Bistort is a native plant of western asia, Europe and America. It is a member of the Dock family of plants. It has many different names but my favourites are Snakeweed, Adderwort and Dragonwort. It grows between 20 and 80 cm high. The leaves are oval and narrow and the flowers on top can be many different colours, the most common being pink. The name Bistort comes from Latin meaning "twice-twisted", referring to the shape of the root.
Bistort root has a high concentration of tannin so it is an astringent. It has been used most commonly as a poultice for boils and festering sores and mix a half teaspoon into a cupful of warm water for internal bleeding and bowel problems. You can also make a gargle for ulcers of the mouth and for bleeding gums. It can also be added to lotions for use on sores with discharge. The roots can be roasted and eaten and if dried and crushed to a powder it tastes very similar to flour. The younger roots can be used as a vegetable similar to spinach and the seeds are also edible.
Magickally an infusion of bistort root is said to help chase away spirits of the earthbound dead, and is often used in the exorcism rites Holy Water, you can also simply carry it with you if you want to conceive. Dwellings can be cleared of ghosts by burning the root as an incense or making an infusion and sprinkling about the house.
Finally burn bistort with frankincense to improve psychic powers.
#witchy #wednesday #bistort
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