Agrimonia eupatoria- Agrimony
Other names: Common Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Sticklewort, Philanthropos
Agrimony’s astringency and bitter tonic properties makes it especially indicated when an astringent action on the digestive system is needed. Recognition of this is reflected in its traditional use as a spring tonic. It may be used as a symptomatic treatment for diarrhoea and especially in the treatment of the functional conditions known variously as irritable bowel syndrome or colitis. It can be useful in urinary incontinence and cystitis. As a gargle it eases the discomfort of sore throats and laryngitis. As an ointment it aids the healing of wounds and bruises.
Description of Agrimony:
The long flower-spikes of Agrimony have caused the name of ‘Church Steeples’ to be given the plant in some parts of the country. It also bears the title of ‘Cockeburr,’ ‘Sticklewort’ or ‘Stickwort,’ because its seed-vessels cling by the hooked ends of their stiff hairs to any person or animal coming into contact with the plant. It was, Gerard informs us, at one time called Philanthropos, according to some old writers, on account of its beneficent and valuable properties, others saying that the name arose from the circumstance of the seeds clinging to the garments of passers-by, as if desirous of accompanying them, and Gerard inclines to this latter interpretation of the name.
Agrimonia eupatoria; Agrimony is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
The plant is subject to a considerable amount of variation, some specimens being far larger than others, much more clothed with hairs and with other minor differences. It has, therefore, by some botanists, been divided into two species, but the division is now scarcely maintained. The larger variety, having also a greater fragrance, was named Agrimonia odorata.
The plant is found abundantly throughout England, on hedge-banks and the sides of fields, in dry thickets and on all waste places. In Scotland it is much more local and does not penetrate very far northward. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation of Agrimony:
Easily grown in most soils, preferring a calcareous soil. Thrives in a dry lightly shaded position, though it prefers full sun. Plants usually self-sow quite freely when growing in a suitable position. The seeds are contained in burrs that can easily attach themselves to clothing or animal’s fur, thus transporting them to a new area where they can germinate and grow. The cultivar ‘Sweet scented’ is popular in France for making tea because the whole plant is sweet scented and the flowers have a spicy apricot-like fragrance.
Propagation of Agrimony:
Seed – can be sown in spring or autumn, either in pots in a cold frame or in situ. It usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 13°c, though germination rates can be low, especially if the seed has been stored. A period of cold stratification helps but is not essential. When grown in pots, prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
Culinary uses of Agrimony:
It is an edible herb although one may find that it’s taste is a little bitter. Sheep and goats will eat this plant, but cattle, horses and swine leave it untouched.
Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses: Tea.
A refreshing tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves, flowers and stems. It can be drunk hot or cold. It was formerly very popular either on its own or added to China tea, having a peculiar delicacy and aroma. Seed – dried and ground into a meal. A famine food, used when all else fails. This report could refer to A. pilosa. Ledeb. (q.v.).
Actions: Astringent, tonic, bitter, diuretic, vulnerary, anti-spasmodic, carminative, hepatic, cholagogue.
Part Used: Aerial parts.
Indications: Its astringency and bitter tonic properties makes Agrimony especially indicated when an astringent action on the digestive system is needed. Recognition of this is reflected in its traditional use as a spring tonic. It may be used as a symptomatic treatment for diarrhoea and especially in the treatment of the functional conditions known variously as irritable bowel syndrome or colitis. It can be useful in urinary incontinence and cystitis. As a gargle it eases the discomfort of sore throats and laryngitis. As an ointment it aids the healing of wounds and bruises.
Preparations & Dosage of Agrimony:
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.
The whole plant yields a yellow dye: when gathered in September, the colour given is pale, much like that called nankeen; later in the year the dye is of a darker hue and will dye wool of a deep yellow. As it gives a good dye at all times and is a common plant, easily cultivated, it seems to deserve the notice of dyers.
Gender: Masculine, Planet: Jupiter, Element: Air
Protection, Sleep. Agrimony is best known for its sleep-inducing qualities, therefore it is excellent in dream pillows, especially mixed with mugwort. Enhances magickal healing. A wash or oil increases effectiveness of all forms of ritual healing, psychic healing, or distance healing. Anoint hands with oil to cleanse auras. Creates a barrier against negative energies. Use if you feel to be under psychic attack. A counter-magick herb, it not only breaks hexes, but sends them back to the hexer.
The whole complex of primary plant constituents and a characteristic array of secondary plant constituents are present. Pharmacologically important constituents include: tannins, coumarins, flavones including luteolin, apigenin and quercitin, glycosidal bitters