Agrimony (Xian He Cao)

Botanical Name: Western – Agrimonia eupatoria, A. gryposepala. Eastern – A. pilosa

Agrimony is an ancient herb used to purify the blood, heal wounds, and treat urinary tract infections. During the Middle Ages, it was used on the battlefields because it stopped bleeding and supported the formation of clots. In France during the 15th century, it was used as an ingredient in the famous “Eau de Arquebusade” water to treat gunshot wounds (an arquebus, being a type of handgun), and this formula is still used today to treat sprains and bruises. Traditionally the herb is also used to treat gallbladder and liver disorders.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Agrimony For Wounds.

Below is an overview of agrimony, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of agrimony.

FREE 8-Step Guide On Choosing The Right Herbs For You!

Safely and effectively choose the right herb(s) to treat your condition or unique set of needs...


Western Name: Agrimony

Also Known As: Common Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Philanthropos, Stickleburr, Liverwort

Organs/Systems: Blood, Liver, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Skin, Kidney, Bladder

Key Actions: Blood Tonic, Coagulative, Diuretic, Detoxifier, Vulnerary, Mildly Astringent, Sedative, Antihistamine, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Anticancer, Antidiabetic, Cardiotonic, Hemostatic, Astringent

Medicinal Uses: Blood purifier, coughs, sore throat, wounds, acne, eczema, menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding, urinary tract infections (UTIs), rheumatism, snake bites, jaundice, liver complaints, kidney stones, cystitis, urinary incontinence, mild and acute diarrhea, digestive complaints, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cancer, lowers high blood pressure, lowers blood sugar levels.


Pin Yin: Xian He Cao (translates as “Crane Grass” or “Immortal Crane Herb”)

Also Known As: Tuo Li Cao

Meridians: Lung, Liver, Spleen

Key Actions: Stops Bleeding, Clears Liver Qi Stagnation, Clears Liver Heat, Alleviates Diarrhea and Dysenteric Disorders, Supports the Lungs, Soothes Skin, Kills Parasites

Medicinal Uses: Blood in the stool, nosebleed, hemoptysis, hematuria, traumatic hemorrhage, spitting blood, bleeding gums, dysentery, uterine bleeding, abnormal red or white vaginal discharge, irritability, suppressed emotions, chronic diarrhea, dysentery, colds, sore throats, coughs, influenza, eczema, bites, acne, tapeworms, trichomonas vaginitis, and Shao Yang stage symptoms such as intermittent chills and fever, red eyes, headaches, congestion, and coughs.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

Agrimony is a medium-sized flowering plant in the Rosaceae or rose family. The plant contains a considerable amount of variation. It has full vibrant greenery of pinnate leaves and small yellow flowers that grow from a single spike. The numerous yellow flowers are closely clustered on slender spikes, which tend to stretch when the seed vessels mature. The leaves and stems are covered with tiny fine hairs with barb-like ends. The leaves have a resinous texture on the underside and reduce in size from the bottom of the plant to its top, where they grow to be about 3 inches in length. The flowers bloom from June to early September.

Agrimony is native to the Northern Hemisphere and is found in North America, England, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. It is also found in southern Scotland in certain areas where the plant likes to grow. It likes hedge banks, field margins, dry thickets, and waste areas of temperate regions. It prefers sun to semi-shaded areas in dry, alkaline soils. Agrimonia eupatoria, or Common Agrimony is the prevalent species in Europe, while A. gryposepala, or hairy agrimony, is the most prevalent species in North America.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Flower, Stem, Leaf, Essential Oil

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Astringent, Neutral

Caution: Considered safe in normal doses. High doses can cause nausea. Agrimony might lower blood sugar. Medications used to treat diabetes by helping to lower your blood sugar at the same time as using agrimony may cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low.

Key Constituents: Catechin, Thiamin, Quercitrin, Tannin, Palmitic acid, Silicic acid, Ursolic acid, Flavonoids (Including Apigenin, Glycosides, Kaempferol, Quercetin) Vitamin C and K, Triterpenes (Including Alpha-amyrin, Euscapic acid), Volatile oils

History/Folklore: The dried flowers are used in the spring to make a tonic that purifies the blood. In France, this beverage is often served at tableside as a refreshing drink. The tannins in the herb help support healthy digestion. The herb’s blood-purifying properties help treat jaundice and liver ailments as the herb supports flushing out toxins from the body that can over-burden the liver and kidneys.

To treat diarrhea, a cup of weak tea is recommended 6x a day until the condition clears up. A stronger tea is used as a gargle to treat sore throats and soothe coughs.

