Description: Natural Order, Rosaceae. Agrimony is common along the roadsides and field-borders in many parts of America, Asia, and Europe. Stem one to three feet high, branched, hirsute; leaves interruptedly pinnate, with from three to seven lance-ovate leaflets from one and a half to three inches long; flowers yellow, about one-third of an inch in diameter, in dense spicate racemes from six to twelve inches long, blooming in July. It has long been known in medicine, and at one time enjoyed a fabulous reputation. It imparts its properties to water.
Properties and Uses: I. The roots are a bitter yet rather aromatic astringent, with some stimulating power. They are seldom used; but J. L. Steinberger, M. D., of Ohio, values them greatly in calculous difficulties. In the P.-M. Recorder for March, 1867, he reports some cases in which a free use of the warm decoction secured rare benefit.
II. The herb (leaves, flowers, and branches) is a mild stimulating astringent; not at all irritating; strengthening to the mucous structures; and acting somewhat on the skin and kidneys. Dr. T. Wells tells us it is a superior tonic for the kidneys. A decoction (made by steeping an ounce of the herb with a pint of hot water for an hour in an earthenware vessel) is used in doses of two fluid ounces every second hour or hour, in passive and bilious diarrhea, bloody flux, and leucorrhea. It is also useful for passive uterine hemorrhage, and spitting of blood. A much stronger preparation may be used cold for all these purposes. It enjoys a popular reputation in chronic coughs with excessive expectoration; is a good gargle in aphthous sores and sore throat; and may be used to some advantage as a wash in purulent, granular, and gonorrheal ophthalmia. It has been commended in obstructed menstruation, asthma, scrofula, and jaundice; but of its value in such cases, I know nothing. J. Weeks, M. D., of Indiana, informs us that it is very useful for the eneuresis of children. From having once been valued far beyond its deserts, it naturally has fallen to a reputation below its real merits–for it deserves much regard in its proper place, as above indicated.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com