Other names: Lucerne
Scienti name: Potentilla erecta
Chinese names: Fan-pai-ts’ao
Arabic names: انجبار (enjibaar)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate number of species known:
Common parts used: Rhizome
Height: 6 to 18 inches
Actions: Astringent, vulnerary
Known Constituents: Tannins, glycosides
A hardy, creeping, low perennial plant 6-18 inches high; its blackish rootstock sends out slender, rooting runners (somewhat like strawberries) and also produces a rosette of basal, dark green, pinnate leaves consisting of 13-21 oblong, serrate leaflets that are dark green on top and covered with silvery hairs beneath. In the leaves, large leaflets alternate with small leaflets. The bright-yellow flowers grow singly on long peduncles, stalks growing from the leaf axils; blooms from May to September. The root has a bitter, styptic taste
Used to tighten the mucous membranes in the body, externally used as an astrigent on hemorrhoids, and wounds.
Latin name: Potentilla Tormentilla
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Septfoil, thormantle, bloodroot, earthbank, Ewe Daisy and Shepherd’s Knapperty.
Common Tormentil is an herbaceous perennial. It is a low, clumb-forming plant with slender, procumbent to arcuately upright stalks, growing 10-30 cm. tall and with non-rooting runners. It grows wild all over Asia and northern Europe, mostly in a wide variety of habitats, such as clearings, meadows, sandy soils and dunes.
The glossy leaves are pinnately compound. The radical leaves have a long petiole, while the leaves on the stalks are usually sessile and have sometimes shorter petioles. Each leaf consists of three obviate leaflets with serrate leaf margins. The stipules are leaf like and palmately lobed.
The rhizomatous root is thick. A lotion prepared from the dried root has been used both as medicine to treat a number of ailments (to stop bleedings or against diarrhea), for food in times of need and to dye leather red.
It contains 18 to 30 per cent of tannin, 18 per cent of a red coloring principle – Tormentil Red, a product of the tannin and yielding with potassium hydroxide, protocatechuic acid and phloroglucin. It is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water. Also some resin and ellagic and kinovic acids have been reported.
There is a great demand for the rhizome, which in modern herbal medicine is used extensively as an astringent in diarrhea and other discharges, operating without producing any stimulant effects. It also imparts nourishment and support to the bowels.
It is employed as a gargle in sore, relaxed and ulcerated throat and also as an injection in leucorrhoea.
It may be given in substance, decoction or extract. The dose of the powdered root or fluid extract is 1/2 to 1 drachms.
The fluid extract acts as a styptic to cuts, wounds, etc.
A strongly-made decoction is recommended as a good wash for piles and inflamed eyes. The decoction is made by boiling 2 OZ. of the bruised root in 50 OZ. of water till it is reduced one-third. It is then strained and taken in doses of 1 1/2 OZ. It may be used as an astringent gargle.