The Anglo-Saxons used the leaves of agrimony to stop bleeding and heal wounds, especially on the battlefield. In the Middle Ages, the herb was frequently used as a sleep aid. Native Americans have used the herb to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, including coughs, sore throats, and diarrhea.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the herb is used to treat menstrual difficulties. In China and Nepal, it is also commonly used to treat sunstroke, headaches, sore throats, and stomach aches. In Korea, it is mainly used to treat eczema and boils. Because the herb is considered neutral in temperature it can be used to treat either hot or cold conditions.

A suppository made from agrimony is used in China for treating chronic diarrhea and a topical wash is used to treat trichomonas vaginitis. A cotton ball soaked in a wash of the herb can also be inserted in the vagina and left overnight. Agrimony Clears Liver Heat similarly to bupleurum. The leaves are used to treat sores and ringworms. It has a long history in China as being a strong astringent and hemostatic agent with cardio effects.

It is considered to have a magical quality in Traditional Chinese Medicine of being especially able to ease problems associated with labor (working with one’s hands, or a boss, or one’s calling, or spiritual work). It is said keeping the herb around can change a person’s environment turning a dysfunctional environment into an effective place released of frustration, anger, and tension.

The herb helps treat bowel issues and helps to tone mucous membranes. Germany’s Commission E has approved agrimony tea for controlling diarrhea and as a gargle to treat inflamed and swollen throat pain.

The herb helps shed excess water weight by flushing the kidneys and bladder, even helping to rid the body of kidney stones. It can be combined with corn silk to help alleviate the symptoms of cystitis and urinary incontinence, and it is good for treating urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Used topically agrimony is useful for treating rheumatism, skin eruptions from pimples, acne, eczema, and even scrofulous sores. It can also be used to help heal wounds, stop bleeding, and treat snake bites. Its high silica content makes it very useful for healing cuts and abrasions. A poultice can be made by boiling the herb in water on low heat for 10-20 minutes, letting the mixture reduce to about a 10% water extract.

Agrimony is high in tannin content 4-21%. This high tannin content contributes to the herb’s many key healing properties. It also contains the constituents catechin (a water-soluble polyphenol and antioxidant) and thiamin (a water-soluble B vitamin) which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The palmitic acid in agrimony is one of the most common saturated fatty acids in both animals and plants. New studies indicate it may help fight skin cancer.

Studies indicate that agrimony helps to slow down the growth of tumor cells as well as helping to induce natural cell death in tumor tissues. A study out of Bulgaria indicates that the extract made from the seeds of the herb can scavenge free radicals. Of 21 plants commonly used, agrimony reported the 4th highest levels of total phenols.

The ancient Greeks used it to treat ailments of the eye. This is where the plant’s botanical name, Agrimony derives from the Greek word “Argemone” meaning plant that heals eyes. The Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, said that agrimony was “an herb of princely authorite.”

Agrimony is one of Bach’s Flowers’ original remedies. Besides treating wounds, colds, sore throats, and menstrual symptoms it is also used to soothe people who are agitated, anxious, or overly and inappropriately exuberant. The focus is on people who are smiling on the outside but suffering on the inside. These are the kinds of people who never complain and avoid arguments at all costs. The herb is excellent for treating the type of emotional tension where a lot is going on inside, with little breathing through pain or emotional upsets, and even a tendency to turn towards drugs, intoxicants, or other forms of adrenaline-rushing activities to mask inner pain. Agrimony causes the release of endorphins.

Agrimony has a long history of use to ward off spells and hexes. If placed in a sachet in your home, it was said to protect against goblins, evil spirits, and poisoning. It is used to repel jinxes and block curses. Not only does the herb block curses but it is said it will send the curse back to its perpetrator. It remains popular to place a few leaves in your pillowcase to help get a good night’s sleep.

In the time of the English writer Chaucer, it was called Egrimoyne and blended with mugwort and vinegar to treat a “bad back” and “alle woundes”

Good quality has purple-red stems and well shaped leaves.

The long flowering spikes are why the plant is sometimes commonly called church steeples.

Agrimony is used as a natural food flavoring agent.

The roots are used to make a lovely pale yellow dye if harvested in September, and if harvested later in the year the color will be darker and can be used to dye wool. The high tannin content in agrimony has also meant it has been used for tanning leather.

In the language of flowers, agrimony is a symbol for gratitude.

Sheep and goats will eat agrimony, but cattle, horses, and pigs will not touch it.

Did you know?


The whole plant, including the roots, gives off a pleasant apricot-like scent.



A gargle made from agrimony can help reduce nasal mucus accumulation helping to restore normal breathing.

Fun fact!

Lovely Tea

One teaspoon to one cup of boiling water, simmer for 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy!

Discover Radical Health Through Energetic & Natural Healing!

Support your unique goals using the natural and energetic worlds around you. Find out for yourself why 85,000+ people have already signed up! Get our 8-step guide on how to choose the right herb for you and some of our most popular Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!