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I learnt when I was little about some of the herbs and plants native to the UK from my mum, who would point the plants out whilst we were on walks and tell me some of the things that each one was good for. A lot of the benefits of different plants I forgot, but one I remembered was Sticklewort, or Agrimony.
It's usually about half a metre high with bright yellow flowers branching off from a single central stem, and once you've seen one you'll find it easy to recognise other Agrimony plants.
Agrimony is not commonly used, but can sometimes be found in herbal health shops and there is a Bach Flower Remedy which contains Agrimony, and according to Dr Bach is for "...jovial, cheerful, humorous people who love peace and are distressed by argument or quarrel, to avoid which they will agree to give up much..." and who "hide their cares behind their humor and jesting".
Agrimony has been used for hundreds of years if not longer, as it has some very helpful properties when it comes to health. It's said to be good for digestive problems, which is what I remember it being good for, and I have used this plant to make herbal teas (just steep it in hot water for 5-10 minutes then drain) before when I've had a griping stomach.
It is also good for the skin and when the Agrimony tea I make is cold, you can dab it onto spots. I've found that this isn't as effective as say, witch hazel, but if I ever run out of that and have a monster spot, an Agrimony infusion does seem to calm the area a little and decrease redness.
The beauty of Agrimony is that once you know what you're looking for, this is a completely free product; there are masses of Agrimony plants in the countryside and along hedgerows and you only need a bit of a plant to make use of it's properties.
This plant is commonly known as sticklewort and can be found growing in hedgerows, around the edges of fields and in ditches, it is mostly common in Scotland but is also widespread in England. You have probably seen it when you have been on walks in the country.
It is a large plant growing two feet high on one long stem and has striking yellow flowers, it is a wisp sort of a plant not a chunky upright growing one and the stems grow in bunches together and is a hardy perennial. This means it will keep growing and spreading, getting larger each year.
The Agrimony has lots of medical properties and although its not commonly used it is found in herbal remedies and some essential oils that can be bought in the shops .
It also can be found in some skin products as it is good for spots. It is also used in Chinese medicine to stop bleeding or period troubles or the runs.
Bach also use it in their flower remedies and it is for people who hide their problems and keep them to themselves.
It can be used as a herbal tea for cleansing the liver or blood disorders but like all herbal medicines it's always good to check with your doctor before taking it, as it could react with any medicine you are prescribed or buy from the chemist and it's not to be taken by pregnant women or children.
A tincture of agrimony is however safe to use externally on the skin to clear up spots or acne and can be used by teenagers or adults to help these problems. To make a tincture pick a small amount of agrimony chop it up very small, put it in a small amount of alcohol and leave it in a bottle for a few weeks, so that the juices of the plant seep into the alcohol. It can then be dabbed onto the skin or watered down in the bath by adding a few drops to the bath water before you get in. This will help to cleanse the skin of any pimples, spots or rough skin.
All in all it's a good little herb, finding it isn't hard as it grows freely in the fields and can be found on walks, but check you are picking the right herb before using as some plants do look similar. I have been using herbal medicines for years so know what I am looking for and I would recommend you take someone with you who knows about plants and herbs if you want to pick and dry your own plants for herbal remedies so that you can learn what is what , as some pictures in books look similar.
Not all herbs are for children so its always good to get advise from others either professional or from someone who has used herbal remedies themselves for a long time, this way you can't mistake one plant for another, but agrimony is well worth findintg out about especially as it grows freely and lots of skin products are expensive.
Have fun xx
What is Agrimony? ----------------- Agrimony (Agrimonia Cupatoria) is a common wild plant with slender spikes of bright yellow flowers. This plant is classified as a herb, the whole of which can be used as a herbal remedy. Ailments it can treat ------------------- The word “Agrimony comes from the Greek word describing plants which healed the eyes, therefore, it is not surprising that it makes a good eyewash for sore and inflamed eyes – add one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and let it cool – once cold, use as you would a commercial eye wash – it is very refreshing and calms irritation due to tired, dry eyes. It is also good for the treatment of gout when used outwardly in an oil or ointment, or inwardly, in a syrup of juice. It has excellent astringent properties, and therefore, is good for use as a tonic and for toning and strengthen the digestive system and liver. It is also known as a “wound herb” and should be used in a lotion form for cleansing wounds. Agrimony can be used as a tea or tincture for the treatment of indigestion, heartburn, diarrhoea and that “morning after” feeling. It is also good for treating people who suffer from food allergies on a long-term basis. Used in conjunction with St John’s wart and horsetail, it is good for bedwetters and for the treatment of chronic cystitis. I find the best way to benefit from Agrimony’s healing properties is in the form of a tea. To make a tea, which is an excellent digestive tonic for the “morning after”, combine equal parts of Agrimony, raspberry leaf, and lemon balm in a sealed container, and store it away from light. When making the tea, use one-teaspoon of the mixture to one cup of boiling water, and drink freely – it is good for colicky pains with looseness and nervous diarrhoea. As with most herbal teas, I like mine sweet, so I usually add
a spoonful of honey – this is my personal preference. Where Can I Get It ------------------ Agrimony is best purchased dried from health food stores such as Holland & Barrett (www.hollandandbarrett.com).
Agrimonia cupatoria. A herbal remedy which treats many ailments including treatment of indigestion, heartburn, diarrhoea and that morning after feeling.