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Medicinal Plants: Agrimony

April 24th, 2009

agrimony-herb.jpgAn attractive plant, sporting tall spikes of small yellow flowers and cockleburred fruit, agrimony is often found growing wild in fields, woods, and roadsides in its native Europe, the USA, and southern parts of Canada. With a long history of medicinal uses, agrimony has been called an “all-heal” in many different cultures, and has been used to treat everything from eye ailments to slow healing wounds. With a wealth of various uses, agrimony remains a commonly used medicinal plant even to this day.

Agrimony as a Wound Healer

It is believed that early Anglo-Saxons were the first to use agrimony as a method of healing wounds. Taking the leaves and seeds of the plant, a solution was then made from them and applied to the injuries. Used in such a fashion, it would not only aid in the cleansing of the wound, but also served to help bleeding wounds form clots, thereby staunching the flow of blood. This practice was used throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, the preparation coming to be known as eau d’arquebuscade, or “musket-shot water” due to its common usage for healing those who had been shot by muskets.

A Variety of Uses For Agrimony

The ancient Greeks found many uses for agrimony as well, using it to treat numerous eye conditions. A potent drink could also be brewed from the plant, which was used to cure diarrhea and to help with various ailments of the gallbladder, kidneys, and liver. With time, it would also come to be known as a reliable natural treatment for those suffering from athlete’s foot. While agrimony has no narcotic properties, another common belief was that sleeping with a few sprigs of agrimony beneath one’s head would induce a deep and dreamless sleep that would last until the plant was removed.

In Canada and the United States, agrimony was prescribed late into the nineteenth century for many different illnesses, ranging from asthma, gynecological complaints, coughs and congestion, various diseases of the skin, and even as a gargle for sore throat. The plant is still highly respected as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent due to the large amounts of tannin that are present in the plant. The flowering stems and dried leaves are commonly used by modern herbalists for making tonics and diuretics, as well as for treating diarrhea. Agrimony is also a common ingredient in many of today’s herbal teas and it is still applied to aid the healing process of wounds.

Precautions

As with many herbs and supplements that are now available on the market, there has been very little research and testing that has gone into the various effects of these medicinal plants. Women who are pregnant or mothers who are breast feeding should not use agrimony without first speaking with a medical professional to ensure its safety. As with starting any new treatment or diet, it is always important to speak with your doctor regarding your current health situation as well as any other medications you may be taking.


Shawna Krautheim (username anarch) has written a total of 204 articles at Constant Content. Currently 44 of these are still viewable on the site and available for sale.


One Response to “Medicinal Plants: Agrimony”

  1. comment number 1 by: Agrimony

    People who need Agrimony often appear carefree and humourous, but their joie de vivre is a mask for anxieties, worries and even real inner torment, which they may be trying to conceal from themselves as well as others.

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