Avens is also called Colewort, and Herb Bennet. It is a wild plant, and grows about hedges, rising about fourteen inches high; the stalk is firm and slender, and divided into several branches. It has long, rough, dark green winged leaves; the stalks are hairy. The leaves growing up from the root are winged; they consist of three pair of small ones, and one much larger at the end. Those on the stalk are smaller, and have fewer parts, otherwise they are the same. On the tops of the branches stand small yellow flowers, consisting of five leaves, in the middle of which stands a small green head, which, when the flower is fallen becomes round, consisting of many long greenish purple seeds, which will ad­here to clothes. The roots consist of many brownish strings or fibres, smelling like cloves.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Avens:

This plant is invaluable, and is much superior to most of the drugs kept in the shops. It possesses astringent, antiseptic, and tonic properties. The root powdered is equal to the Cinchona, or Peruvian Bark, in agues, a drachm of the powder being given every two hours. For diarrheas, dysenteries, and the latter stages of continued fevers, a wine glass full of the infusion may be taken two or three times a day with good effect. It is made by pouring a pint of boiling water on a half ounce of the root. It is good for diseases of the chest or breast, for pains or stitches in the side. It expels crude humours from the bowels and stomach and revives the system by its warming qualities. It dissolves inward congealed blood, caused by falls etcetera., and spitting of blood, if the roots be boiled in wine and drank. In spring it is excellent, taken as a decoction, as a purifier; it removes obstructions of the liver. It removes the windy colic, and relieves those who suffer from rupture. It promotes digestion. As a wash, it removes spots or eruptions from the face. A little of the root of Avens put in Ale gives it a fine flavour and makes it very wholesome. Hence the Augsburgh Ale which is so much prized on the Continent is said to owe its peculiar excellence to the custom which prevails of putting a small bag of Avens into each Cask.


  • Avens Root bruised, 2 ounces
  • Tormentil Root, bruised, ounce
  • Angelica Root, bruised, ounce
  • Raisins, Muscatel, 2, or 3 ounces
  • French Brandy, 1 quart
  • Macerate for a month, in a warm place, then filter.—Dose, half an ounce.
  • Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

    This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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