Astringents are substances that cause the contraction of body tissues, typically used to protect the skin and to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions. were used to treat a number of health problems. The Menominee who lived in and around the area known as Wisconsin today, used alum root, as an astringent. The Mesquaki used alum root to treat obstinate sores and wounds. They pounded the dry root into a powder and applied it directly into the open wounds, which would soon begin to heal. The Ottawa and Chippewa in the Great Lakes area boiled the whole plant and used it to stop intestinal and external bleeding. They also used cranes bill to effectively treat nosebleeds, internal bleeding, sore throats, and bleeding gums. The Oneida, who lived in the northeast of what is now the United States, used another astringent, the blackberry, for treating dysentery.