Helpful Herbs: Agrimony
It might not be the most well known herb, but Agrimony is a powerful healer and a pleasant addition to a flower garden. Its long spikes of yellow flowers are dramatically beautiful, and its abilities have been prized in medicine for centuries.
Agrimony grows wild throughout Europe and North America. It can be planted as a seed in a flower or herb garden, and prefers full or partial sun and regular watering. Agrimony can also be planted using root divisions from an established plant.
Agrimony plants grow to about six feet tall, with large leaves at the bottom of the plant and one or two foot long flower stalks at the top. These stalks are covered in tiny, yellow flowers and small leaves. The stalks can be harvested when in full bloom and then dried in bundles, or used to make an essential oil. Stalks left behind to reseed with turn from blossoms to small burs, which will help the plant propagate the next spring.
While it can be used in the kitchen, Agrimony is most commonly used as a healing plant. It's main culinary use is in the making of a herbal tea which is delicious with honey.
This healing tea is often used to treat conditions of diarrhea or sore throat. The herb can also be used in essential oil form to help treat wounds and skin irritations, and salves will help relieve sores and ulcers. It is said that Agrimony helps to purify the blood, and drinking it regularly will work to prevent the common cold.
The herbal history of Agrimony is extensive. Pliny the Elder referred to Agrimony as "an herb of princely authorite" and the Ancient Romans used it to treat everything from eye ailments to disorders of the liver and kidneys. Native Americans used to the herb to treat fevers and the Anglo-Saxons would use it in wound-healing poultices.
Agrimony is named for "argemone", a Greek word for plants that were healers to the eyes. It is also called Church Steeples and Sticklewort, and in the Middle Ages it was used extensively in folk and herb lore by witches and herbalists of the day. It is said that Agrimony would help to ward of hexes, and some voodoo practitioners believed that it actually would send a curse or hex back to the originator. Modern day wiccans still use Agrimony, and believe sleeping on a pillow of the herb will help to ensure a good night's sleep.
From liver ailments to skin abrasions, Agrimony has been a critical healing herb and one considered of great power for centuries. While it is not as common in the modern garden, Agrimony can still be a wonderful healer and a beatiful addition.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information on this web site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.