This is often called staff vine and also bitter-sweet. It is a climbing vine, bearing orange-colored, three-cornered berries. The root is long and also orange-colored ; the bark of the root is the medicinal portion of the plant.

Bitter-Sweet is a relaxant, exerting its influence chiefly upon the glandular system; proving especially soothing in irritable conditions. It is usually given in syrup form combined with pronounced alteratives, such as yellow dock or stillingia, and is very beneficial in the treatment of eczema and scrofula. Bitter-sweet ointment is very soothing for irritable skin troubles, piles, burns, scalds, etc. It is prepared by heating for eight hours one pound of bark in one pound of lard. Dose of the tincture is from one-half to one drachm.