Agrimony—Medicinal Uses

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agrimony | Posted on 16-05-2010

Agrimony has long been used since Saxon times to heal wounds because it staunches bleeding and encourages clot formation. In the 15th century, it was the prime ingredient of “arquebusade water,” a battlefield remedy for gunshot wounds. In France, the eau de arquebusade is still applied for sprains and bruises. A cooling astringent and mildly bitter, the aerial parts can be used for “hot” conditions like diarrhea, bronchitis and a gentle tonic for the digestion as a whole.

Combined with other herbs such as corn silk, it is a valuable remedy for cystitis and urinary incontinence, and has also been used for kidney stones, sore throats, rheumatism, and arthritis. It can be used as a suppository combining the extract with cocoa butter and inserting into the rectum for hemorrhoids, tapeworms and diarrhea. The healing power is attributed to the herb’s high silica content. Agrimony is indicated for chronic cholecystopathies with gastric sub-acidity. Real success will be achieved only if the plant is used consistently for some time.

An infusion of the dried flowers and leaves makes a good gargle or mouthwash, helps clear the blood, freshens the breath, soothes sore gums and, as a footbath, has proved to be a cure for athlete’s foot. An infusion of the leaves alone can also be used to treat bruising. Agrimony is excellent as part of a long-term treatment for diabetes, for it lowers sugar levels and quenches thirst. It also helps hepatitis by intensively detoxifying the liver. It slows peristalsis and repairs the mucous membranes of those suffering from colic.

European herbalists suggest a few cups of agrimony tea daily to heal peptic ulcers and colitis, to gently control diarrhea, to tone the digestive tract lining, and to improve food assimilation. One glycoside it contains has been shown to reduce excessive bile production in the gallbladder. It’s best used with boiling water as a solvent.

An infusion is a gentle remedy, ideal for diarrhea, especially in infants and children.  It can be taken by breastfeeding mothers to dose babies.

A tincture is more potent and drying than the infusion, and effective if the condition involves excess phlegm or mucus. Use for cystitis, urinary infections, bronchitis and heavy menstrual bleeding.

Apply a poultice of the leaves for migraines.

Use the infusion as a wash for wounds, sores, eczema, and varicose ulcers.

Use a weak infusion (10 g herb to 500 ml water)as an eyewash for conjunctivitis.

Use the infusion as a gargle for sore throats and nasal mucus.

Some herbal remedies include:
For incontinence: 2 parts horsetail, 1 part agrimony, 1 part sweet sumach. Drink this tea three times a day

Parsley Cough Treatment: Pour 2 ½ cups of boiling water over 2 Tbsp of dried agrimony flowers or leaves and 1 Tbsp dried parsley. Cover and steep until the mixture is cool. Strain. Use as a gargle to soothe sore throats. To stop persistent coughs, take 2-3 Tbsp of the infusion morning and evening.

Bath for tension headaches: Put 1 oz each of mugwort, valerian, chamomile and agrimony to 1 pint of boiling water. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and add to bath water. Very good for aching muscles.

Antacid Wine: 3 cups red wine, 1 cup fresh agrimony leaves, ½ cup alfalfa leaves, ¼ cup oak bark. Macerate the crushed plants I the wine for 1 month. Strain. Drink 2 Tbsp 3 times daily to eliminate stomach hyperacidity.

Diarrhea Tea
3 Tbsp agrimony leaves
2 Tbsp self-heal
4 cups water
Combine the herbs in a pan; cover with the water; bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes; cool and strain. Drink as needed, up to one cup a day

Gout Tea
4 tsp agrimony leaves
2 Tbsp queen of the meadow root
2 cups boiling water
Combine the herbs in a glass container and cover with the boiling water; steep for 30 minutes; cool and strain. Take half a cup, up to four times daily

Catarrh Tea
2 tsp agrimony leaves
1 tsp wild bergamot leaves
1 cup boiling water
Combine the herbs and cover with the boiling water; steep 30 minutes, cool and strain. Take up to two cups per day.

