fruit: A dark red to brown achene.

Stems: Branching, growing prostrate along the ground, ranging from 4 to 24 inches in length.  Stems are swollen at the nodes with a thin membranous sheath (ocrea) encircling the stem at each leaf base.

Flowers: Occur in the area between the stems and leaves (leaf axils).  From 1 to 5 flowers occur in clusters and are very small and inconspicuous, white to pinkish-white in color.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and plants are eaten raw or cooked. Used as a potherb, they are very rich in zinc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seeds are also eaten raw or cooked. Rather small and fiddly to utilize, they can be used in all the ways that buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is used, either whole or dried and ground into a powder for use in pancakes, biscuits and piñole. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment, in good soils the plant will cover an area up to a metre in diameter. Prefers an acid soil. Dislikes shade. Knotweed is a common and invasive weed of cultivated ground. It is an important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies[. It also produces an abundance of seeds and these are a favourite food for many species of birds. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. The flowers have little or no scent or honey and are rarely visited by pollinating insects. Self-fertilization is the usual method of reproduction, though cross-fertilization by insects does sometimes occur. The plant also produces cleistogomous flowers – these never open and therefore are always self-fertilized. The plant is very variable and is seen by most botanists as an aggregate species of 4 very variable species, viz. – P. aviculare. L.; P. boreale. (Lange.)Small.; P. rurivacum. Jord. ex Box.; and P. arenastrum. Box.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Chemical Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 81.6%
*Protein: 1.9g; Fat: 0.3g; Carbohydrate: 10.2g; Fibre: 3.5g; Ash: 3.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; *Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg;

*Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is an astringent, coagulant, diuretic and expectorant.

It has been used in the treatment of chronic urinary tract infections.  It is claimed to be useful in the prevention of the formation of renal calculi.  It stops bleeding and alleviates colics and catarrhs (usually combined with silverweed and ribwort plantain).  It is an ingredient in many herbal teas.  It operates in the basal metabolism as an adjuvant in diabetic, expectorant and antidiarrheic preparations.  It is used to treat bronchitis with bleeding.  It is used for pulmonary complaints since its silicic acid content helps strengthen connective tissue within the lungs.  It is also used in combination with other herbs to treat rheumatic conditions, gout, and skin disease.  It is regarded as a “blood purifying’ remedy.  Knotgrass has also been used to treat inflammations of the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract and has been useful in cases of flatulence and biliary insufficiency.  Externally it has been used to treat sore throats and vaginal inflammation.  Dosage is a decoction of the root from 10-20g to 2 glasses of water, half a glass 3 times a day.  Can be used for douches, compresses, rinses.  Alcoholic extracts prevent the crystallization of mineral substances in the urine and are antiphlogistic, bacteriostatic and diuretic.  Research is being done on the efficacy of the plant in reducing the fragility of blood capillaries, especially in the alimentary canal.

In the Chinese tradition, knotgrass is given for intestinal worms, to treat diarrhea and dysentery, and as a diuretic, particularly in cases of painful urination.  Chinese research indicates that the plant is a useful medicine for bacillary dysentery.

 Other Uses  :……Dye…….Yields a blue dye that is not much inferior to indigo. The part used is not specified, but it is likely to be the leaves. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the whole plant. The roots contain tannins, but the quantity was not given.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonum_aviculare
http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/polav.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+aviculare

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Polygonum bistorta

Botanical Name :Polygonum bistorta or Persicaria bistorta
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. bistorta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Synonyms: Persicaria bistorta (L.) Samp., Polygonum ampliusculum Gand., Polygonum bistorta L., Polygonum bourdinii Gand., Polygonum carthusianorum Gand., Polygonum ellipticum Willd. ex Spreng., Polygonum pilatense Gand.

