- Tormentilla erecta L.
- Potentilla tormentilla
- Rose family
Parts Usually Used
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
Tormentil is a perennial European plant; the irregular, knobby rootstock
is dark brown on the outside, white inside, turning red on exposure
to air. The plant has several fine-haired, branched stems from 4-16
inches tall. The serrate, fine-haired leaves are palmately 3 to 5
parted; the segments on the stem leaves are oblanceolate, while those
on the basal leaves are rounded and wilt soon after developing. The
yellow, 4-petaled flowers bloom on long stalks from May to August.
Grows in damp meadows, pastures, hills and marshes.
Antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, hemostatic
Legends, Myths and Stories
Industrially, tormentil is used to process leather; in the textile
industry for dying in the color red.
The decoction and tincture are used for diarrhea,
enteritis, and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and
bleeding gums, canker
sores. The tincture is good for sealing hemorrhages, for leucorrhea,
and for fevers. Diluted it makes
a good mouthwash and gargle for sore
throat. The root is used for chronic and infectious catarrhal
enteritis, quinsey, epilepsy, toothache,
dysentery, and jaundice.
Especially helps intestinal problems where diarrhea and constipation
alternate. Externally, used to help heal wounds,
bruises and relieves pain.
Culpeper claims that this herb expels any venom
or poison, or the plague, other contagious diseases, as pox, measles;
even cures the "French pox" he notes one writer, Andreas Valesius,
Formulas or Dosages
Use the fresh or recently dried rootstock.
Infusion or Decoction: use 1 tbsp. root to 1 cup water. For
infusion, steep 30 or more minutes; strain. Take lukewarm in the course
of a day in mouthful doses.
Tincture: take 20 to 30 drops, 2 or 3 times per day.
Powder: use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp., 3 times per day or as directed
by a doctor.