Agrimony

Agrimonia eupatoria, Rosaceae. The aerial parts of the plant are used.

The whole plant above the ground can be collected when the flowers are just blooming. It should be dried in the shade in temperatures not above 40 degrees C.

Functions of agrimony

The combination of astringent and bitter properties make this a valuable herb for the digestive system and liver. Agrimony:

  • is a gentle remedy for diarrhea and gastroenteritis. An infusion is especially suitable for children with diarrhea and can be drunk by breastfeeding mothers for the treatment of their infants.
  • is the herb of choice for appendicitis.
  • has a long tradition as a spring tonic.
  • can be used as a treatment for urinary incontinence and cystitis and urethritis.
  • can be used as a gargle for the treatment of sore throats and laryngitis. It can have sage or rosemary added for additional benefit.
  • as an ointment it can be used in the treatment of bruises and wounds.
  • can be made into a wash for the treatment of external haemorrhoids and as a wash or compress for varicose veins and ulcers.

Notes on agrimony

  • Do not take if constipated.
  • It is often used with calmatives for digestive problems.
  • It is still grown commercially for its yellow dye.
  • The taste is reminiscent of apricots. Good when flavoured with licorice or honey.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonsful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 1-3 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Agrimony is grown from seed sown in the spring or by division of mature clumps in the autumn.

It will grow in most soil conditions but it prefers good drainage. It will tolerate some shade. It can become a weed because of the bristly seeds that are spread by people and animals brushing against the plant.

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References

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

Woodward, P. 2003, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Hyland House.

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