Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Biscuits, Bloodroot, Cinquefoil, Earthbank, English Sarsaparilla, Ewe Daisy, Flesh and Blood, Potentielle Droite, Potentille, Potentille Dressée, Potentilla, Potentilla erecta, Potentilla tormentilla, Potentille Tormentille, Septfoil, Shepherd's Knapperty, Shepherd's Knot, Thormantle, Tormentilla, Tormentillae Rhizoma, Tormentille.


Tormentil is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.

People use tormentil as a tea for diarrhea, stomach problems, and fever.

Tormentil tincture, an alcoholic preparation of the root, is sometimes applied to small cuts to stop bleeding. It is also added to water and used as a rinse or mouthwash to treat sore mouth and throat.

How does it work?

Tormentil contains ingredients called tannins that might help reduce skin inflammation, and have a drying (astringent) effect on the tissues. This drying effect may help control diarrhea and stop bleeding.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Mouth sores (lichen planus). Early research suggests that gargling with a tormentil solution, applying codfish oil to the affected area, and taking conventional medicine to stimulate the immune system shortens flare-ups of lichen planus compared to taking only conventional medicines to stimulate the immune system.
  • Ulcerative colitis. Early research suggests that taking tormentil extract daily for 3 weeks may reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • Fever.
  • Stomach complaints.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stopping bleeding, when applied to small cuts.
  • Sore mouth and throat, when used as a mouthwash.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tormentil for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Tormentil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Tormentil extract has been taken by mouth safely by adults for up to 3 weeks.

Tormentil can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach complaints.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Children: Tormentil is POSSIBLY SAFE in children when taken by mouth for up to 5 days.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking tormentil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of tormentil depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tormentil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Bos, M. A., Vennat, B., Meunier, M. T., Pouget, M. P., Pourrat, A., and Fialip, J. Procyanidins from tormentil: antioxidant properties towards lipoperoxidation and anti-elastase activity. Biol.Pharm.Bull. 1996;19(1):146-148. View abstract.

Drozd, J. and Anuszewska, E. The influence of plant raw materials, containing ellagic acid and selected antibiotics on immunological response in mice. Acta Pol.Pharm. 2005;62(3):237-240. View abstract.

Fecka, I. Development of chromatographic methods for determination of agrimoniin and related polyphenols in pharmaceutical products. J.AOAC Int. 2009;92(2):410-418. View abstract.

Gazikalovic, E., Bodiroga, M., and Ognjanovic, J. [Determination of tannins in the rhizomes of Potentilla tormentilla]. Vojnosanit.Pregl. 1992;49(4):339-342. View abstract.

Geiger, C., Scholz, E., and Rimpler, H. Ellagitannins from Alchemilla xanthochlora and Potentilla erecta*. Planta Med. 1994;60(4):384-385. View abstract.

HERRMANN, K. and ENGE, W. [Tannins in tormentil rhizome]. Arch.Pharm.Ber.Dtsch.Pharm.Ges. 1957;290/62(6):276-280. View abstract.

Huber, R., Ditfurth, A. V., Amann, F., Guthlin, C., Rostock, M., Trittler, R., Kummerer, K., and Merfort, I. Tormentil for active ulcerative colitis: an open-label, dose-escalating study. J.Clin.Gastroenterol. 2007;41(9):834-838. View abstract.

Kite, G. C., Porter, E. A., and Simmonds, M. S. Chromatographic behaviour of steroidal saponins studied by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J.Chromatogr.A 5-4-2007;1148(2):177-183. View abstract.

Langmead, L., Dawson, C., Hawkins, C., Banna, N., Loo, S., and Rampton, D. S. Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study. Aliment.Pharmacol Ther 2002;16(2):197-205. View abstract.

Moss, A. C. and Cheifetz, A. S. Reducing the torment of diarrhea: tormentil for active ulcerative colitis. J.Clin.Gastroenterol. 2007;41(9):797-798. View abstract.

Nikitina, V. S., Kuz'mina, L. I., Melent'ev, A. I., and Shendel', G. V. [Antibacterial activity of polyphenolic compounds isolated from plants of Geraniaceae and Rosaceae families]. Prikl.Biokhim.Mikrobiol. 2007;43(6):705-712. View abstract.

Pourrat, A., COULET, M., and POURRAT, H. [Bacteriostatic and agglutinating activities of tannic complexes extracted from tormentil, strawberry-plant and the wild rose]. Ann.Pharm.Fr. 1963;21:55-58. View abstract.

Riley D. Proving Report - Potentilla erecta. Biological Therapy. 1996;14(2):186.

SCHENCK, G., FROMMING, K. H., and FROHNECKE, L. [Paper chromatography of the ingredients of tormentil tincture]. Arch.Pharm.Ber.Dtsch.Pharm.Ges. 1957;290/62(10):453-457. View abstract.

Shushunov, S., Balashov, L., Kravtsova, A., Krasnogorsky, I., Latte, K. P., and Vasiliev, A. Determination of acute toxicity of the aqueous extract of Potentilla erecta (Tormentil) rhizomes in rats and mice. J.Med.Food 2009;12(5):1173-1176. View abstract.

Spiridonov, N. A., Konovalov, D. A., and Arkhipov, V. V. Cytotoxicity of some Russian ethnomedicinal plants and plant compounds. Phytother.Res 2005;19(5):428-432. View abstract.

Stachurski, L., Bednarek, E., Dobrowolski, J. C., Strzelecka, H., and Mazurek, A. P. Tormentoside and two of its isomers obtained from the rhizomes of Potentilla erecta. Planta Med. 1995;61(1):94-95. View abstract.

Tomczyk, M. and Latte, K. P. Potentilla--a review of its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. J.Ethnopharmacol. 3-18-2009;122(2):184-204. View abstract.

Tunon, H., Olavsdotter, C., and Bohlin, L. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of some Swedish medicinal plants. Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis and PAF-induced exocytosis. J Ethnopharmacol 1995;48(2):61-76. View abstract.

Vennat, B., Bos, M. A., Pourrat, A., and Bastide, P. Procyanidins from tormentil: fractionation and study of the anti-radical activity towards superoxide anion. Biol.Pharm.Bull. 1994;17(12):1613-1615. View abstract.

Volodina, E. V., Maksimovskii, IuM, and Lebedev, K. A. [The combined treatment of lichen ruber planus of the mouth mucosa]. Stomatologiia (Mosk) 1997;76(2):28-32. View abstract.

Zaiteva SI, Matveeva SL Gerasimova TG Pashkov YN Butov DA Pylypchuk VS Frolov VM Kutsyna GA. Efficacy and safety of phytoconcentrate Dzherelo (Immunoxel) in treatment of patients with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in comparison to standartd chemotherapy. Research Journal of Medical Sciences. 2009;3(2):36-41.

Subbotina MD, Timchenko VN, Vorobyov MM, et al. Effect of oral administration of tormentil root extract (Potentilla tormentilla) on rotavirus diarrhea in children: a randomized, double blind, controlled trial. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003;22:706-11.. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors