Agrimony is a common, long, woody perennial, deep green and covered with soft hairs. The tridents of delicate, yellow flowering stems are slightly spicy and refreshing and bloom amongst hedgerows, fields and thickets from June to early September. Also known as ‘Church Steeples, ‘Cockeburr’ and ‘Stickwort’, Agrimony has a long reputation as a domestic medicinal herb, however it is the Bach Flower Remedy use that I have chosen it for this week.
How to Grow; To be grown in full sun, Agrimony is happy in average soil, it is slow to germinate but will grow up to 3 feet tall so is ideal at the back of a bed. Agrimony should be harvested shortly before or during summer flowering.
Medicinal/Usage; 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 useful for alleviating the symptoms of coughs and sore throats. Agrimony is also a valuable tonic for the digestive system and a useful remedy for healing peptic ulcers. 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 bed-wetting and adult incontinence. Agrimony is perhaps best known as a wound herb used on medieval battlefields to staunch bleeding. This same property helps to staunch heavy menstrual bleeding as well. The herbal tea can be used as a skin wash; it is thought to improve minor injuries and chronic skin conditions.
Preparation Methods & Dosage: Standard brew using 1 teaspoon of dried herb (leave stems and flowers) to each cup hot water. The longer you let it steep, the more tannins are extracted. Make a stronger decoction for external use in baths and skin washes Drink 2 to 3 cups per day. Used in ointment form for skin rashes, and as a gargle for sore throat.
Ritual Use; Used in pillows to ensure a good night’s sleep, Agrimony ‘quiets a restless soul’. It can also be hung in bunches around the home for protection from negative energies and can be used in rituals for the same purpose. It is a truly useful herb to have growing in your garden.
Bach Flower Remedy; At the moment I seem to be encountering negative situations created by people who could have used some Agrimony in their lives. Dr Bach describes the Agrimony traits as below;
“The jovial, cheerful, humorous people who love peace and are distressed by argument or quarrel, to avoid which they will agree to give up much. Though generally they have troubles and are tormented and restless and worried in mind or in body, they hide their cares behind their humour and jesting and are considered very good friends to know. They often take alcohol or drugs in excess, to stimulate themselves and help themselves bear their trials with cheerfulness”
Another great description is this (from the Bach Centre);
Agrimony is the remedy for people who keep their troubles hidden under a mask of happiness. The sad clown masking inner hurt by being the life and soul of the party is an Agrimony archetype. Friends are often the last to know that anything is wrong in the Agrimony person’s life. Sometimes Agrimony people turn to drink or drugs to help them stay ‘happy’. They tend not to like being alone: the mask slips when there is no company. They seek out friends, parties and bright lights. Only at night when they are alone with their thoughts will the mental torture they have repressed come back to haunt them. Agrimony helps us come to terms with the darker side of our lives and personalities, so that we can become more rounded human beings. We won’t lose our sense of humour or our ability to get through the day, but will find that laughing at our troubles dispels them rather than hides them. As a mood remedy, Agrimony helps anyone who is trying not to face a trouble and using jokes and false smiles to avoid a painful reality.
What happens if we do not bring our problems into the light, and try to work through them with our friends and families? What happens if everyone around you thinks everything is ok because of false smiles and duplicitous happiness? For those of you familiar with Tarot, this will often result in ‘The Tower’ as to move forward we have to face our problems or risk the build up of emotions that eventually escape creating catastrophic situations that impact everyone around us. Have faith in the people you love, you may just be surprised what they are prepared to do for you.