- leaves and shoots are edible raw.
- rhizome can be eaten raw.
- rhizome can be steeped in water, roasted/dried, and ground into flour.
- rhizome is suitable for use as a potherb.
- seeds are edible, either roasted whole or ground into meal/flour.
- small bulblets can be eaten raw.
- plant is rich in vitamin C.
- grows in moist, open areas on montane, alpine, and subalpine slopes.
- varieties in the Pacific Northwest are
American bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) and
Alpine bistort (Bistorta vivipara).
- warning: eating raw plants in large quantities can cause diarrhea.