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Agrimony

Agrimony

Botanical Description/Habitat

Agrimonia eupatorium

Family
Rosaceae

Common Names

Burr marigold
Cocklebur
Liverwort
Sticklewort

Habitat
Europe, Asia minor, Iran, and North Africa; woods, fields, along fences, in waste places.

Description
A perennial plant; its red rootstock produces a hairy stem from 1-5 feet high. Its long, divided leaves are also hairy and often sticky. Small yellow star-shaped flowers appear at the tops of the stems during July and August. The flower tubes have hooked bristles, which attach to whatever brushes against them.

Medicinal Parts
Aerial parts - dried, gathered during or shortly before flowering

Historical Properties & Uses

Possibly derives from Greek "agremone" which referred to the ability of a plant to heal cataracts.

Due to its high tannic acid content and its volatile oil, agrimony has been used primarily as an astringent and vulnerary. It is one of the few stringents often used for kidney, liver, gallbladder, and spleen problems, and as a gargle and mouthwash to treat inflammations.

Agrimony has hypotensive, hypoglycemic, analgesic, and antispasmodic properties, and is known to contain steroids. These principles could account for agrimony's utility in fighting infections of various glands, organs, and the gastrointestinal tract. Externally, it can be applied to sores, wounds, and aching muscles.

Method of Action

Agrimony Triggers Hypotensive Activity
Use of agrimony has resulted in a high degree of hypotensive activity in experimental animals.

Agrimony Has Antispasmodic, Hypotensive And Analgesic Properties
Agrimony has demonstrated antispasmodic action in tests utilizing several spasmodic agents, including acetylcholine, histamine, and barium chloride.

In clinical settings, the herb has shown antispasmodic activity against allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, and itchy dermatitis. Good analgesic effect has been shown in cases of neuralgia and neuritis.

These effects are thought to be due to the presence of steroids and terpenoids. A hypo-glycemic effect has also been found.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

Possible Interactions
Topical application of the astringent herb agrimony, in conjunction with the acne product Tretinoin (retinoic acid, vitamin A acid), may adversely affect the skin.

Agrimony extracts are used in prepared European cholagogues and stomach or bowel remedies e.g. Neo-Gallonorm.

It is also a component of the British Potter's Piletabs.

Ref: The Lawrence Review of Natural Products. August, 1995.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

Agrimony has no known toxicity, but due to the presence of tannin, it should be used in moderation.

It has been reported to produce photodermatitis in man. (Duke, 1985)

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Preparation & Administration

Three times a day

Dried herb
2-4 grams

Tea
1 tsp of dried herb

Fluid extract
1:1 in 25% alcohol, 1-3 ml

Tincture
1:5 in 45% alcohol, 2-4 ml

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E. The average daily dosage is 3 g.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.

References

Am Hospital Formulary Service. Am Soc of Hosp Pharm. Wash, D.C.

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Bressler, R., M.D. Bogdonoff & G.J. Subak-Sharpe. 1981. The Physicians Drug Manual. Doubleday & Co, Inc. Garden City, NY. 1213 pp.

Committee on Pharmocopaeia of the American Institute of Homeopathy, The Homeopathic Pharmacopaeia of the United States. 8th ed., Vol 1. Otis Clapp and Son, Agents, Boston, l981.

Duke, J: Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. CRC, Boca Raton. 1985.

Ferrarini, A. Med. Int., 50, 121, 1942.

Gizycki, Von Fr., Pharmazie, 4, 463, 1949.

Goodman, L.S. & A. Gilman. 1975. Pharm Basis of Thera. Macmillan, NY.

Hansten, P.D. 1979. Drug Interactions, 4th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phila.

Hyde, F.F. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Assoc: West Yorks, England, 1983

Kastrup, E.K., ed. 1981. Drug Facts and Comparisons, 1982 edition. Facts and Comparisions Division, J.P. Lippincott Co, Phila(St. Louis).

The Lawrence Review of Natural Products. August, 1995.

List, P. & L. Hoerhammer. 1969-1976. Hagers Hanbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, vols. 2-5. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Martin. 1978. Drug Interactions Index, 1978/79. Lippincott Co, Phila.

Mowrey, Daniel B., Ph.D. Exper. Psych., Brigham Young University. Director of Nebo Institute of Herbal Sciences. Director of Behavior Change Agent Training Institute. Director of Research, Nova Corp.

Perkov, V. Plants with hypotensive, antiatheramatous and coronarodilating action. American Journal Of Chinese Medicine, 7(3), 197-236, 1979.

Scientific Committee, British Herbal Pharmocopaeia, British Herbal Med Assoc, Lane House, Cowling, Na Keighley, West Yorks, Bd Bd220lx, l983


 


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