Also known as Liverwort, Cockleburr, Sticklewort and Church Steeples, this yellow-flowered herb is native to lowland areas across much of Europe and North Africa, where it has a long history of medicinal use. The Egyptians used it in foot baths to ease tired feet, the ancient Greeks used it to treat ailments of the eyes as well as to cure diarrhoea and disorders of the gallbladder, liver, and kidneys. Modern science has isolated active ingredients, such as thiamin, quercitrin, and catechins, which can be directly linked to liver and gallbladder health. Since Anglo Saxon times it has been used it to treat wounds and erectile disfunction. More recently it has been investigated for its potential to help manage diabetes.
The actions of this herb are said to be detoxifying, astringent, coagulating, and anti-inflammatory, and in modern herbalism it is used to settle digestive and respiratory issues arising from inflammation, for skin eruptions, to aid bladder control, and to improve nail and hair strength, due to the presence of Silicic acid contained in the plant.
It is usually prepared as a tea, made from the fresh or dried leaves, flowers and stems, which makes a refreshing drink either alone or mixed with black tea.
The leaves and root are said to yield a yellow dye.
Found naturally on field and hedgerow edges, agrimony can be grown in most average soil types, preferably alkaline, in sun or part shade. Perennial. Height 60cm.
9cm pot. Certified organic plant.
Photos: Kahikatea Farm