Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wood Avens

Geum urbanum

NL: Geel nagelkruid /
F: Benoîte

Other popular names: herb Bennet, colewort and St. Benedict's herb.

Wood avens, as its name suggests, is found in woodlands and other shady places.

The young leaves can be eaten, cooked as potherb. Older leaves can be dried and powdered to be added to herbal salt. The roots can be harvested either in spring, when they can be more aromatic, or from september until late in the winter, as long as the soil is not so hard frosted. The root is the most popular part of this plant to be used in culinary creations. It adds an aromatic hint of cinnamon and cloves to dishes, soups or drinks, such as lemonades or chai.

Wood avens has a long list of medicinal properties. It is a good astringent herb that can help treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharges, mouth ulcers, throat inflammation. It relieves irritable bowel syndrome and various other gastro-intestinal disorders. In old folk medicine it was believed to be a remedy against poison and dog and snake bites. It apparently helps the liver to do its “detox” work.

Particularly the roots have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. A decoction of the roots can be used as wash to disinfect and heal skin problems. It is even said to help remove spots, freckles and to smooth the skin. A nice ingredient to add to our beauty creams!

The roots are also popular in folk medicine to relieve fevers. It can be dried and stored to be used as first aid remedy, as a quinine substitute, in intermittent fevers.

The dried root can also be also used to make moth repellent sachets for linen cupboards.

In the link below you can have a photographic tour to help you to identify this plant:

Geum urbanum

More information on this plant:

Wood Avens Health Benefits

Geum urbanum - PFAF

Wood Avens, Edibility, Identification, Distribution, by Galloway Wild Foods

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