Tormentil root is not very well known today, but it was an important plant in the past. People have used as both as a medicine and as a coloring agent, giving their fabric and clothes a lovely bright red color. Modern herbalists use it mostly for healing digestive and skin complaints:
Skin care and wounds
Tormentil is most famous for its excellent calming effects on the stomach and the digestive system. It is used internally for both acute and chronic diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon) and to stop minor internal bleeding.
Due to the antiseptic properties of the phlobaphenes – the compound that gives the root its famous tormentil red color, used to color fabric back in the days – it is regarded to be particularly useful for alternating constipation and diarrhea. This means that it will help the stomach in the way that it is needed, whether the problem is constipation or diarrhea.
In addition, Tormentil has been used as an herbal remedy for the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), ulcerative colitis and also for gastritis and peptic ulcers (open sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach).
Externally, Tormentil is used in the form of a gargle as a treatment for inflammation of the mouth and throat.
It is generally helpful and soothing for all kinds of throat related problems, such as pharyngitis (swelling in the back of the throat between the tonsils and the voice box), laryngitis (inflammation of the voice box or vocal cords), mouth ulcers, tonsillitis and bleeding gums.
Skin care and wounds
In the same way that it heals the digestive system and our insides, Tormentil root is excellent for keeping the skin healthy and dealing with any skin-related issues.
Drinking the tea/extract will also be beneficial for the skin, but the most effective way is to wash the skin with the tea or add it to your bath.
Tormentil has been used traditionally as a natural treatment for wounds, cuts, burns, eczema, and rashes.
As a relief for hemorrhoids, the tormentil root can be added to bathwater or sitz baths or used in the form of an ointment applied directly on the affected area.
Since it has strong anti-inflammatory properties, a strong tea can also be used as a wash for any infections or inflammation – sore throat, mouth ulcers, infected gums, piles, inflamed eyes and to treat chapping of the anus and cracked nipples.
Tormentil is well known as a toothache remedy and it is also useful in treating bed-wetting by children.