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Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria

An erect growing, perennial herb, 30 - 60cm tall with downy, serrated leaves and a reddish stem which is covered in long hairs. Yellow flowers with 5 petals are produced on tall flower spikes which flower throughout the summer. Favours field edges and dry roadsides.

Agrimony has been used as a wound herb since saxon times - and in the 15th Century was the prime ingredient of ‘Arabesque Water’, a battlefield remedy for early gunshot wounds.

A strongly astringent herb, contracting blood vessels and tissues to stop bleeding and secretion, Agrimony contains traces of Iron, some B Vitamins, and has a high silica content - a great skin healer. It has a slightly bitter taste, and is good for kidney and urinary problems as it increases urination, it is also said to be ‘good for naughty livers’. It has a tonic effect on the digestion system, and is particularly useful for those prone to food allergies as it helps food absorption whilst repairing gut damage caused by the allergens.

It is also widely used as a remedy for diarrhoea - and for this reason it should be avoided by anyone prone to constipation! Nursing mothers can successfully treat constipation problems in their babies by drinking a cup of weak Agrimony infusion (15g of herb to 500ml of water) about two hours before feeds, up to four times a day.

A healing tonic for the gums can be made by infusing 1 and a half teaspoonfuls of dried agrimony in a cup of boiling water for about 10-15 mins - this can then be used as a warm mouthwash.

Folklore tells us that Guernsey girls wishing to dream of their future husbands would cross two 9 leaved fronds of agrimony, secure them with two new pins, and place them under their pillows.

The folk name ‘Church Steeples’ comes from the tall spikes of yellow flowers that agrimony produce.


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