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Goosefoot cinquefoil (Potentilla anserina), also known as silverweed or anserine, is a remarkable plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Its healing properties and versatile applications make it a valuable component of naturopathy.

Goosefoot cinquefoil: the discovery

Goosefoot cinquefoil was first discovered in the cooler regions of Europe, Asia and North America. Even in ancient times, Greek and Roman physicians used the plant for various ailments. Its characteristic silvery leaves and yellow flowers made it easily recognizable and an integral part of herbal medicine. The first written records of its medicinal use date back to the Middle Ages, when monastery doctors included the plant in their collections of remedies.

Dosage forms and dosage

Goosefoot cinquefoil can be taken in various forms, depending on individual needs and preferences:

  • Tea: an infusion of the dried leaves and flowers is the most common form. Two teaspoons of dried herb are poured over a cup of boiling water and left to infuse for 10 minutes. Recommended dose: 2-3 cups daily.
  • Tincture: The liquid extraction provides a concentrated dose of the healing active ingredients. 20-30 drops diluted in a little water, taken three times daily.
  • Capsules: For those who don’t like the taste of tea or tincture, capsules are a convenient alternative. Usual dosage: 500 mg to 1000 mg daily.
  • Ointment: For external use, especially for skin diseases or wounds.

Healing effects and areas of application

Goosefoot cinquefoil is known for its many healing effects:

  • Digestive complaints: It has an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect and helps with gastrointestinal complaints such as cramps, diarrhea and flatulence.
  • Menstrual cramps: The antispasmodic properties relieve menstrual cramps and regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
  • Skin problems: Applied as an ointment, it can heal skin irritations, eczema and small wounds.
  • Pain: Traditionally used to relieve toothache and other minor aches and pains.

Effect on the body

The healing properties of goosefoot cinquefoil are due to its rich constituents, including flavonoids, tannins and saponins. Flavonoids have an antioxidant effect and protect the cells from damage. Tannins have astringent properties that reduce inflammation and heal tissue. Saponins support the immune system and promote wound healing.

When should goosefoot cinquefoil be taken?

Goosefoot cinquefoil is particularly recommended for acute complaints such as gastrointestinal problems or menstrual cramps. It can also be useful to take it regularly for chronic inflammation or to strengthen the immune system in general. It is best taken in consultation with a doctor or alternative practitioner in order to take individual needs and possible interactions into account.

Who should not take goosefoot cinquefoil?

Not everyone should take cinquefoil without hesitation:

  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers: The safety of taking it during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been adequately studied.
  • Children under 12 years of age: Due to a lack of studies on safety and efficacy.
  • Allergy sufferers: People who are allergic to plants from the rose family should exercise caution.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

Goosefoot cinquefoil can be supplemented with various dietary supplements and medicinal plants to enhance its healing effect:

  • Chamomile: Enhances the soothing effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Ginger: Supports the anti-inflammatory effect and helps against nausea.
  • Peppermint: Enhances the antispasmodic effect and relieves flatulence.

Occurrence in food

Goosefoot cinquefoil itself is not consumed directly as food, but can be found in special herbal teas and food supplements. There are no significant amounts of this plant in the natural diet.

Goosefoot cinquefoil: Possible side effects and overdose

Although goosefoot cinquefoil is generally considered safe, side effects may occur in case of overdose:

  • Stomach upset: Overdose can lead to nausea and vomiting.
  • Allergic reactions: Skin rash or breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals.
  • Liver stress: At very high doses there is a risk of liver overload.

An overdose can lead to more serious damage to health and should be avoided at all costs. If side effects occur, discontinue use immediately and consult a doctor.


In naturopathy, goosefoot cinquefoil is mainly used in the form of tea and tinctures. These forms are easy to prepare and offer an effective way of utilizing the plant’s healing properties. Cinquefoil is also used in homeopathy, albeit in a highly diluted form.


Goosefoot cinquefoil is a versatile medicinal plant with a long history of medicinal applications. Whether as a tea, tincture, capsule or ointment – the correct application can provide relief for a variety of complaints. It is important to consider individual needs and possible risks and to consult a specialist if in doubt. In combination with other medicinal plants and a healthy lifestyle, cinquefoil can make a valuable contribution to health.

Published on: 3. July 2024


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