Avens Description - Some Great Medicinal Uses and Benefits of Avens
Common Trade Names
Few or no commercially prepared products are available in the United States.
Available as a tea and tincture.
The drug is a volatile oil extracted from the dried herb, rhizome, or root of Geum urbanum, a member of the rose family.
The volatile oil primarily contains eugenol, along with gum, resin, and tannins. The roots contain caffeic, chlorogenic, and gallic acids.
The mechanism for eugenol's anti-inflammatory activity is thought to involve the potent inhibition of cyclooxygenase. Other factors may be involved as well, including inhibition of prostaglandin production.
Avens is claimed to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, and tonic properties. In earlier times, avens was used as a treatment for insect bites, plague, and stomach ills. More recently, folk medicine has claimed that the extract is effective in the treatment of chills, chronic hemorrhage, diarrhea, dysentery, gastric irritation, headache, intermittent fever, leukorrhea, sore throat, and wounds. Medical literature does not justify these claims.
Various dosages have been used: 1 dram (liquid extract of the herb), % to 1 dram (liquid extract of the root), or 15 to 30 grains as a tonic (powdered herb or root) P.O. t.i.d.
GI: GI bleeding, indigestion.
GU: decreased renal function.
Antihypertensives: May antagonize the effects of these drugs. Avoid concomitant use.
Contraindications And Precautions
Avoid using avens in pregnant or breast-feeding patients.
Keep avens away from children and pets.
Points of Interest
Avens has been revered in Europe since the 12th century. Some people believe that it can ward off evil spirits and deter poisonous creatures.
In vitro data suggest only potential efficacy as an anti-inflammatory compared with available NSAIDs. Data on safety and randomized, controlled trials evaluating efficacy are needed before use of this drug can be considered.
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