Ancient and Traditional Uses of Agrimony
It is difficult to imagine the world without the influence of ancient Greeks. They had major contributions to Modern Politics, Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Arts, and Literature, which are still relevant even in a post-digital society such as ours. Like the ancient Egyptians, they practice a kind of Medicine that was considered sophisticated and advanced during those times. In fact, Hippocrates of Cos, the Father of Medicine was from ancient Greece. This brilliant physician was the author of the Hippocratic Oath, an ethical code for physicians which is still being held sacred by doctors to this day. In a world where people believed in superstition, he based his medical practice on reason, logic, observation, and on the study of the human body.
Having an advanced knowledge in Science, it is no wonder that the ancient Greeks were able to identify plants that could help them with their ailments. One of these is Agrimonia, also known as Agrimony, which they used to treat different ailments of the eye.
They brew its leaves and seeds to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel movement, kidney problems, liver ailments, and gallbladder diseases. The Agrimony herb was also being used in ancient Rome, a superpower that came after Greece. The ancient Romans had been influenced a lot by their predecessors so there was a possibility that the latter developed love for this medicinal plant because of the Greeks. Nobody would know for sure, but like their Greek counterparts, they used it to improve their kidney and liver health. Even Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist and philosopher wrote about it, calling Agrimony “an herb of princely authorite”.
The popularity of the Agrimony plant did not only stay in the ancient world. The Anglo-Saxons and soldiers during the medieval times used it to treat their wounds. The herb was also believed to be effective in treating back ailments, hemorrhages, and gout, as Nicholas Culpeper recommended it to treat the said disease with it during the 17th century. Today, Agrimonia has continued to amaze thousands of people, since its medicinal value has survived the test of time.
Characteristics of the Agrimony Plant
Agrimony is related to the common rose plant since it belongs to the same family called the Rosaceae. Common Agrimony (Agrimonia Eupatoria) which grows up to 100 centimeters is a perennial herbaceous plant that is native to North Africa and Europe. Its short-stemmed flowers appear during the months of June to September in long spike-like inflorescences. It is known for its hermaphrodite flower which has a fivefold radial symmetry, five sepals, and five yellow rounded petals. The petals and the stamens can be seen rising above the tip of the flower cup. Because of their abundant pollen, they attract honeybees, flies, and hoverflies. When these are pollenated, they develop fruits with burs.
Modern Medicinal Value
- It may improve skin health
Agrimony has astringent properties that can cleanse the skin, tighten it, shrink the appearance of pores, reduce inflammation, and provide anti – bacterial benefits. It can treat irritation and blood eruptions that happen beneath the skin. It may also benefit people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, and other skin problems.
- Known to help women with menstrual issues
Heavy bleeding is one of the challenges that women face during menstruation. Agrimony can help relieve menstrual discomforts by reducing heavy bleeding and inflammation. This medicinal plant can also help heal wounds, which is why medieval soldiers used them to treat their injuries.
- It can help promote hair and nail strength
Agrimony is a source of silicic acid which can boost the strength, appearance, and health of the hair and nails. It can help promote hair growth and minimize hair fall.
- It can help treat digestive issues
It has been mentioned that Agrimony can help treat inflammation. For this reason, people have been using it for centuries to improve their digestive health as it treats diarrhea, relieves bowel syndrome symptoms, reduces irritation, and reduces swelling in the membranes and tissues of the gut.
- It can help improve respiratory issues
Agrimony can help treat respiratory issues that may involve inflammation such as chronic cough, bronchitis, sore throats, and other similar issues. It can also give relief to those who catch a cold or flu as it speeds up the healing process and strengthen the immune system.
- It may detoxify the body
Modern Science can support the ancient practice of using Agrimony to treat kidney and liver ailments since the said plant is a good source of thiamin, quercitrin, and catechins which can help maintain liver and gallbladder health. These components help the body remove toxins that build up and promote metabolism by enhancing the function of the said organs
- It may help patients suffering from diabetes
Diabetes is currently affecting millions of Australians today. Whilst it is always best to consult doctors when it comes to dealing with this disease, regular consumption of Agrimony tea may help diabetic patients since the said health drink has active components that help regulate the glucose and insulin uptake processes in the body better than many other natural diabetic treatments.