Agrimony is classed as a bitter herb, bitters stimulate the production of enzymes and stomach acid, readying the digestive system for the optimum assimilation of nutrients from food consumed. The bitter principles of Agrimony can regulate the liver and gallbladder function - in Germany it has been used to treat gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver. It is also indicated in gallbladder disease associated with gastric hyper-acidity.
The high tannin content of Agrimony, coupled with its anti-inflammatory effects make it especially beneficial for various gastrointestinal complaints, particularly mild cases of diarrhoea. It is believed to reduce swelling in the soft tissues of the GI tract and the gut. Its tannins tone the mucous membranes, improving their secretion and absorption.
Also known as the “gunshot herb”, Agrimony has been used since medieval times to speed up wound healing and staunch bleeding. It is an excellent coagulant (a substance that causes blood or another liquid to coagulate), and as such was used to treat battlefield wounds.
Nowadays, this effect makes Agrimony useful for reducing bleeding in the body, including heavy menstrual bleeding. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help to alleviate menstrual discomfort caused by heavy periods.
Agrimony is rich in beneficial plant compounds that support the body’s ability to get rid of waste. These include; tannins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones and phenolic acids which have a powerfully healing antioxidant effect. Furthermore, these compounds have been proven to be anti-inflammatory and analgesic in nature.
Additionally, Agrimony has diuretic properties which aid in causing kidneys to continually flush out toxins whilst increasing urination. This helps to cleanse the system of excess fluids and stimulate the kidneys, causing the body to flush out uric acid and excess crystals that can cause many problems including gout, arthritis and kidney stones.
The active constituents of Agrimony are also useful in treating increased bile production, stones in the bile duct and pain in the gallbladder and liver. In fact, in a 2018 study it was shown to protect against liver injury due to its lipid lowering and antioxidant activities. Thus, Agrimony can be taken as a tonic to strengthen and protect the liver.
Agrimony has long been used to easy conditions of the upper respiratory tract. It is especially useful when used as a gargle to soothe sore throats, mouth ulcers and inflamed gums. It is often used by performers and speakers to relax the throat and strengthen the voice.
Folklore and history
Agrimony's botanical name "Agrimonia eupatoria" refers to Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus, who is remembered by early herbalists for fashioning a "universal antidote" to protect him from all earthly poisons.
The famous Roman philosopher and naturalist, Pliny, described Agrimony as "an herb of princely authorite".
Agrimony has long been regarded as powerfully magical, and one of its earliest common names is "fairy's wand". In an 18th century Scottish witch trial, Agrimony was mentioned as a witch's cure for people who were "elf-shot" or suffering unexplained illness.
The word Agrimony is derived from the Greek "Argemone", meaning "that which heals the eye". Being abundant throughout the UK, Agrimony has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Anglo-Saxons, who called it garclive, identified its healing properties and used it extensively for wounds, snake bites and warts. In later times it was used to treat gunshot wounds due to its coagulant effect.
It has also been traditionally used as an aid to digestive complaints, a diuretic and to improve respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds and bronchitis. Agrimony was once considered a panacea or “all-heal” for illnesses.
Can be added to water or fruit juice and taken when required.
Traditionally Taken: 2-3ml taken 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.
Agrimony contains; bitters, mucilage, phytosterols and tannins, palmitic acid, salicylic acid, silicic acid and stearic acid; flavonoids such as apigenin, glycosides, kaempferol, luteolin-7-glucoside, quercetin, and quercitrin; tannins (3-21%) such as agrimoniin, ellagitannin and gallotannin.
Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Please check with your healthcare practitioner if you are taking any prescription medications before using Agrimony.