The roots of the fringe tree are dried and used to treat liver and gallbladder disease in traditional American folk medicine, often in combination with barberry and other herbs containing berberine. The root acts as a bitter, stimulating release of bile, which increases gastric secretion and improves appetite and digestion. It is also used for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The Fringe tree is small tree or shrub that is native to Eastern North America. The common name fringe tree, or Old man’s bead refers to the white flowers with fringe-like petals.