Scientific name: Polemonium reptans

Common names: Abscess Root, American Greek Valerian, Blue Bells, False Jacobs Ladder, Sweatroot

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Kend, kendu

Arabic names:    الزهر الأزرق (azzahru al azraq)

Rain forest name:

Family: Polemoniaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Root


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: Up to 0.5 metres

Actions:  Astringent, alterative, diaphoretic, expectorant

Known Constituents: Not known at present

Constituents Explained:


Native to eastern North America.

Has fast-growing creeping roots.

Located in damp grounds, woods, river banks, under shade. 

Stems can reach a height of 10 inches, with many branches. 

Leaves grow up to 20cm long with 5-13 leaflets. 

Flowers are blue and grow to 1.13cm.

Roots are up to 2 inches long, slender with a bitter taste. 

Traditional Use:

In its heyday was an anti-inflammatory remedy with a calming effect on fevers. 

Has also been used to aid respiratory problems. 

Also used for bowel, lungs, consumption, an antidote to poisonous snake and insect bites.

A wine-glassful of abscess was once taken to alleviate coughs and colds.   

Clinical Studies: