Agrimony Herb


Also known asAgrimonia eupatoria L. and/or Agrimonia procera, common agrimony, church steeples, cocklebur, philantopos, and sticklewort.

Agrimony is an herb in the rose family found near hedges and fences throughout England. Bearing yellow flowers with egg-shaped petals on spikes emanating from hairy stems, agrimony exudes a distinctive, pleasant scent that is usually compared to apricots but isn't as sweet. During Elizabethan period herbalists began to refer to the plant as philanthropos, perhaps because of its beneficent properties as a medicine or perhaps because its seeds stick to the clothing of passers by, giving them the "gift" of next year's plants.

Tannins and flavonoids. A volatile essential oil can be distilled from the stem.

Parts Used
Dried, above-ground parts of the plant, harvested shortly before or during summer flowering.

Typical Preparations
Herb powder in slurry or decoction, herbal tea, or essential oil.


Agrimony teas are a traditional diuretic, but they are also a traditional treatment for diarrhea. Sipped slowly, the tannins in agrimony tea cross-link proteins in the throat to form a barrier against infection and irritation.

The great herbalist Culpepper (1652) recommended agrimony to treat sores by bathing and fomenting them with a decoction of this plant, and added, "The decoction of the herb, made with wine and drunk, is good against the biting and stinging of serpents . . . it also helpeth the colic, cleanseth the breath and relieves the cough. A draught of the decoction taken warm before the fit first relieves and in time removes the tertian and quartian ague.' It 'draweth forth thorns, splinters of wood, or any such thing in the flesh."

Research published as recently as April 2005 tends to confirm Culpepper's use of agrimony to treat various environmental toxins. Agrimony extracts do seem to protect against viral infections in general and hepatitis B in particular, providing the tea is made with boiling, rather than merely hot, water. Agrimony prepared at any temperature may support liver function.

REBECCA COMMENTS:  Renowned contemporary herbalist Matthew Wood notes the use of agrimony to change the environment surrounding an individual, especially in relation to the workplace.  Agrimony, and he observes most potent in tincture/extract form, seems to have a life-direction-changing effect when it comes to being misfit, especially in one's vocation or workplace.  

There are no contraindications for use of up to 3 grams per day. Taking more than this amount for treating sore throat could aggravate constipation if it exists.

For educational purposes only.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse.