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AGRIMONY


Scientific Classification:
Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Family Rosaceae
Genus Agrimonia
Species eupatoria
Binomial name Agrimonia eupatoria
Tribe Sanguisorbeae
Subtribe Agrimoniinae


Common Names:
Agrimonia eupatoria has other common names like agrimony, liverwort, cockleburr, sticklewort.

History
AGRIMONY-FLOWERSAGRIMONYAGRIMONY FLOWERING SEASONAGRIMONY-PARTS
The name agrimonia may have its origin in the Greek word "agremone," which refers to plants that supposedly healed cataracts of the eye. The species name Eupatoria refers to Mithridates Eupator, (132-63 BC), king of Pontus, who is remembered by early herbalists for fashioning a 'universal antidote' to protect him from all earthly poisons. The Doctrine of Signatures, developed in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, has listed agrimony as one of the 23 substances with medicinal uses, bearing witness to the extent of its influence at the time. This most famous of the medieval wound herbs, agrimony retains its importance today as a healing herb with a wide range of uses.

Description
Agrimony (Agrimonia) is a genus of 12-15 species of perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the family Rosaceae, native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with one species also in Africa. The species grow to between 0.5-2 m tall, with interrupted pinnate leaves, and yellow flowers borne on a single (usually unbranched) spike. This has long leaves, dented about the edges, green above and grayish underneath, and a little hairy; a strong, round, hairy brown stalk, two or three feet (60 to 90 cm) high, and small yellow flowers one above another in long spikes.

Found in
It is distributed widely in the United States, Southern Canada and Northern Hemisphere - abundant throughout England and more localized in Scotland.

Habitat
The most preferred habitat for agrimony is full sun, average soil and dry weather. It mainly grows on hedge banks, sides of fields, dry thickets and all waste lands. Agrimony tolerates dry spells well.

Cultivation
Agrimony should be harvested shortly before or during summer flowering. This perennial herb is usually grown from seeds. Sow in late winter, as germination takes place under cold conditions. Agrimony grows best in well-drained soil and full sun. Cut the flowers when the plant starts to bloom. Cut the leaves as required and hang to dry. This herb prefers light well-drained soil, and is easily propagated in early spring by seed or division of older plants. It is susceptible to powdery mildew however. Tilling is effective, deep roots make hand cultivation difficult.

Flowering Season
Midsummer, the seed being ripe shortly after.

Parts Used
The whole herb is generally used for its medicinal value. The dried foliage is the main part of the plant used in medicine.

Medicinal Application
It is mainly used as a gastro-intestinal tonic. It cures coughs, skin eruptions and cystitis. Agrimony is perhaps best known as a wound herb used on medieval battlefields to staunch bleeding. Agrimony is most used in modern herbal practice as a mild astringent and a tonic, the tannins it contains tone the mucus membranes making it is useful for alleviating the symptoms of coughs, bronchitis and asthma. The herbal tea can be used as a skin wash, it is thought to improve minor injuries and chronic skin conditions. Agrimony's astringency is effective against diarrhea, especially in small children, and because of its low toxicity, the herb is particularly suitable for children's illnesses. Agrimony stops irritation of the urinary tract that may increase a child's urge to urinate and, therefore, may be useful in the treatment of bladder leakage (cannot hold urine), bed-wetting and adult incontinence. The tannin content is responsible for many of its medicinal uses. The dried leaves can be used to make tea for drinking or as a throat gargle. Preliminary studies suggest that agrimony may be useful against certain bacterial and viral infections, for tumor growth inhibition, diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure).

General Application
Agrimonia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grizzled Skipper (recorded on A. eupatoria) and Large Grizzled Skipper.

Folklores and Myths
One of the few magic herbs believed to reverse a jinx, curse, or hex after it has been put on you. It is used in protection spells, to banish negative energies and spirits and to reverse spells and send them back to the sender. It is also used to put under the pillow of a sleeping person to cause a deep sleep until the Agrimony is removed.