Potentilla anserina


Silverweed is a perennial root plant with a shortened central stem and a rosette of rhizome leaves. The leaves are compound with elongated, inverted ovate or elliptic leaflets. The leaves are deeply lobed, green or greyish, silvery velvety on the underside. Flowers are solitary, golden-yellow in color, 1-2 cm in diameter on long flower stalks. The plant blooms in May-August. The seeds ripen in August-September.

The above-ground part of the plant is harvested throughout the flowering period, the roots in late autumn or early spring. Drying is carried out in a well-ventilated and shaded place, or in forced dryers: surface part <40C, roots <50C. The above-ground part of the plant can be stored in paper bags for 2 years, the rhizomes in a closed container for up to 3 years.

Silverweed contains essential oils (0.28%), alkalis (8%), proteins (17.6%), fibers (14.6%), tannins (up to 11%), steroid sitosterol, triterpenoid tormentoside, carotene, flavonoids, higher aliphatic ceryl alcohol, glucose, fructose, rhamnose, ellagic acid, leucoanthocyanid, anthocyanins, phenolcarbonic acids and their derivatives, quinone plastoquinone, vegetable fat (2%), which includes arachiic acid, ceritic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, linolenic acid; catechins, epicatechins.

The leaves contain 260-297gm% vitamin C. Vitamin C and plastaquinone are found in the flowers. Up to 25% tannin and a lot of starch in the roots.

Medicinal significance

This plant is not used in official medicine, but it has found wide application in folk medicine. In folk medicine, it is used as an anticonvulsant, including for stiffness convulsions, for convulsions in children. The plant is also used to relieve tooth and headache pain, as well as against snake bites to reduce the effects of poisoning. Silverweed is a good helper for stopping bleeding, as well as an astringent anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of diseases of the digestive tract (diarrhea, dysentery). The mouth is rinsed with the solutions in case of gingivitis and stomatitis.

In folk medicine, this plant is recommended for colds, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, non-healing and festering wounds, furuncles and other skin diseases, especially those associated with metabolic disorders.

Siberian folk healers use this plant as an anticonvulsant and antispasmodic. Decoctions of Silverweed are used to stop uterine bleeding, to reduce pain, in case of painful menstruation. For the treatment of kidney stone disease, as an antiemetic, in case of toxicosis of pregnant women.

Silverweed root helps with heart pain, herniated discs, tumors, prolapsed uterus, joint pain and epilepsy.

Concentrations and decoctions are used to rinse the mouth cavity to remove toothache, inflammatory processes in the mouth and throat, as well as to strengthen the gums.

For men

Used in mixtures to treat prostate adenoma, impotence, cystospasm.

Not recommended for use

Currently, there are few known side effects of this plant, but this plant is known to:

  • Thickens the blood;
  • Promotes constipation and colitis;
  • It should not be used during hypertensive crises;
  • Care must be taken to remove kidney stones with it, they tend to get stuck in the urinary tract;
  • In case of increased stomach acid, the tannins in the plant can cause a burning sensation in the esophagus.

Care should be taken when using this plant during pregnancy and lactation.

Importance of food

The young leaves, roots and root gums of the plant are used for food. The leaves are used mainly in salads and soups. Unfortunately, the taste of the leaves and roots of the plant is very variable and is directly related to the growing conditions. If there is little tannin in the plant, it is very tasty, but if there is a lot of tannin, it is practically impossible to eat it. I will not be able to say exactly about the quality of the rare taste of the Silverweed growing in Latvia! When reading the literature, there are indications that in Yakutia this plant is used more than often, while in the Caucasus it is not even eaten by livestock - what are the peculiarities of our climate and how rare the Silverweed grows, you can find out only by tasting it. We will do it this year and add to this article!

Gums (root fruits) are boiled in the same way as potatoes and served as an individual dish or as an accompaniment to meat. The taste is good and mild. The leaves are used in salads, soups and purees. It is also possible to use the root in food, as well as dry it and bake scones from the obtained flour.