Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria):
Agrimony, the remedy for people who hide their torment behind a cheerful face, is made by the sun method.
Common agrimony is also known as church steeples referring to the tall spikes of yellow flowers. Herbalist John Gerard stated it was useful for those with ‘naughty livers’, giving rise to the common name liverwort. Another common name, philanthropos, may also refer to its beneficial properties or, alternatively, to the behaviour of the seeds which cling to the clothes of passers-by as if wanting to accompany then. This property leads to other common names including sticklewort.
Traditional uses include to staunch bleeding, a decoction to treat gout and jaundice and as a purgative and tonic. Agrimony was one component of arquebusade (or arquebuse) water, used since the 15th century, formerly to treat wounds from hand-guns and today to treat skin complaints.
The name agrimony may come from the Greek argemone which was sometimes used for plants which were healing to the eyes and agrimony is still used today in an eye bath to revive tired eyes.
The aerial parts of the plant are used in modern-day herbal medicine to treat childhood diarrhoea, appendicitis, mucous colitis, urinary infections, sore throats and wounds. The whole plant produces a yellow dye, darker later in the season.
One of the plant’s chemical constituents, agrimophol, can be used to expel parasitic worms by causing them to lose grip on the lining of the colon or bladder and can be treat taeniasis and schistosomiasis. It also acts against the organism which causes river blindness, many common bacteria such as E.coli and Staphylococcus and those related to dysentery and typhoid fever.