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Yet another rose family astringent, and...

Avens (Geum urbanum) is interesting.

I've long thought of it as just yet another rose family astringent (there's dozens, if not hundreds). But, a month or so ago, I dug one up, washed it, and smelled it. The fresh root smells of cloves!

That's probably why they were dug up 100 years ago and used for heavier diarrhoeas. That, and the red color the root gives to water'n'things: that's similar to tormentil, "the other" red root ... over here, that is.

Have a sniff.

I'll have to dig up the other local Geum and try the root of that one. Perhaps it, too, smells of cloves?


I love showing this one on herb walks and getting people to taste and smell it.
It must have been used much more frequently before the spice trade and cloves came along.
It is so prolific here. I make a ticture from it and use it in a mouthwash mix with salvia and rubus for gum problems.