- a vinelike perennial with trailing or climbing stems up to 10 feet
long, bittersweet has alternate heart-shaped to oval leaves, which
usually have two earlike segments at their bases. Its star-shaped
flowers (April-September) are pinkish purple with bright yellow stamens;
they are followed by green berries, which turn bright red.
Twigs, leaves, root bark.
Bittersweet has stimulant, expectorant,
diuretic, and detoxifying properties. It appears to be most-effective
taken internally to treat skin problems such as eczema, itchiness,
psoriasis, and warts. A decoction of the twigs, applied as a wash, may
also help to lessen the severity of these conditions. The herb may also
be taken to relieve asthma, chronic bronchitis, and rheumatic
conditions, including gout.
How much to take
Infusion: pour a cup of
boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse
for 10 minutes. This should be drunk twice daily.
take 1 - 2 ml of the tincture three times