The Herbalist

Example of herb listing: Agrimony



Agrimonia eupatoria


Names : Cockle Burr, Stickwort, Church Steeples

Habitat: British Isles, in hedges and fields and by ditches, flowering in July and August.

Collection : The whole of the plant above ground should be collected when the flowers are just blooming. It should be dried in the shade and not above 40 degrees C.

Part Used : Dried aerial parts.

Constituents :

  • Tannins, as condensed tannins, up to 8%.
  • Coumarins
  • Flavonoids, e.g. glucosides of luteolin, apigenin and quercitin,
  • Polysaccharides
  • Glycosidal bitters
  • miscellaneous - nicotinic acid, silicic acid, iron, vitamins B and K,
  • essential oil.

Actions : Astringent, tonic, bitter, diuretic, vulnerary, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, carminative, Hepatic, cholagogue.

Indications : The combination of astringency and bitter tonic properties makes Agrimony a valuable remedy. This especially true when an astringent action on the digestive system is needed, as it will also contribute a tonic action due to the bitter stimulation of digestive and liver secretions. It is a specific in childhood diarrhea. Its properties give it a role in the treatment of mucous colitis. Agrimony is the herb of choice in appendicitis. It may be used in indigestion. There is a long tradition of its use as a spring tonic. It may be used in urinary incontinence and cystitis. As a gargle it is beneficial in the relief of sore throats and laryngitis. As an ointment it will aid the healing of wounds and bruises. The infusion has been used clinically with some success in cutaneous porphyria. Aqueous extract inhibited Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro and alcohol extracts have anti-viral effects against Colombia SK virus in mice.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "gently stimulating tonic with a gastro-intestinal emphasis that is suitable for both infants and the elderly. It influences mucous membranes, promotes assimilation and restores debilitated conditions. "They give the following specific indications: 'general alimentary weakness', 'hepatic weakness', enuresis, diarrhea, leucorrhoea, rheumatism & arthritis.

Ellingwood considered it specific for "deep soreness or tenderness over the kidneys. Sharp cutting deep-seated pain, with general distress in the lumbar region. Inflammation in the urinary system and urinary incontinence." He recommends it for the following pathologies: erysipelas, chronic bronchitis and asthma, consumption, excessive mucous discharges, leucorrhoea, gastritis, colitis, proctitis, ulcerative stomatitis, dysmenorrhoea, uterine congestion and cystic inflammation.

King's Dispensatory quotes the following specific indications and uses: Deep-seated and colicky pain in the lumbar region, with uneasy sensations reaching from the kidneys to the hips and umbilicus (renal colic); muddy, ill-smelling urine, and dirty looking skin; especially as a palliative in phthisis; cystic catarrh; cough, with profuse, thick secretions, and pain under the lower ribs, extending to the renal organs; renal congestion; cough, with dribbling or expulsion of urine; irritation of kidneys or urinary organs, with cough.

Combinations : It is often used with carminatives and hepatics for digestive problems.

Preparations & Dosage : Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take l-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

The Herbalist by David L. Hoffmann, copyright 1993-2001

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