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Botanical Description & Habitat

Potentilla anserina


Common names

Goose tansyGoosegrass
Moor grassSilver cinquefoil

Common plant found in dry fields, meadows, and pastures in North America and Europe.

Has a perennial, branched rootstock that produces rooting numbers. Basal leaves also arise from the rootstock; they are pinnate and divided into oblong, serrate leaflets having toothed margins. The leaves are dark green on top with silvery hairs on the underside. Bright yellow flowers grow on long, leafless stalks from May to September.

Medicinal parts
Whole plant, dried, collected just after flowering.

Historical Properties & Uses

Silverweed is specifically used as an intestinal antispasmodic. Due to its high tannin content, the herb has also found use as an astringent to combat diarrhea. Herbalists recommend it be used in a mixture with other herbs, such as balm and chamomile.

Method of Action

The tannin content of silverweed account for its astringent and antidiarrheal properties. Its antispasmodic property has not been experimentally investigated.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

Possible Interactions
Silverweed should be used with caution in conjunction with CNS depressants or stimulants.

Certain antipsychotic drugs, (e.g., the phenothiazines), as well as other psychoactive agents which are poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, may be even more poorly absorbed if silverweed is being used.

The topical application of this astringent herb, in conjunction with the acne product tretinoin (retinoic acid, vitamin A acid), may adversely affect the skin.

The tannin in silverweed may potentiate the antibiotic activity of echinacea. The tannin in tea made from the herb may be inactivated by the addition of milk or cream.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

The toxicity level of silverweed has not been determined at this time.

Preparation & Administration

Three times a day

Dried rhizome
1-3 grams

made from 1/2 tsp of dried rhizome

1:5 in 45% alcohol, 2-4 ml

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.


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