Botanical Name:Potentilla Tormentilla
Common Names: Shepherd’s Knot, Tormentil
Habitat :Potentilla Tormentilla is native to Europe, western Asia and North Africa. It can be found in pastures, heaths, open woods and moorlands, preferring light acid soils.
Potentilla Tormentilla is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 10 to 30 centimeters tall. It has erect and slender stems and pinnately compound, glossy leaves. Leaves have three obovate leaflets with serrated margins. Leaves on the stalks are sessile and with shorter petioles than the radical ones. Flowering occurs from May to September. During this period a single flower appears at the tip. The flower is yellow and four-petaled.
Parts used: Dried rhizome and herb.
In Potentilla Tormentilla the flowers are yellow as in P. reptans, but smaller, and have four petals instead of five, and eight sepals, not ten so separated as to form a Maltese cross when regarded from above.
From the root-stock come leaves on long stalks, divided into three or five oval leaflets (occasionally, but rarely, seven, hence the names Septfoil and Seven Leaves), toothed towards their tips. The stem-leaves, in this species, are stalkless with three leaflets.
A small-flowered form is very frequent on heaths and in dry pastures, a larger-flowered, in which the slender stems do not rise, but trail on the ground, is more general in woods, and on hedge-banks. From the ascending form, 6 to 12 inches high, this species has been called P. erecta, but even in this case the long stems are more often creeping and ascending rather than actually erect.
Parts used: Dried rhizome and the herb
Chemical Constituents: It contains 18 to 30 per cent of tannin, 18 per cent of a red colouring 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. Common Tormentil is considered to be a very good astringent and tonic. It is a very beneficial remedy against acute and nervous diarrhea, and can relieve symptoms of mucous and ulcerative colitis. It is also useful in treatment of constipation. It also imparts nourishment and support to the bowels. Quinoric acid found in Common Tormentil is a powerful agent against malaria. Used as a gargle, the plant expresses its astringent properties and helps in cases of mucous membranes inflammations.It is employed as a gargle in sore, relaxed and ulcerated throat and also as an injection in leucorrhoea.
The fluid extract acts as a styptic to cuts, wounds, etc. It can be also very helpful in the treatment of laryngitis, pharyngitis, bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Used in a douche, Common Tormentil can be helpful in cases of vaginal infections. It can ameliorate the healing of wounds and cuts. A decoction is said to help in case of conjunctivitis.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. If a piece of lint be soaked in the decoction and kept applied to warts, they will disappear.