WATER AVENS (‘Geum rivale L.’)
Perennial, medium-sized (20–70 cm) perennial plant of the rose family with a thick, brown and creeping root, an upright, easily branched, dark stem, which tends to grow up to a meter in height. The root is yellowish in cross-section, with a characteristic clove aroma.
Meadow bee flowers are bell-shaped, bisexual, up to 1,5 cm in diameter. Flowers develop at the ends of long stalks of 2–5 pieces, at the very top of the stem. Petals yellow with dark red veining. The plant blooms for 20 days, in the period from May to June.
Bee fruit – red, with a hook-like tip for hooking (similar to a thistle). The fruits ripen from July to August.
For medicinal purposes, the surface part of the plant and the roots are collected. Harvesting of roots begins in late autumn or early spring. The above-ground part is harvested during the flowering period.
The root of the meadow bee contains 22% of tannins from the pyrogallol series, phenolic acids and their derivatives, flavonoids, saponins, catechin, alkaloids, a large amount of carbohydrates, red pigment, essential oil up to 0.1%, which contains eugenol. Young leaves contain ascorbic acid up to 0,12%, as well as carotene up to 0,14%. Up to 20% vegetable oil was found in the seeds of the plant.