Like a fairy wand beset with golden stars, Agrimony shoots up from ditches and embankments and greets the weary passer-by - yet it rarely receives the appreciation it deserves. Agrimony is one of the most benevolent 'heal-all' plants that grow quite freely in almost any soil. In ancient Greece 'Agremone' was the generic term used to describe herbs that could be applied to problems of the eyes - and that is how Agrimony derived its common name, while 'eupatoria' makes reference to the king of Pontus, Mithridates Eupator, who apparently was known as a gifted herbalist who made ample use of Agrimony.
The ancients ascribed this herb to Jupiter in the zodiac sign of Cancer, probably due to its healing effects on the digestive system. The bitter principles of Agrimony are well suited for treating indigestion and mild diarrhoea, but they are even more useful for afflictions of the liver and gallbladder. It is considered an excellent blood cleanser that tones the entire digestive system and aids the assimilation of food. In the old days it was often used as a spring tonic and blood cleanser, effective in clearing skin of eruptions caused by liver congestion and sluggish digestion. Agrimony is also most useful for flushing out kidney gravel and uric acid deposits in conditions such arthritis and gout. It is anti-inflammatory and styptic and can be used to stop internal bleeding or to dress external wounds, a use that goes back to Anglo Saxon times and continued in France, where it served as one of the ingredients of 'arquebusade water', a special concoction applied to wounds that were incurred by a type of firearm known as 'arquebus'. Native Americans successfully used it to treat fevers, while Europeans employed it in herbal teas for colds and coughs, especially if accompanied by sore throat and hoarseness.
It is essential to refrain from using metal tools when gathering or preparing Agrimony for magical purposes. If collected on St. John's day (or solstice) it may be used as an amulet to attract a lover. In the Middle Ages it was also believed to be effective for curing snake bites and that, if placed under the head, it was thought to induce a deep and heavy sleep. In Germany, Agrimony was highly revered for its protective properties and is often mentioned as an ingredient of the sacred 'nine herb bundle', which was used as a panacea for practically all kinds of physical or metaphysical afflictions.
Common Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Sticklewort, Philanthropos.
Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, or taking any medication. If in doubt, please ask a medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner.