Common agrimony, church steeples, cockeburr, sticklewort
Belonging to the rose order of plants, agrimony is one of the prettiest small British herbs.
The dried herb.
Agrimony was once much sought after as a substitute or addition to tea, adding a peculiar delicacy and aroma to its flavour. The dried leaf tea can be brewed into what is called 'a spring drink,' or 'diet drink,' a compound made by the infusion of several herbs and drunk in spring time as a purifier of the blood. In France, where herbal teas or tisanes are more employed than here, it is stated that agrimony tea, for its fragrancy, as well as for its virtues, is often drunk as a beverage at the table.
Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.
Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.
The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.
Agrimony has an old reputation as a popular, domestic medicinal herb, being a simple well known to all country-folk. Considered a very useful agent in skin eruptions and diseases of the blood, pimples, blotches, etc. A strong decoction of the root and leaves, has been taken successfully to cure scrofulous sores, being administered two or three times a day, in doses of a wine glassful, persistently for several months. The same decoction is also often employed in rural districts as an application to ulcers.
Key actions: Astringent tonic, diuretic.
In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat indigestion, appendicitis and diarrhoea in children.
If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.
Infusion: 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb to a pint of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 or 4 times a day (or use as a gargle) unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Tincture: Take 1 to 4 ml (1:5 in 45% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Dried Herb: Maximum of 3 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.
The whole plant consistently yields a good yellow dye. If picked in September, the colour is pale yellow. If picked later in the year, the colour is a deeper yellow.
The plant is deep green, covered with soft hairs, and has a slightly aromatic scent; even the small root is sweet scented, especially in spring. The spikes of flowers emit a most refreshing and spicy odour like that of apricots. The leaves when dry retain most of their fragrant odour, as well as the flowers.
Sheep and goats will eat agrimony, but cattle, horses and pigs leave it untouched.
This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Rosaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.
None known. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.
Interactions with drugs
Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.
Found widespread throughout England, on hedge-banks, the sides of fields, dry thickets and waste sites. In Scotland it does not penetrate far north but it is easily cultivated.
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