A natural remedy for treatment of diarrhea long used in
various European folk medicines is tormentil root (Potentilla
tormentilla). The composition of dry Potentilla extract consists of 30
to 40% of tannins, saponin, and other components. Several manufacturers
in Europe market tormentil root extract for treatment of diarrhea.
Tannins are known to have an antisecretory (decrease of water loss) effect. In addition,
tormentil root has anti-inflammatory (26, 27), immunostimulating (28),
and potentially antiviral effects (29).
The effectiveness of tormentil root was evaluated in a recent clinical
study conducted in children diagnosed with rotavirus diarrhea. The study
demonstrated that tormentil root administered by mouth at the dose of
1.5 milligram per kilogram of a child’s weight reduced the duration of
diarrhea and associated fluid losses by approximately 50%, without any
side effects. Some parents of the children whom participated in the
study reported total cessation of diarrhea in their children following
the administration of a single dose of tormentil root extract (30).
DURATION OF DIARRHEA IN TWO
GROUPS OF CHILDREN
Toxicity and Safety
Tormentil root is one of the safest herbs and has no known toxicity or
side effects. Tormentil root does not interact with other herbs or drugs
The American Herbal Product
Association placed tormentil root in Class I (The Safest Herbs): herbs
that can be safely consumed when used appropriately (32).
An animal study of tormentil root
toxicity demonstrated that oral administration of a single dose of
2,500/mg/kg of tormentil root extract to rats, and 6,800 mg/kg to mice
caused no toxic effects. These doses were several thousand times higher
than doses routinely used in humans to treat diarrhea (33).
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