This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. Five-Finger.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. This perennial plant has a procumbent stem from two to eighteen inches in length. The leaves are palmate, leaflets obovate, and flowers yellow, on solitary pedicels.
There are two varieties of this plant, the P. Pamilla, which is very small and delicate, flowering in April and May, and growing in dry, sandy soils, and the P. Simplex, a larger plant, growing in richer soils, and flowering from June to August.
History. -- Five-finger is common to the United States, growing by road-sides, on meadow banks and waste grounds, and flowering from April to October. The root is the part used. It has a bitterish, styptic taste, and yields its virtues to water.
Properties and Uses. -- It is tonic and astringent. A decoction is useful in fevers, bowel complaints, night-sweats, menorrhagia, and other hemorrhages. It makes an excellent gargle for spongy, bleeding gums, and ulcerated mouth and throat.
The POTENTILLA TORMENTILLA, or Sept.-Foil of Europe, possesses similar qualities, and may be usesd by my readers in that country if the American root is not to be obtained.