The wood avens is a perennial plant with a creeping, thick, red-brown root. The root has a characteristic clove aroma and astringent taste. A hollow, erect, slightly hairy stem that reaches 60 cm in height. The leaves of the wood avens are divided into three parts, robotic, there are leaflets on the leaf stalks, arranged alternately, hairy with white hairs on both sides. Root leaves form a rosette of leaves. The flowers are light yellow, small, solitary, placed at the tops of the stems - they are most common, the plant blooms in the second year of its life, the plant rarely blooms in the first year. Flowers regular, bisexual, up to 1.5cm in diameter, with five petals, wide open on long pedicels. The plant blooms from late spring to mid-September. The fruit is a rounded nut-like fruit, a nut with a permanent curved stylus. Fruits ripen in July-September. The wood avens reproduces with the help of seeds and vegetatively - by dividing the bush. The shelf life of the seeds is 3-4 years.
The root of the wood avens , as well as its surface part, is collected for medicinal purposes. Roots and rhizomes are dug in early spring or late autumn, cleaned of soil and placed on sieves in a well-ventilated and shady place. Roots and rhizomes are dried at a temperature not exceeding 45C. Dried drug cut into pieces or ground can be stored for up to 3 years in a tightly sealed container.
Lilacs are collected at the beginning of flowering, dried in a well-ventilated and shaded place. Packed in paper bags and stored no longer than one year.
Up to 40% of tannins, glycoside gein, flavones, catechins, bitter substances, essential oil with clove aroma (0.8%), which contains a large amount of eugenol (<80%); carbohydrates (arabinose, starch, glucose, sucrose), resins. The essential oil is spicy and bitter in taste. Flavon glycosides were found in the leaves of the plant, <129mg% of ascorbic acid and more than 0.05% of carotene in the young leaves. Wood avens seeds contain <20% vegetable fat.
The roots of the wood avens have an anti-inflammatory effect, it normalizes the permeability of blood vessels, reduces edema - thanks to catechins. Flavon glycosides provide antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Wood avens is used as an astringent, strengthening, hemorrhaging agent to treat long-term diarrhea, chronic colitis, gastritis, uterine bleeding and other ailments.
Ingredients for medicines are also made from the wood avens , for example, medicines in Russia, such as tanalbin (medicine containing tannins), because the content of tannins in the plant is high. The eugenol present in the essential oil is a phenol class substance used in biocides, analgesics, and antiseptics.
Applications of wood avens leaves can help treat various forms of eczema.
Thanks to the unique composition and medicinal properties of the wood avens , it is used as a pain-relieving, astringent, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, wound-healing and diaphoretic agent. The root is used for medicinal purposes, less often the shoots. "Clove root" has long been used in folk medicine as an astringent, for the treatment of digestive tract diseases (gastritis, cholecystitis, colitis, gastric catarrh, flatulence, dysentery, helminthosis, liver and gall bladder diseases) and excretory system diseases (cystitis, nephritis).
A decoction of the roots, rarely, is used as an expectorant for bronchitis, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, pneumonia. It is also sometimes used as an anti-scurvy remedy due to the presence of ascorbic acid.
The wood avens is used externally to treat dermatitis, muscle and joint rheumatism; as a rinse agent for the treatment of stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontitis, inflammation of the throat, as well as some eye diseases. The root solution is also added to baths for children suffering from rickets or scrofula.
Powdered leaves are used to apply to wounds and burns. Fresh leaves are effective in treating eczema and other skin conditions. The flowers have antiviral activity, so they are used for the treatment of various colds, as a strengthening, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic agent.
Decoctions of wood avens stings strengthen male potency, are used in folk medicine to treat prostate adenoma, as well as a couple of gynecological problems in women (uterine bleeding, leucorrhoea). A decoction of the leaves and roots helps against headaches, acts as a light sleeping and calming agent. The wood avens is included in antitumor mixtures, it also serves as a good antidote against insect and snake bites.