Herbal Supplements
Agrimony Basic Facts: Regaining the Popularity
Being often used by the herbal healers in the Middle Ages, Agrimony was well-known to the folk and popular due to its numerous health benefits. Although these days it has lost its wide popularity, it is still used by the herbalists, and it is thus said to be bringing back its old famousness.
Biological Description
Agrimonia Eupatoria belongs to the Rosaceae family, which includes about 15 species of perennial herbaceous flowering plants. Common names for Agrimony are Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Sticklewort, and Philanthropos.
The plant, which is usually 1 or 2 feet tall, has quite a long, black, and pretty woody root. The erect, slightly rough and hairy stems are mostly unbranched. The awesome pinnate leaves are made of a number of leaflets, which may vary in size, but are similarly shaped: each leaflet is cut into segments, and the outline of each leaflet is indented. The leaves at the bottom of the stem tend to be larger than those on its top.
Tiny yellow flowers with five petals are situated to form a terminal spike (called “Church Steeple”), which may lengthen when the flowers fade and the seeds begin to mature. The latter are the so-called burrs, which may cling to the clothes due to their hooked ends and rough hairs.
Agrimony is sometimes used in everyday teas because of its wonderful odour. All the parts of the plant, including root, are so sweetly scented when crushed.
Sticklewort is indigenous to the multiple temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows abundantly in Europe, Canada, the USA, and British Isles; one species has even found home in Africa.
Since Agrimony is commonly found beside the roads and fields, it is not fastidious, being able to grow well on all types of soils. It is often seen on the wetlands and marshes, wet meadows and in general, on all open areas. Cockeburr, however, does not grow well in the dry places. Although it prefers full sun, it can perfectly stand partial shade.  
Parts Used
Aerial parts of the herb are used in herbal medicine. They are harvested when the plant is in full bloom. The flower spikes, stems, and leaves may be used fresh right after the harvesting, or may be dried and stored to be used later.
Bulk herb, Agrimony powder, fluid extract, and tincture can be purchased nowadays to be used for the treatment of different health disorders.
Agrimony contains tannins, coumarins, flavonoids (including luteolin, apigenin and quercitin), volatile oil, polysaccharides, silica, and glycosidal bitters. Besides, it is a source of nicotinic acid, iron, and vitamins B and K.
The quantity and the combination of the active constituents of the plant ensures its possibility to be used as an astringent, bitter tonic, diuretic, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, carminative, hepatic, and cholagogue agent.
Volatile oil from this herb is considered to be, practically, the most important ingredient, due to which Agrimony is an effective astringent and bitter tonic.
Alcohol extracts of Agrimony may have anti-viral effects, scientists suggest.
Health Benefits
Most often, Agrimony is used to treat diarrhoea, because people discovered long ago its powers to work as an astringent. The plant is also known to be a good option for curing gallbladder and liver disorders due to its bitter tonic action, which promotes the stimulation of digestive and liver secretions. It is also a valuable remedy for treating kidney stones due to silica component in the plant. In addition, this ingredient is said to be beneficial for the treatment of diabetes.
Another popular use of Agrimony is a gargle for sore throat and laryngitis. Its teas and tinctures are known to help recover from colds.
Urinary incontinence, cystitis and other disorders of this system may also be treated with Agrimony.
Applying Agrimony tinctures topically may promote the healing of skin wounds and stopping the bleeding.
There is also much information about Sticklewort benefits in relieving tension. It is stated that both physical and psychological tension may be relieved with the help of Agrimony extracts.
In general, from the philosophic point of view, the most important thing Agrimony is effective in is smoothing the balance between tension and relaxation in all the systems of the body. Consequently, solving the problems with liver, kidneys, digestive and urinary tract with the help of Agrimony seems to be quite logical.  
2011-03-30 21:20:34
Agrimony: Do not use if constipated. Unfortunately like other herbs, do not use internally during pregnancy.
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