Friday, January 09, 2015

Herb of the Week: Agrimony

During my time as a Homestead Herbalism student my favorite experience was watching my classmates fall in love with herbs. While I have experienced it, (Heaven knows how many times now) watching someone see a specific plant in a whole new light just motivated me to learn more.

One story that sticks in my mind is that of my classmate, Rachel. Rachel has a passion for the earth that was apparent during our first day of class. Her commitment to sustainable landscape and farming practices was always fascinating to me and watching her knowledge of herbs grow was utterly inspiring.

So when she decided to focus on agrimony as her final project I was sure I was going to learn more about this plant than I ever expected.

Agrimony is native to the U.K. and is part of the rose family. It has bright yellow flowers that along with other aerial parts can be used teas, tinctures, and elixirs.

In France agrimony is commonly used to bring a delicate and citrusy taste to teas. It was known as a “spring drink” or “diet drink” and was used as a blood purifier after a long winter. Rachel stated in her final project that agrimony was often used in l’eau de arquebusade which is an herbal tonic containing many different herb essences. Used to wash wounds and help skin issues, l’eau de arquebusade is still used by those with acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Bach believes that the flower essence of agrimony can help those who deal with emotions associated with pain, sickness, and suffering by hiding it under a mask of humor and positive reinforcements. While being able to laugh in times of frustration or stress can be beneficial, using laughter to push away your issues and those around you can be detrimental in the long run. Bach believes that, “ Agrimony helps us come to terms with the darker side of our lives and personalities, so that we can become more rounded human beings.”

Agrimony and my classmate’s adoration for the plant truly encompass what makes the study of herbs so great. All plants have a way of helping humans, even if we don’t realize we need it. Agrimony has a long list of benefits varying from skin relief to mood stabilizers. If one plant can offer so much to humanity, imagine what the rest of the herb world has to offer?


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