Common name: Tormentil
Part used: Root
Habitat and Description: Tormentil is an herbaceous member of the venerable rose family, with 17 species in Britain and found widely in europe, Scandinavia and western Asia but less commonly in Mediterranean regions. The plant grows to 30cm with non rooting runners and procumbent stalks. It prefers acidic soils and grows in a variety of habitats including mountain bogs, heathland and dry sandy pine forest. The flowers are a beautiful bright yellow with four petals (other Potentilla species have five petals) and many stamens. The root is used in traditional medicine across Europe and western Asia, they are hard, rhizomatous, orange-yellow when cut, spreading and bitter in taste.
Folklore and History: The root is used as a traditional vegetable pigment to dye leather red.
Constituents: Condensed tannins (proanthocyanidin polymers), hydrolysable tannins (ellagitannins eg. agrimoniin, pedunculain), triterpenoid saponins
Actions: Strong astringent, bitter tonic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, uterine tonic, immune stimulant
Traditional and current uses:
- Diarrhea, gastric infections, IBS, rectal bleeding, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, dysentery
- Bitter digestive tonic
- Heavy periods, leucorrhoea
- Urinary incontinence
- Gingivitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis
- External use: haemorrhoids
Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.