Scientific name: Geum urbanum

Common names: mountain avens, milkweed, yellow cow wood

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Kayu-Arang, Kumetong

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    حشيشة مباركة (hasheeshat mubaarakah)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Rosaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Roots

Collection: Spring (roots), summer (flowers)

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 1-2 feet

Actions: Astringent, styptic, diaphoretic, aromatic

Known Constituents: Oils including gein and eugenol, tannins, flavone, resin

Constituents Explained: The principal constituent is a volatile oil, which is mainly composed of Eugenol, and a glucoside, Gein, geum-bitter, tannic acid, gum and resin. It imparts its qualities to water and alcohol, which it tinges red. Distilled with water, it yields 0.04 per cent. of thick, greenish, volatile oil. 


Avens is characterized by its thin and almost upright, slightly branched wiry stems. The herb is reddish brown in color on one side of the body. 

Leaves are a deep green color with most of the leaf surface covered with hairs spread out all over. The margins of the leaves are toothed or serrated.

Rhizomes are hard and rough bearing many light brown and fibrous roots all along the surface. 

Flowers are relatively small compared to the total size of the plant. 

Fruit heads are round and more visible than the flowers being composed of a mass of dark crimson colored achenes.

Traditional Use: 

Avens is said to possess anti-diarrhoeal, anti-haemorrhagic, and febrifugal properties. 

Used mainly to treat digestive complaints (especially in cases of nausea and vomiting), catarrhal colitis, passive uterine haemorrhage, intermittent fevers, and specifically for ulcerative colitis.

Due to the fact that it is a good disinfectant, the herb is recommended in alleviating enterocolitis and menstrual pains (because of its haemostatic properties it can stop bleedings). 

As an astringent, the herb effectively treats diarrhea and intestinal infections. Other usages of the plant are noticeable in internal treatments: pharyngitis, amygdalitis, bronchitis, asthenia, depressions and even cancerous diseases. 

As an antiseptic, it is good for gargling in case of toothaches, dental abscesses, amygdalitis, stomatitis, gingivitis and plaques. 

Clinical Studies: