It should only be used internally under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia Snakeroot) contains aristolochic acid which, whilst stimulating white blood cell activity and speeding the wound healing, can be damaging to the kidneys.
The root is an anti-inflammatory, bitter tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant.
The native North Americans considered it to have analgesic properties and used an infusion internally to treat rheumatism, pain - but especially sharp pains in the breast, and as a wash for headaches. The boiled root, or a decoction of the whole plant, can be used to treat fevers. The chewed root or crushed leaves was applied to snakebites.