Common Name : Bistort or Common Bistort,  Meadow bistort, Snakeweed

Numerous other vernacular names have been recorded for the species in historical texts, though none is used to any extent. Many of the following refer to the plant’s use in making puddings: Adderwort, Dragonwort, Easter giant, Easter ledger, Easter ledges, Easter magiant, Easter man-giant, Gentle dock, Great bistort, Osterick, Oysterloit, Passion dock, Patience dock (this name is also used for Rumex patientia), Patient dock, Pink pokers, Pudding grass, Pudding dock, Red legs, Snakeweed, Twice-writhen, Water ledges.

Habitat :     Polygonum bistorta is native to northern and central Europe, including Britain, mountains of S. Europe, western and central Asia. It grows in damp meadows and by water, especially on acid soils.

Description:
Polygonum bistorta is a perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.   It  blooms  late spring into mid summer, producing tall stems ending in single terminal racemes that are club-like spikes of pink-rose colored flowers.  The seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.  The racemes are about 2 cm thick and 5-9 cm long and end 1 meter tall,upright growing stems. Plants grow in moist soils and under dry conditions go dormant, losing their foliage until adequate moisture exists again. This species is grown as an ornamental garden plant, especially the form ‘Superba’ which has larger, more showy flowers. Typically alpine plants growing from short, thick rhizomes that branch. The foliage is normally basal with a few smaller leaves produced near the lower end of the flowering stems. The leaves are oblong-ovate or triangular-ovate in shape and narrow at the base. The petioles are broadly winged.

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The Latin name “bistorta” refers to the twisted appearance of the root. In Northern England the plant was used to make a bitter pudding in Lent from a combination of the plant’s leaves, oatmeal, egg and other herbs. It is the principal ingredient of dock pudding or Easter-Ledge Pudding.  The root of Bistort can be used to produce an astringent that was used in medicine.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses: Container, Ground cover. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. The plant repays generous treatment. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. Bistort was formerly cultivated as a medicinal and edible plant, though it has now fallen into virtual disuse. Plants are somewhat spreading, forming quite extensive colonies especially in low-lying pastures. They seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Not North American native, Invasive, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses::…Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.
Leaves – raw or cooked. One report says that they are rather bitter[5], but we have found them to have a fairly mild flavour, especially when the leaves are young, though the texture is somewhat chewy when they are eaten raw. They make an excellent substitute for spinach. In Northern England the leaves are an ingredient of a bitter Lenten pudding, called Easter ledger pudding, that is eaten at Lent. The leaves are available from late winter in most years and can be eaten until the early autumn though they become much tougher as the season progresses. The leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, a nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and rather fiddly to utilize. Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch and tannin, it is steeped in water and then roasted in order to reduce the tannin content. It is then said to be a tasty and nutritious food. The root has also been boiled or used in soups and stews and can be dried then ground into a powder and used in making bread. The root contains 30% starch, 1% calcium oxalate and 15 – 36% tannin.
Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
* Water : 82.6%
*Protein: 3g; Fat: 0.8g; Carbohydrate: 7.9g; Fibre: 3.2g; Ash: 2.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:

Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc. 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. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet . Considered useful in diabetes.

Roots and leaves were used to counteract poisons and to treat malaria and intermittent fevers. Dried and powdered it was applied to cuts and wounds to staunch bleeding, and a decoction in wine was taken for internal bleeding and diarrhea (especially in babies). It was also given to cause sweating and drive out the plague, smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases. Bistort is rich in tannins and one of the best astringents. Taken internally, it is excellent for bleeding, such as from nosebleeds, heavy periods and wounds, and for diarrhea and dysentery. Since it reduces inflammation and mucous secretions it makes a good remedy for colitis and for catarrhal congestion. It was originally recommended in 1917 as a treatment for debility with a tendency towards tuberculosis. It has also been used externally for pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure, purulent wounds, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Comes well with Geranium maculatum.

Other Uses:......Tannin.……The roots contain up to 21% tannin

Known Hazards:   Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persicaria_bistorta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+bistorta

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