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Bittersweet Herb Health Benefits

The herb known as the bittersweet is a vine like perennial herb that has long trailing or climbing stems reaching up to ten feet in length each. The bittersweet is considered to be a weed in many areas; it is seen as a very aggressive and persistent weed.


The herb belongs to a botanical plant family that also includes useful species such as the potato and the tomato; it is seen as a black sheep in this family of plants.


The bittersweet herb was used as an external remedy for the treatment of many different skin diseases at one time, even though it is very toxic.


The bittersweet is very effective when consumed to treat different kinds of skin problems like long term eczema, persistent itchiness on the skin, disorders such as psoriasis, as well as warts.


An herbal bittersweet decoction made from the twigs can also be used as a topical remedy, when this decoction is applied as an herbal wash on the skin, it can help reduce the severity of these disorders and ease the symptoms.


For chronic rheumatism and for jaundice it has been much employed in the past, an infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to ½ pint water being taken in wineglassful doses, two or three times daily.


From the fluid extract made from the twigs, a decoction is prepared of 10 drachms in 2 pints of boiling water, boiled down to 1 pint, and taken in doses of ½ to 2 OZ. with an equal quantity of milk.


Taken internally in very small amounts, the leaves strongly promote perspiration and purge the bowels the next day.


The juice of the fresh herb is sometimes used for fever and to alleviate pain. In large doses, bittersweet can cause serious, but usually not fatal, poisoning.


Externally, the juice or an ointment prepared from the leaves can be used for skin problems, cancers, and tumours.


The berries are poisonous, but boiling apparently destroys the toxic substances and makes them usable for preserves, jams, and pies.

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