Sting-Healing Ointment
1 lb petroleum jelly
4 tsp dried agrimony leaves
4 tsp dried marigold leaves
Melt petroleum jelly in a double boiler. Stir in the herbs and heat for 2 hours until the herbs begin to get crispy. Strain by pouring through cheesecloth. Squeeze the cloth to release all the liquid. While warm, pour the ointment into clean glass containers. Use as needed.

Dosage: Unless otherwise specified 3 go of herb or equivalent preparation is the average daily dose for internal application.
EAU DE ARQUEBUSADE (antiseptic wash)—½ oz each dried tops of agrimony, calamint, fennel, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, wormwood, a few fresh leaves of angelica and basil, plus fresh lavender flowers. Chop plants and combine with 1 quart 190 proof grain alcohol. Let stand for 14 days, then strain.

Another way to use agrimony is as a Flower Essence.  For anxiety hidden by a mask of cheerfulness; denial and avoidance of emotional pain, addictive behavior to anesthetize feelings. The Agrimony person needs to find peace as an inner soul reality, rather than an outer state of behavior which others validate. It is their lesson that true inner peace comes fro honestly acknowledging pain and transforming it, rather than masking it with a superficial veneer of good cheer or polite tolerance.

No known contraindications or toxicity.

Culinary Recipes:
Agrimony Ale

Take equal amounts of dried dandelion, meadowsweet herb, and agrimony herb. For every ounce of herbs add a gallon of water. Boil for 20 minutes, then strain and add 1 pounds sugar per gallon to the liquid. Pour it into a cask or tub (or their equivalent) and float a small piece of toast spread on both sides with 1 cup brewer’s yeast. Cover with a cloth or towel and leave to stand in a warm place for 12 hours before drawing off the liquid and bottling. (Mastering Herbalism)

Antacid Wine
3 cups red wine
1 cup fresh agrimony leaves
½ cup alfalfa leaves
¼ cup oak bark
Macerate the crushed plants in the wine for 1 month. Strain. Drink 2 Tbsp 3 times daily to eliminate stomach hyperacidity. (Wild Medicinal Plants)

References:
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, 1993; ISBN: 0-939616-15-7
Compendium of Herbal Magick , Paul Beyerl, Phoenix Publishing, 1998; ISBN: 0-919345-45-X
The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal : A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies, David Hoffmann, Element, 1996; ISBN: 1-85230-758-7

Encyclopedia of Medicinal PlantsAndrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997; ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2

Flower Essence Repertory: A Comprehensive Guide to North American and English Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being, Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society, 1996; ISBN: 0-9631306-1-7
Herbal Medicine , Rudolf Fritz Weiss, Beaconsfield Arcanum, 1988; ISBN: 0-906584-19-1
Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia: A Complete Culinary, Cosmetic, Medicinal, and Ornamental Guide to Herbs , Kathi Keville, Mallard, 1991, ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7b
Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies, Jude C. Williams, Llewellyn, 1992; ISBN: 0-87542-869-X
Mastering Herbalism: A Practical Guide, Paul Huson, Stein and Day, 1975; ISBN: 0-8128-1847-4

Medicine Grove: A Shamanic Herbal , Loren Cruden, Destiny Books, 1997; ISBN: 0-89281-647-3

Secrets of Native American Herbal Remedies, Anthony J Cichoke, Avery Books, 2001; ISBN: 1-58333-100-X

Wild Medicinal Plants , Anny Schneider, Stackpole Books, 1999; ISBN: 0-8117-2987-7

Resources:
Companion Plants, www.companionplants.com plants, seeds
Crimson Sage http://www.crimson-sage.com Plants
Richters, www.richters.com seeds, dried herb

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: herbworld@aol.com URL: http://www.herbalpedia.com Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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Getting started with Agrimony

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agrimony | Posted on 14-05-2010

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We’ll start with agrimony.  Each week I’ll add another herb. The goal is to get you to try some of these plants for yourself.

I’ll cover a wide variety of botanicals. And leave for a time much further on plants that are difficult to use or should be used by an herbal professional.

