Avicenna (980-1037), a Persian physician and philosopher, wrote about the uses of hemp agrimony as a medicinal plant. This herb also was used by Arabic practitioners of herbal medicine in the early Middle Ages, primarily as an invigorating tonic and detoxifying agent.
The plant contains flavonoids, a benzofuran (Euparin), phenols, tannins, resin, and inulin. The essential oil extracted from hemp agrimony contains Thymol, Azulene, Cymene to name a few.
Cymene seems to have antiviral properties and the water-soluble polysaccharides found present in the herb are thought to stimulate the immune system in a positive way. This herb has been used as an herbal remedy for viral infections such as colds and flu. Additionally it has been used to treat fever.
The plant can be used as a diuretic, helping the kidneys work properly and stimulating the excretion of toxins through the kidneys.
Hemp agrimony may be used internally as an herbal tea to increase appetite, for indigestion, for increasing the bile flow and helping the liver to function properly as well as helping with gallbladder inflammation, and gallstones. The root of the plant can act as both laxative and diuretic. Ingested in large doses the herb can be strongly laxative but in small doses, it can, in combination with other herbs, be used for constipation.
Hemp agrimony is also used to treat rheumatic disorders such as rheumatism and arthritis, due to it's anti-inflammatory effects and diuretic effects, helping the body get rid of the toxins that cause rheumatic pain trough urine.
External uses of hemp agrimony, in the form of tincture, include treatments of minor skin infections, bleeding, bruising and wounds.
The leaves have been added to bread to prevent mold growth and vegetable juice made from the leaves has been rubbed into the fur of animals as an insect repelling agent.
The genus name Eupatorium can be traced back to the ancient Greek king Mithridates Eupator (120-63 BC), who apparently was the first to use species in this genus as a medicine. The species name cannabinum is only due to the resemblance the leaves have to hemp leaf (Cannabis sativa) because those two plant species, in fact, are not related.
The plant is found wild in most parts of Europe, but it is also found in West Asia and North Africa. It grows in moist woodlands, fens, marshes and along rivers and canals. Hemp agrimony is a perennial plant of the Asteraceae family. It can grow up to one and a half meters, or five feet, in height. The erect stems are reddish-brown covered with fine hairs.
Other Common Names: Common hemp agrimony, water agrimony, common Dutch agrimony, St. John’s herb, water maudlin, gravel root, sweet-smelling trefoil, holy rope.
Dosage: 20-30 drops, 3 times a day.
Hemp agrimony should be avoided by pregnant and nursing mothers. Higher doses than recommended could lead to irritation of the digestive tract, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
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