Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Anserina, Ansérine, Argentina anserine, Argentine, Bec d'Oie, Crampweed, Goose Grass, Goose Tansy, Goosewort, Herbe aux Oies, Moor Grass, Potentilla anserina, Potentille, Potentille Ansérine, Potentille des Oies, Prince's Feather, Richette, Silverweed, Trailing Tansy, Wild Agrimony, Wild Tansy.


Potentilla is an herb. The flower and leaf are used to make medicine.

People take potentilla as a tea for diarrhea. Women take it for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and for mildly painful menstrual periods.

Potentilla is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for soreness and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.

As food, the roots can be eaten raw or cooked, and the stems and leaves can be eaten as a salad.

Don't confuse potentilla (Potentilla anserina) with agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) or tormentil (Potentilla erecta), which are also referred to as potentilla.

It's also important to distinguish between potentilla and jewelweed, because both are known as silverweed.

How does it work?

Potentilla contains chemicals called tannins that might help reduce skin inflammation and have a drying (astringent) effect on the tissues.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of potentilla 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

Potentilla seems safe for most people. It can cause stomach irritation.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of potentilla during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of potentilla 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 potentilla. 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.

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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.


Miyanishi K, Eriksson O, Wein RW. The biology of Canadian weeds. 98 Potentilla anserina L. Can J Plan Sci. 1991;71:791-801.