If there is something you’d really like to know about, ask away and I’ll try to address your questions. For questions of a personal nature, I suggest the section on HerbNet.com called Ask the Herbalist. That’s geared to help with specific questions about using herbs in your daily life.

Now Agrimony or Agrimonia eupatoria is a perennial member of the Rosaceae family and is found in marshes, wet meadows, and in open areas. It is hardy to Zone 3.

It germinates in 14-24 days with a spacing of 12 inches and a soil temperature of 70F to 85F.   It likes the soil to be average, well drained, and fairly dry in full sun. Plant the seed or divide in the spring or transplant root division in the autumn. The leaves for drying should be picked before the flowers have bloomed. The flowers picked well before the seed heads have formed. in summer. Dry in the shade and not above 104F.

Agrimony contains tannins, bitter glycosides, nicotinic acid amide, silica, coumarins, flavonoids (luteolin, apigenin, quercin), xanthophyllite, phytosterine, minerals (iron, calcium, silicon), vitamins A, B, C, P and K, volatile oil, carbohydrates, and polysaccharides

Its character is cool, drying, bitter, with an astringent taste

It works on the lung and liver spleen energies.

It has properties of being an astringent, diuretic, tissue healer, stops bleeding, stimulates bile flow, some anti-viral activity reported.

The species name Eupatoria has regal associations getting its name from Mithridates Eupator, King of Pontus in northern Turkey who was said to have had a profound knowledge of plant lore. The tall flowering stalks have given this herb the nickname “church steeples.”

It was also christened Philanthropos, or “beneficial,” possibly in tribute to its medicinal virtues. The early Greeks named it after argemon meaning “a speck in the eye” because of its beneficial use as a wash for eyes and wounds. The Anglo-Saxons, who called it Garclive, taught that it would heal wounds, snake bites, warts, etc. In the time of Chaucer, when we find its name appearing in the form of Egrimoyne, it was used with Mugwort and vinegar for ‘a bad back’ and ‘alle woundes’: and one of these old writers recommends it to be taken with a mixture of pounded frogs and human blood, as a remedy for all internal hemorrhages.

For internal bleeding, a curious mixture consisting of the fresh plant pounded up with human blood and the flesh of frogs was recommended. The plant’s association with ritual magic is also evident from the old belief that a person who slept with agrimony under the pillow would not wake up until the herb was removed. In fifteenth-century France, agrimony was an important ingredient of a healing water known as arquebusade that was used to teat the wounds of those hit with an arquebus or old-fashioned hand gun.

In rituals, it has the element of Air and is ruled by Jupiter. Its gender is Masculine. It’s magickal powers are those of protection and sleep. Its magical propereties can be use in sachets and in spells for protection, and to banish negative energy. It also can be used to reverse spells sent against the magician. Put a sprig of agrimony under your pillow to help you sleep.

Agrimony was once used to detect the presence of witches. Agrimony enjoys a reputation for enhancing magickal healing. It can be used either as a wash or an oil to increase the effectiveness of all forms of ritual healing, psychic healing, or any method of healing which employs energy at a distance. The extracted oil of agrimony is a fine choice for anointing one’s hands prior to cleansing the aura of another.

For spiritual properties, Agrimony’s medicine is movement toward deeper integrity of consciousness. This is demonstrated in its use as a liver herb—the liver being associated with clarifying vision—and its quality of drawing together.

All parts of the plant are used for dyes. Fresh leaves and stems with a chrome mordant on wool gives gold; with alum on wool/cotton it gives a brassy yellow; with tin on wool, orange; with iron on wool,dark green and the whole plant with alum on wool or silk gives yellow. A odorata is also used. Put leaves and stalks in cold water and heat slowly. Simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Strain off the plant material and cool the liquid. Put in the clean, wetted material and return bath to simmer for about 1 hour. Rinse the cloth material twice and dry.

To dye, the best yellows will be obtained from late fall harvested plants; gathered earlier they will yield a yellowish-buff color. Use fresh leaves and stems. Alum gives a brasy yellow to wool and cotton and Chrome is for gold on wool.

Next we’ll be covering agrimony’s medicinal uses along with places you can get plants or dried herb.

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