The health benefits of Bistort tea are widely known as being potent in the areas of treating stomach, respiratory and bleeding problems. Its intense astringency is an important factor for its relatively wide use in medicinal applications.
Bistort is a perennially-growing plant that grows in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Known by its scientific name of polygonum bistorta, this plant is also known by several other names such as adderwort, dragonwort, osterick, easter giant, patience dock and red legs.
Bistort possesses thin stems that grow to about 30 inches high. At the very top of each stem grows a thick bunch of minute spiky white and pink-colored blooms that appear from late spring to mid-summer. This bunch of blooms usually measures about 2 centimeters thick and about 10 centimeters long. The bistort plant has long lance-shaped leaves that are usually colored bluish-green. Its underground stems or roots are usually knotted and colored dark brown to black on the outside but red inside. The bistort plant usually prefers moist soils.
Bistort plants are typically grown as an ornamental plant as its small white and pink blooms are a pleasant sight to behold during its blooming months. However, these are also grown for medicinal purposes. Bistort is quite well-known as one of the most astringent of herbs. As such, bistort tea has been commonly used for stopping bleeding, as well as constricting certain tissues.
Bistort tea benefits are imparted to the drinker through its active constituencies of vitamins A and C, mucilage and antioxidants such as polyphenols (such as ellagic acid), tannins, flavonoids and anthraquinone emodin.
Bistort tea can be made as a decoction. Place one teaspoonful of the dried bistort rhizome in a 250 ml cup of water and then boil the mix. Let this mix stand for about 10 to 15 minutes and then strain the liquid. The bistort tea can be taken twice or thrice each day. It can also be used as a gargle or mouthwash to heal infections inside the mouth.
Bear in mind however that the long-term use of bistort tea is not recommended due to its high tannin content. Pregnant and nursing women should also consult first with their physicians before using bistort tea.
The following are the health benefits believed to be imparted by this brew:
- May help in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and irritable bowel syndrome.
- May aid in the treatment of diverticulitis.
- May help in the treatment of oral and tongue inflammations. It may also help fight pharyngitis and sore throat.
- May help in the treatment of jaundice.
- May aid in fighting measles and smallpox.
- May help in fighting hemorrhoids.
- May help ease menstrual bleeding.
- The tea, when applied topically, may help in the healing of wounds, skin ruptures and burstings.
- May help expel worms.