Agrimony

“Agrimony”

220px-Illustration_Agrimonia_eupatoria0.jpg

Valued today as a healing herb for the mucous membranes as well as for its astringent properties to stop bleeding.

Anglo-Saxons called it Garclive and used it to treat wounds and skin blemishes. During Medieval times it was a treatment for internal bleeding, in combination with pounded frogs.

In these times Agrimony was also used in herbal ‘charms’ and was thought to bring on ‘deep sleep’. Folklore says that Witches used Agrimony to be rid of ‘negative-energies’. Prevents ‘meddling and interference’.

Agrimony has been used since Saxon times for wounds and was the prime ingredient for ‘Arquebusade Water’ in the 15th century: a battlefield remedy for gunshot wounds.

The healing power is now attributed to the herb’s high silica content. Dorothy Hall suggests high silica plants are hinted to whee there is a ‘hook-shaped’ seed. thorn or leaf.


Botanical Name: Agrimonia eupatoria

Family Name: Rosaceae

Parts Used: Aerial Parts- Gather before and during early flowering in Summer. Grows best in cool, moist areas.

Qualities: Cool, drying, bitter & ASTRINGENT to taste. Dry 1st Degree & Hot 1st Degree

‘Yellow flowers’ — hint as it’s usefulness in liver, gallbladder, pancreas and kidneys. As well as use for the ‘ELIMINATION SYSTEMS’ e.g. yellow faeces instead of brown or stagnant lymphatics.

AFFINITY FOR LIVER & KIDNEYS with secondary effects in the bowels.


Phase of Life & Emotional Qualities: Dawning — A person who may be suffering inside, but wear a mask for the outside world to show that ‘all is well’. ‘Torturedly cheerful’.

Recommended herb for people who have suffered a shock or a traumatic experience that caused them to hold their breath — and that they feel like they have been holding it ever since this moment. Agrimony may help remind these people to breathe again. 

These people may feel ‘caught in a bind’. 

Also recommended for individuals that also carry everything, tension & stress, in their stomachs and abdomen. This herb helps to relieve tension — digestive and female reproductive…

“Agrimony patients try to hold back the pain and not complain”


Constituents: 

  • Tannins
  • Silica
  • Essential Oil – said to help fight bacteria
  • Bitter Principle
  • Flavonoids
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins B & K
  • Carotene (Hall)
  • Choline (Hall)

“If it be leyd under mann’s heed, He shal sleepyn as he were deed, He shall never drede ne wakyn, Till fro under his heed it be takyn”- Medieval medical manuscript


Actions:

  • Astringent (Mild)
  • Diuretic
  • Stimulates Liver Function – Hepatic herb — especially to support LIVER
  • Prescribed for ‘symptoms originating from the liver, from the kidneys & from any infection or irritation which cause either of these important organs to function poorly’ – Dorothy Hall
  • GALLBLADDER CONNECTION:
    • Cholagogue
    • Choleretic
    • Tension and constriction of the gallbladder – gallbladder ‘headaches’ – GB pain radiating up shoulder, neck into head
    • Uneven distribution of bile (Hall)
    • Difficulty with fat digestion
  • Tissue Healer – mucus membranes
  • Ulcerations of lower extremities
  • Stops bleeding
  • Stimulates bile flow
  • Bitter Tonic/Digestive
  • Some anti-viral activity reported
  • Emmenagogue (Purcell)
agrimony

Indications:

