Smartweed is effective as an extract against coughs & colds & crushing the fresh herb & using it as a plaster for congestion is common practice. 
The seed is carminative, diuretic & stimulant.
Plant have contraceptive effects.
Smartweed extracts have hemostatic properties & they lower the blood pressure.

The whole plant, either on its own or mixed with other herbs, can be decocted & used in the treatment of diarrhea, dyspepsia, itching skin.
Smartweed tea can be taken to stop bleeding from hemorrhoids, as well as menstrual bleeding & other uterine bleeding.
Leaf tea used for heart ailments, stomachaches, inflammation, sore throat & as a diuretic.
Also used against kidney stones.
Leaf tea also used as a foot soak for pain in legs & feet.Leaves are used in the treatment of piles, menstrual pains & other menstrual complaints.
Sufferers from rheumatism will benefit by using an infusion in their bath water, as well as drinking 2 cups of tea a day.
Decoction of leaves & flowers taken for stomach pain.
An infusion has been used as a treatment for gravel.
A decoction of the plant, mixed with flour, has been used as a poultice to help relieve pain.

Put smartweed directly on the skin to wash bloody wounds.
Smartweed leaves contain rutin, which helps strengthen fragile capillaries &  helps prevent bleeding.
A poultice of the plant is used in treating swollen & inflamed areas. Whole plant poultice used for general pain, poison ivy rash & insect repellent.

The juice of the plant, mixed with a bit of water, is effective on sores that have developed pus.
For toothache, try a few bruised leaves placed between cheek & gum.
For thrush, mouth ulcers & sore throat, gargle using a cold infusion.
Externally its applied as a poultice or infusion for bruises, inflammation, ulcers, hard to heal wounds, gangrene & tumors.
Crushing some fresh leaves & dabbing in the ear on a cotton bud may relieve earache.


When the fresh plant is handled it can cause skin irritation & swelling.
Smartweed can irritate the tissues that line the stomach & intestines, making ulcers & GI problems worse. Avoid using smartweed if you have ulcers or another GI disorder.
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.


Leaves & young shoots can be eaten raw or cooked.
Take seed raw or cooked. It is rather small & fiddly.

Cold Infusion:

Heating or drying the plant can destroy the properties, therefore, an infusion is preferable with
2 tsp of finely chopped or crushed fresh leaves added to
1 cup of cold water
stir vigorously & leave to steep 5-10 minutes.
Take 1-3 cups a day.
Honey may be added to sweeten.


A folk use for smartweed was to put a handful of the herb under the saddle of your horse if you
wanted it to travel long distances. It is said the herb would spur the horse on & also allay thirst.

For luck & money; to protect against snakes & false friends.
Sprinkle in the purse or wallet, to promote prosperity.
For extra money luck burn with frankincense.

Burn bistort with frankincense to improve psychic powers.
Carry it with you if you wish to conceive; use in sachets & incenses for this purpose.

Can be carried for purification & protection.
It can also be added to the holy water or smudge mixture that is used during exorcisms.
An infusion of bistort root is said to help chase away spirits of the earthbound dead.
Sprinkle an infusion of smartweed around your home to keep out unwanted visitors of the mischievous variety, such as poltergeists, sprites, etc.
Dwellings can be cleared of ghosts by burning the root as an incense or making an infusion & sprinkling about the house.

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