Agrimony. Plenty of them found hugging the shoreline at Frances Slocum.
Used to be used to ward off witches and said to cause a deep sleep when held in the hands. Hmmm.
Agrimony is herbaceous plant that belongs to the rose family. There are 12 to 15 species of agrimony that grow natively in temperate parts of Northern Hemisphere and some parts of Africa. Agrimony tolerates different types of soil, but it requires plenty of sun for the successful growth. It can be found in the hedgerows, on the edges of the fields, along …the roads, in the wetlands and woodlands. Since the ancient time, agrimony has been used in folk medicine and it is still one of the most popular and commonly used herbal remedies today.
Agrimony has erect, hairy, unbranched stem that can reach 1.6 to 6.6 feet in height.
Agrimony has long, black-colored, woody root.
Agrimony has compound leaves that consist of 6 to 8 oval or oblong lateral leaflets and one terminal leaflet. They have prominent midrib and toothed edges. Leaves are dark green colored and alternately arranged on the stem.
Agrimony produces small yellow flowers arranged in long terminal spikes. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (hermaphroditic flowers).
Agrimony blooms during the spring and summer. Flowers are rich source of pollen and nectar which attract hoverflies, flies and honeybees, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of agrimony is achene equipped with rough hairs that serve as hooks.
Agrimony propagates via seed and division of the root. Hairy achenes easily end up tangled in fur of various animals and travel large distance from a mother plant.
Agrimony is also known as “Church Steeple” because of the shape of the spikes that resemble the top of the church.
All aerial parts of agrimony emit sweet scent when they are crushed. Due to pleasant, apricot-like smell of the flowers, agrimony is often used for the preparation of potpourris.
Agrimony is good source of vitamins of the B group, vitamin K and iron. Leaves and flowers can be consumed in the form of tea. Fresh flowers can be also used to improve the flavor of the home-made beer.
Stem, leaves and flowers of agrimony are used in medical purposes. They can be used fresh, dried or in the form of powder, tincture and liquid extract.
Agrimony is often used in treatment of diarrhea, liver and gallbladder disorders, kidney stones, diabetes, sore throat, laryngitis, urinary disorders, insomnia, stress and to facilitate healing of the wounds (especially those that bleed).
According to a widespread belief, agrimony induces deep sleep when it is held in the hands (it keeps person asleep as long as it is kept close to him/her). Besides for good sleep, agrimony has been widely used to ward off witchcraft in the past.