The History, Use and Cultivation of Agrimony
Agrimony is a perennial herb that been used in many ways for many years. The stem of this herb is round, rough, dark green, and covered with hairs. The flowers are yellow and only about a half an inch across. This herb has five petals on its flowers, they are egg shaped, and they grow along a spike in an up and down manner. The leaves of the agrimony plant are quite big. These leaves are soft and usually vary in size from 8 inches to 4 inches. These plants grow to about 5 feet in height and the flower from the middle to the end of the summer. This plant is originally native to Europe, but it is “now common in the United States and in parts of Asia” (Kowalchik, 1987, p.3).
Agrimony has been used for many purposes, and it had medicinal qualities that should be noted, but in the past it has been used in ways that may seem absurd. Agrimony was used in an old remedy for “internal hemorrhages” where they would combine the herb with “pounded frogs and a little human blood” (Kowalchik, 1987, p.3). This method seems strange, and I am unaware of its actual healing ability. In ancient Greece this herb was used for eye problems, and up until the late 1800’s agrimony was used to treat fever, rheumatism, digestive problems, coughs, and soar throats. (Kowalchik, 1987)It was also rumored to help with sleeping problems, but it seems that agrimony does not have any sedative properties.
This herb is taken commonly as a tea. Agrimony has “astringent properties” which are known to help internal bleeding, sore throats, and skin problems (Kowalchik, 1987,p 4). It can be gargled with or made into a poultice for external skin problems. It is helpful for those who have the flu or a cold, and it is a good additive to lotions for the skin. This plant is safe and very useful.
Agrimony can be started form seed, and it is a plant that will reseed itself once it has become strong. It likes light shade, and dry soil. It is not a very showy plant, but it does make a nice addition to a fence or a rock garden. Its high growing spikes give dimension to many gardens, and its medicinal properties make it relevant to grow. Agrimony can also be used to make a bright yellow dye. Its leaves and stems are best for dying if harvested in the fall.
This plant has lovely flowers and medicinal properties, and it deserves a place in your garden.
Kowalchik, C. (Ed.). (1987). Rodale’s encyclopedia of herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.
Originally published at https://sarahganly.blogspot.com.