The herb is used internally for both acute and chronic diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon) and to halt minor internal bleeding.
The herb is regarded to be particularly useful for alternating constipation and diarrhea (shifting pattern of constipation and diarrhea) due to the antiseptic properties of the phlobaphenes (tormentil red).
In addition, the herb has been used as an herbal remedy for the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), ulcerative colitis and also for gastritis and peptic ulcers (open sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach).
Externally, tormentil is used in the form of a gargle as a treatment for inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat.
It is thought to be useful in treating conditions, such as pharyngitis (swelling in the back of the throat between the tonsils and the voice box), laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box or vocal cords), mouth ulcers, tonsillitis and bleeding gums.
As a relief for hemorrhoids, the tormentil root can be added to bathwater or sitz baths or used in the form of an ointment applied directly on the affected area.
The herb has also been used traditionally, in the form of an ointment, poultice or compresses, as a natural treatment for wounds, cuts, burns, eczema, and rashes.
A strongly made decoction can also be used as a wash for sore throat, mouth ulcers, infected gums, piles, inflamed eyes and to treat chapping of the anus and cracked nipples.
Tormentil is well known as a toothache remedy and it is also useful in treating bed-wetting by children.
A common sight in the acidic soils of grassland and heath, tormentil (Potentilla erecta) grows with its yellow flowers poking through the rough grass on upright stems.
In the 17th century, a widespread belief in the medicinal powers of tormentil was expressed by the dramatist John Fletcher in his play ‘The faithful shepherdess’, when he wrote: “This tormentil, whose vertue is to part, / All deadly killing poison from the heart.”
The name tormentil is thought to be derived from the Latin tormentum, relating to the plant’s effectiveness at relieving griping stomach pains and diarrhoea.
All parts of the plant are astringent, especially the red, woody rhizome. For this reason a decoction was used “to appease the rage and torment of the teeth”, and the fluid extract was applied as a styptic to cuts, wounds, etc. It was also employed as a wash for piles, a use mentioned by the English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper in his ‘Complete herbal’ of 1653.
One common name for tormentil, blood root, refers to the red dye extracted from the roots and used to colour clothing, a practice existing in Lapland until recent times.
Tormentil is more astringent than oak bark, and in areas with few trees, such as the Scottish isles and the Faroes, it was widely used for tanning leather and fishing nets, its major drawback being the quantity of roots required as well as the relative difficulty of harvesting them.
Tormentil is still used today in the herbal cosmetics industry, particularly in shampoos, as well as being employed by herbal practitioners.
Other Common Names: Septfoil, bloodroot, erect cinquefoil, shepherd’s knot, tormentilla (Spanish), Aufrechtes Fingerkraut (German), potentille dressée (French), tepperot (Norwegian), blodrot (Swedish), blóðmura (Icelandic), rätvänä (Finnish), blodrød (Danish).
Dosage: 15 to 30 drops, 3 times a day
Precaution: No side effect or interactions with conventional medications or other medicinal herbs are known when tormentil is used properly and in moderation.
The herb can cause stomach problems in excessive doses and in sensitive individuals. Ingestion of large doses can also cause constipation.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
All Herbs Are Hand Picked