Herbs & Plants

Water Avens

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Botanical Name :Geum rivale

Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Geum

Species: G. rivale

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Rosales

Synonyms:Nodding Avens. Drooping Avens. Cure All. Water Flower. Indian Chocolate.

Common Names:Drooping avens, cure-all, water flower and indian chocolate.

Habitat-–The Water Avens  is native to much of Europe, with the exception of Mediterranean areas, as well as some parts of Central Asia and North America. In North America, it is known as purple avens. It grows in bogs and damp meadows, and produces nodding red flowers from May to September

Description: The Water Avens is a  Perennial herb. The rootstock is vertical and has clove-like fragrance.The plant grows to a height of 25–50 cm (10–20 in.). Stem is soft-haired and the upper part is reddish brown.


click to see  >...(01)…...(1)...…(2)..…...(3)..…..(4)…..(5).……..(6)... Flower: Corolla campanulate, yellowish white–reddish, dark-veined, 10–15 mm (0.4–0.6 in.) broad; petals usually 5, slightly longer than calyx. Calyx quite campanulate, 5-lobed, reddish brown; with epicalyx. Stamens many. Gynoecium separate, pistils several. Inflorescence a sparse corymb, flowers nodding. Leaves: Basal rosette and alternate on stem, stalked, stipulate. Rosette leaves’ blade pinnate, 2–4-paired, with terminal leaflet. Terminal leaflet 3-lobed, lobes large-toothed–shallowly lobed. Stem leaves’ blade deeply 3-lobed. Stipules small. Fruit: Achene with hooked hairs, several together. Infructescence spherical, erect. Flowering time: May–July.

Edible Uses: Chocolate;  Condiment;  Drink. The dried or fresh root can be boiled in water to make a delicious chocolate-like drink. It can also be used as a seasoning. It is best harvested in the spring or autumn but can be used all year round. Fragrant, it was once used to flavour ales.

Cultivation:    Easily grown in any moderately good garden soil that is well-drained. Easily grown in a moist or shady border. Prefers a soil rich in organic matter. Prefers a base rich soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, especially with G. urbanum. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value

Propagation : Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer’ Division in spring or autumn. This should be done every 3 – 4 years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiinflammatory;  Antiseptic;  Aromatic;  AstringentDiaphoreticFebrifuge;  Stomachic;  Styptic;  Tonic. The root is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, stomachic, styptic and tonic. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea (and is suitable for children to use), intestinal and stomach complaints, liver disorders etc, it is also applied externally as a wash to various skin afflictions – it is said to remove spots, freckles and eruptions from the face. This plant has similar properties but is less active than the related G. urbanum and so is seldom used medicinally. The root is best harvested in the spring, since at this time it is most fragrant. Much of the fragrance can be lost on drying, so the root should be dried with great care then stored in a cool dry place in an airtight container, being sliced and powdered only when required for use. The root is rich in tannin and is a powerful astringent The Water Avens has similar properties to those of the Common Avens and is employed in the same way, the root having tonic and powerfully astringent action and being beneficial in passive haemorrhage and diarrhoea. In the eastern states of North America (where it is called Indian Chocolate, Cure All and Water Flower) it is much used as a popular remedy in pulmonary consumption, simple dyspepsia and diseases of the bowels consequent on disorders of the stomach, and is valued as a febrifuge and tonic.

Other Uses: Can be used as repelant. The dried root repels moths. Plants are suitable for ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. The cultivar ‘Leonard’s Variety’ is the best for this purpose .

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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