Scientific name: Agrimonia eupatoria, A. parviflora, A. striata
Common names: Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cocklebur, Sticklewort, Philanthropos, Odermenning
Ayurvedic names: n/k
Chinese names: Xian he cao
Bangladesh names: n/k
Arabic names: الغافث (al ghaafit)
Rain Forest names: n/k
Approximate number of species known: 15
Common parts used: Leaf, flowers
Collection: When the flowers are blooming the whole plant is collected
Height: Up to 2 metres
Actions: Bitter, astringent, tonic, vulnerary, hepatic, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, deobstruant, diuretic
Known Constituents: Flavonoids, tannin, vitamins B, C & K, volatile oil, silicic acid, iron
Constituents Explained: n/k
Agrimony is widespread in Europe, the United States and Canada. Grows naturally in fields and forests, but is easily cultivated.
Main plant has long, dark and woody roots.
Stem is green or reddish with long erect hairs, growing thirty to sixty centimetres high.
Leaves are plentiful, generally green on the upside and grey underneath. The length of those which are closer to the ground and upper ones differ. Lower leaves are seventeen to twenty centimetres long, and the upper ones seven to eight.
All the leaves are pinnate.
Upper leaves have fewer leaflets than the lower ones, and are less lobed. When crushed, they give out a slight lemony fragrance.
Flowers are yellow and plentiful, usually grouped into slender spikes. Every flower is placed along the spike without a stalk. It has five oval-shaped petals and five to twelve stamens. After the flower is dry, the calyx is bent downwards, becomes hard and somewhat woody, and the top of it is covered with numerous short hairs.
Used by the Native Americans, and the Ancient Greeks to treat eye problems, for tightening mucous membranes in the body, as a bitter to stimulate digestion and liver function.
Its pleasant aroma has led to it being used as an addition to tea, tonics and other unusual beverages. In some countries it is used as a component for a so called “spring drink” to purify the blood.
Gargling with agrimony is known to aid sore throats. As an ointment it helps cure different skin problems, sores and pimples, wounds and bruises.
Also used as a treatment for anaemia, or enlargement of the heart. Its astringent qualities see it deployed for stomach complaints, appendicitis, fevers, diarrhoea and seasonal colds.
It has been recommended, however, to avoid the use of agrimony in cases of constipation, kidney or liver damage.
Agrimonia eupatoria L. (agrimony) is a medicinal plant largely used in traditional medicine. Recently, phytochemical studies on an agrimony hydro-alcoholic extract and a polyphenol-enriched fraction obtained from it were carried out. The fraction was found to possess a high concentration of flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones and phenolic acids. So, the main purpose of the study was to search out, the extract and fraction antioxidant potential and scavenging activity against the reactive species formed during inflammation and to establish a relationship between such activity and the phenolic composition.
Results showed that both the extract and the fraction promptly reacted with DPPH denoting a general radical scavenger activity and a potential antioxidant capacity. They also reacted with superoxide anion, peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals as well as with the oxidant species, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid and peroxynitrite, strengthening their radical scavenger and antioxidant activities.
In most assays, the polyphenol-enriched fraction was more efficient, pointing to a significant contribution of the polyphenols content to those activities. The data suggest that the significant scavenging capacity of reactive species by polyphenols from Agrimonia eupatoria L., could be a mechanism of its anti-inflammatory activity.
Correia HS, Batista MT, Dinis TC. “The Activity of an Extract and Fraction of Agrimonia Eupatoria L. Against Reactive Species.” 2007. PubMed.gov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17673826.