Scientific name: Polygonum bistorta, Persicaria bistorta

Common names: Dragonwort, Easter Giant, Red Legs, Snake Weed, Sweet Dock

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: quan shen

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    البطباط (al batbaat)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Polygonaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Root, Rhizome

Collection: Late spring into mid summer

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 1 meter

Actions: Alterative, astringent, anti-catarrhal, demulcent, diuretic anti-inflammatory, styptic, vulnerary

Known Constituents: Usually >3%Tannins expressed as pyrogallol (C6, H6, O3)

Constituents Explained:


The rhizome is usually up to 13cm long and 2.5cm in diameter.  

Roots are small in comparison and are usually as short as 1cm and only 1mm in diameter. 

Rhizome is usually reddish-brown or blackish-brown in colour.

Traditional Use:

Used as a very strong astringent in cases of diarrhea or to help eliminate mucous in the body.  

Sometimes used as a mouthwash, and put in creams for hemorrhoids.

Externally it is applied to a wound to stop bleeding. The tea at room temperature has been douched to help reduce menstrual flow.

Clinical Studies:


Source material:

Herb Name: Bistort

Other Names:  common bistort, snakeroot

Latin Name:  Polygonum bistorta

Family:  Polygonaceae

Common parts Used: leaves, root

Bistort is also known as common bistort, Easter ledgerand snakeroot. It is found in Europe, Central Asia and Britain. It belongs to family Polygonaceae.  Plant grows in moist soil. It is a flowering plant so it is used as ornamental plant. 

The leaves of bistort can be eaten cooked as well as raw. They can be used alternate of spinach. The leaves of bistort are considered to be source of vitamin C and A. the root of plant is also used in soups. The root is dried and then it is crushed to make a powder which is mixed with flour and used in bakery items. 

The leaves of bistort are dried and used for bleeding. Internally dried leaves of Bistort are good for dysentery, diarrhea. In females it is used against excessive menstruation. Bistort is considered as a strong astringent.  It is also used as a remedy for peptic ulcer. A mouth wash is also made from the plant which is used for gargles and infected gums.