  • Cooling Astringent – used in ‘HOT’ conditions
    • Diarrhoea
    • Haemorrhoids
    • Bronchitis
    • Urinary Infections – healthy bladder fx
    • Allergies 
  • Clear inflammations, phlegm & toxins
  • Encourage healing
  • Skin inflammations – including internal MM tonic
  • Ulcers
  • Gallbladder-liver stagnant
  • Gallbladder pain – migraine
  • Stone passing – kidney & gall (traditional)
  • Calm digestion & digestive tension
  • Stem bleeding from cuts
  • Anti-inflammatory for gastritis, indigestion & heartburn
  • Anorexia (Thomsen)
  • Hypochlorhydria
  • Anaemia — acts to tone the GIT and improve absorption & assimilation
  • Uterus tension – irregular menses (present but not consistent)
  • Colitis
  • Cystitis
  • Bed wetting in children – specific anxiety about toilet training
  • Liver damage — alcohol and/or drug abuse. Fits the emotional picture of addict who tries to ‘put on a cheerful disposition’ despite emotional tension
  • TENSION — physical or emotional
  • STOOLS – Loose, yellow, fatty or floating
SUMMARY:
Especially useful when there is an astringent action on the digestive system required. Agrimony’s tonic action is due to it’s bitter stimulation of digestive and liver secretions. Also gallbladder connection to these.
Specific for childhood diarrhoea and mucous colitis.
Traditionally used as a Spring Tonic.
Can be used for irregular menses due to stress, shock, tension — for women who feel like they need to constantly hold their breath.

DOROTHY HALL’S PERSON-PICTURE OF AGRIMONY:
  • Nausea, even vomiting — combined with diarrhoea and spasmodic gripes/contractions. Lower back pain.
  • ‘Intestinal hurry’
  • Bright, cheerful & fun-loving on the surface… underneath real feeling are suppressed and hidden – rarely expressed. ‘Edits’ their personality in order to please and be liked by others. This suppression can lead to liver congestion.

CHRONIC PICTURE:

  • Overburdened liver can begin to crave increasing stimulus — e.g. alcohol, coffee, sugar… ADDICTION & spent adrenals
  • Bowels — leads to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition- especially of fats. Can be constantly loose or constipation (holding on to feelings) with several episodes of ‘release’.

Contraindications: None  Known

Caution: Herb is astringent – therefore avoid if experience constipation

Bone suggests professional supervision in pregnancy & lactation (mild emmenagogue).

CAUTION when combining with Anti-diabetic medications due to theorised additive effects (Hechtman 2018)

Discontinue 7 days prior to general anaesthesia.

CAUTION – Check interaction for TANNIN / OPC- CONTAINING HERBS – separate dose from minerals/food by 2 hours

(Iron, Minerals, Zinc)


Dosage: 

Take away from food

INFUSION: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried agrimony. Infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

TINCTURE: 1-3ml of tincture three times a day (Hoffman)

Bone – 15 to 30 ml week (20-30 ml week of 1:2 L.E.- Thomsen)

(45% ethanol content in MediHerb 1:2)

DROP DOSE:

5 drops t.d.s (Wood)

20 – 40 drops t.d.s. (PPC)


Other Uses:

  • Infusion: A gentle remedy – ideal for diarrhoea in infants & children. Can be taken by breast feeding mothers to dose baby
  • Tincture: More potent and drying than the infusion – and effective if condition involves excess phlegm or mucous. Use for cystitis, UTIs, bronchitis and heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Poultice: Apply poultice of leaves for migraines
  • Wash: Use infusion for wounds, sore, eczema and varicose ulcers
  • Eyewash: Weak infusion (10g herb to 500ml water) for conjunctivitis
  • Gargle: Infusion used as gargle for sore throat and nasal catarrh. Also for SORES of the MOUTH

Combinations:

  • Use with Carminatives for Digestive Problems (Hoffman) – e.g. fennel

OTHER RESOURCES:

Australian Naturopathic Network – Agrimony Monograph

Agrimony: Bach Flower Remedy

Modern Herbal – Agrimony

Annie’s Remedy – Agrimony

How to Grow Agrimony in your Garden 

Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley
Hoffman, D. Holistic Herbal. Pg. 175
Bone, K. (2003) Guide to blending liquid herbs.
Hall, Dorothy. Dorothy Hall’s Herbal Medicine 
Pursell, J.J. The Woman’s Herbal Apothecary

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