(Agrimonia striata or eupatoria)
Common name: Steeples
Description: Agrimony is a medium-sized perennial, one to two ft. tall, with serrated leaves and small, bright yellow flowers growing in a spike . European agrimony is found on dry, grassy hills and in woods. In North America, we find it along the banks of waterways but not actually in the water.
One striking botanical detail which will help you to quickly recognize Agrimony is its growth pattern at the axils (where smaller side stems branch off of the main stems). The small leaves at these axils have a "clasping" habit, which means they completely encircle the stem. Combined with the "strawberry-like" leaves, and the bright yellow slender terminal spike, it is difficult to confuse it with other species.
Harvest in mid to late Summer (June - August).
Part collected: aerial parts
A close up of the beautiful yellow flowers on the terminal spike.
Medicinal actions: Astringent diuretic, antifungal, bitter tonic, hepatic, cholegauge., and cooling.
Agrimony is a valued herb for healing the mucous membranes, and as an astringent to stop bleeding both externally and in the urine. Since it is cooling, Agrimony can be used for "hot" conditions such as diarrhea, urinary infections, and bronchitis.
An infusion of the aerial part of the plant may be drunk for
excess acidic urine, and by itself or in combination with other herbs
for urethral or bladder infections. Agrimony is astringent, and so it tends to compact tissues in and around the urinary tract, promoting healing of inflammed tissues. Agrimony helps to clear phlegm, mucous, and toxins and promotes more rapid healing of all the mucous membranes.
This useful herb stimulates the production of bile in cases of poor
digestive functions, due to its bitter taste, which promotes a stimulus reflex between the tongue, brain, and digestive organs (saliva glands, stomach, and gall bladder.) It gently detoxifies
the liver which makes it a perfect choice as an herbal "Spring
cleansing" tonic. It combines well with Dandelion root and Milk Thistle Seed standardized extract for clearing the liver.
As a gargle, it can help relieve sore throats, and may even be
used as an eye wash if it is made as a weak infusion (using an
isotonic solution as a base), since it is a member of the rose family which have traditionally been used as herbal eyewashes.
Externally, agrimony has been used to stop bleeding (for example from a nasty gash or scraped and abraded skin). It has historically been prescribed for atheletes foot and skin tineas generally. For these purposes, it is best to make a strong infusion, letting the tea steep for half an hour (if possible), or else pour off a little tea right away to begin stopping bleeding and cleansing the injury. Leave the remainder of the tea to steep a half hour. One can strain the liquid away from the herb, and begin applying fomentations of this tea as often as needed.
A foot soak of the strong tea in a small tub (large enough for both feet) may help kill the fungus which is responsible for atheletes foot. It is suggested to soak the feet in as warm a tub as can be tolerated, keeping the feet in the tea until it is cool. This can be repeated twice daily (while reading, or relaxing). It is advised to not wash off the tea (medicine) after the soak, but merely to pat dry the feet, making sure to dry particularly well between the toes. Wearing shoes or sandals which allow the feet some air circulation (and after ridding the feet of fungus, throwing away the old "infested" shoes...) may be highly beneficial to prevent re-infection by fungus. Also, we invite folks to look at any habits they may have which impair circulation to the legs & feet, (such as smoking and drinking coffee), and suggest trying to eliminate these. Circulation is life itself, and everything which can be done to improve circulation to an area of recurrent infection, will help that tissue to resist fungus more effectively.(besides... we all know that coffee and cigarettes are not any good for creating healthy humans).
Contraindications: This herb is contraindicated in cases of blockage of the bile duct by gall stones, since it increases the contractile force of the muscle actions of the gall bladder and bile ducts, possibly causing sharp pain.
As a standard infusion, approximately 1/2 cup of the tea can be consumed three times per day, or, the extract (tincture) can be made at a strength of 1:5, using 50% alcohol & 50% purifed water. This may be taken orally three times each day in a cup of water.
If you would like to see which forms of this herb we can supply and for pricing, check our master herb table
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