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Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Potentilla reptans

The plant is an ingredient in many anti-wrinkle cosmetic preparations for the skin[7].

  • Medicinal Use

    Both the roots and the herb are antispasmodic, astringent and febrifuge[4, 7, 9, 54, 240]. An infusion of the dried herb is used in the treatment of diarrhoea etc, it is also used as a gargle for sore throats and is used externally as an astringent lotion[4]. A concentrated decoction of the root relieves toothache[7].

  • Edible Use

    Young leaves – raw[7]. A useful addition to salads[7].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a dry position in full sun but tolerating shade[1]. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil[200]. The plant spreads vigorously by means of runners and can be invasive with new runners up to 1.5 metres long being produced each year[1, 4]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233]. The flowers are partially closed in dull weather and close completely of a night time[4]. When closing, self-fertilisation is affected because the anthers are caused to touch the stigmas[4].
Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to the Mediterranean, Siberia, Himalayas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.