The common silverweed (Potentilla anserina) belongs within the family of Rosales to the  Rosaceae and Rosoideae.

The septfoil (P. erecta) is a similar plant with a higher content of active substances.  The most visible difference is that its flowers have double cup and four-petal-crown.

Traditional names: mouse grass, ladder grass, geese flower, geese leg etc.

Silverweed is a perennial plant growing on wet fields, river- and lakesides, on floodplains, pastures. It has been named after geese, since it grows on geese pastures and it is the favorite grass of geese.

It reaches 10–15 cm, has long and thin stolons, creeping on the ground. The underside of the short leaves has a silver appearance, while the upper side is dark green with serrated sides.  The yellow flowers are produced on 5-15 long stems and emerge between May and September.

The whole plant can be picked from May to autumn. Spread out and dry it in the shadow until the thicker stems become breakable.

Active substances

It contains tannin, flavonoide glicozide. The rhizome of stepfoil contains 15% tannin.


The parts above ground (Anserinae herba) can be collected from May. From 5 kg of fresh green plant becomes 1 kg of dry drug. In case of stepfoil only the rhizome is collected.

Curative effects

The infusion of silverweed is used for gastrorrhagia or intestinal bleeding, diarrhea, gastro-enteritis, as well as for hemorrhoid in form of a hip-bath, for menstrual cramps, external and internal bleedings, white discharge, stomach pains, anemia, arthritis, gynecological problems, belly aches, uterus pains, stomach cramps, eczema, gingivitis, lachrymation, osteoporosis, kidney stone, burned or frozen wounds, colon or uterus cancer, seborrhea dermatitis, skin ulcer, irregular period.
Silverweed is also used in veterinary medicine.


Silverweed tea is used for colon infection: boil 2 spoonfuls of drug in 1 l of water for 10 minutes; strain it in 15 minutes and drink 50 ml every 2 hours. Both plants can be combined with milfoil.

It is good to know!

This medicinal plant increases irritation of stomach mucosa, it is not recommended for those with a sensitive stomach.