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Agrimony

Scientific Name(s): Agrimonia eupatoria L.
Common Name(s): Cocklebur, Guan Chang Fu Fang, Liverwort, Stickwort

Clinical Overview

Use

Agrimony is used as a tea and gargle for sore throat, and externally as a mild antiseptic and astringent.

Dosing

There is limited published clinical evidence for a safe or effective dose; 200 mL boiled water was added to 1 g dried aerial parts of A. eupatoria and consumed twice a day for 1 month in a small study evaluating the effect on lipid profile and antioxidant status.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Agrimony reportedly can produce photodermatitis.

Toxicology

No data.

Botany

Agrimony is a perennial herb with small, star-shaped yellow flowers. The plant possesses a short rhizome and is supported by a firm, hairy stem. The basal leaves are arrayed in a rosette and they, as well as the alternate sessile stem leaves, are pinnate, serrate and glabrous. The flowers and fruit (achene) grow at the top of the stem in a long, terminal spike. Agrimony is common in grasslands throughout Europe. It is imported from Bulgaria, Hungary and the former Yugoslavia.Bisset 1994, Bunney 1984, USDA 2016 Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb. is recognized as the relevant plant species of "Herba Agrimonia" in some countries,Li 2015, Pu 2016, Yu 2015 and a report suggests the chemical composition of Agrimonia procera Wallr. to also be equivalent to Agrimonia eupatoria L. as a valid source of Agrimoniae herba.Granica 2015

History

The name Agrimonia may have its origin in the Greek "agremone" which refers to plants which supposedly healed cataracts of the eye. The species name eupatoria relates to Mithradates Eupator, King of Pontus, who is credited with introducing many herbal remedies. Its ancient uses include treatment for catarrh (mucous membrane inflammation with discharge), bleeding, tuberculosis and skin diseases. 1984 In folk medicine, it has been reported, without verification, to be useful in gallbladder disorders. Numerous other reported uses include use as a dye, flavoring, gargle for performers and speakers, antitumor agent, astringent, cardiotonic, coagulant, diuretic, sedative, antiasthmatic and for corns or warts.Duke 2003 This plant is often included in phytomedicine mixtures for "liver and bile teas," again without true scientific verification. Agrimony extracts are often used in small amounts in prepared European cholagogues and stomach and bowel remedies (eg, Neo-Gallonorm-Dragees) and urological products (eg, Rhoival). Agrimony is also a component of the British product "Potter's Piletabs."Bisset 1994, Drozd 1983, Hoppe 1975, von Gizycki 1949

Chemistry

The aerial parts of the plant contain 4% to 10% condensed tannins, small amounts of ellagitannins and traces of gallotannins.Bisset 1994, von Gizycki 1949 Also reported are some 20% polysaccharides.von Gizycki 1949 A triterpenoid, ursolic acid, has been isolated. Silicic acid, traces of essential oil, and the flavonoids luteolin and apigenin 7-O-beta-D-glucosides are present.von Gizyck 1949 Organic acids, vitamin B1, vitamin K and ascorbic acid are also found. The fresh herb contains agrimoniolide, palmitic and stearic acids, ceryl alcohol and phytosterols. Seeds contain 35% oil which contains oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids.Bisset 1994, Duke 2003

Uses and Pharmacology

Cancer

Animal data

Cytotoxic effects of agrimony against cancer cell lines has been demonstrated in vitro.Ad’hiah 2013 Antioxidant potential of the phenolic content has been determined.Kuczmannová 2015, Yoon 2012

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data on the effect of agrimony in cancer; however, Herba Agrimonia (Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb.) has been used in China in combination with other natural products for the management of certain cancers (also called "Guan Chang Fu Fang").Li 2015, Pu 2016, Yu 2015

Diabetes

Animal data

Studies in rodents suggest chemical constituents of agrimony have hold potential in diabetes.Kuczmannová 2016, Wang 2016

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data on the effect of agrimony in diabetes; however, improved lipid profile and antioxidant status has been reported after 1 month’s consumption of agrimony tea in healthy volunteers in a small (n=19) study.Ivanova 2013

Dosing

There is limited published clinical evidence for a safe or effective dose.

200 mL boiled water was added to 1 g dried aerial parts of A. eupatoria and consumed twice a day for 1 month in a small study evaluating the effect on lipid profile and antioxidant status.Ivanova 2013

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Agrimony has been reported to produce photodermatitis in man.USDA 2016

Toxicology

Research reveals little or no information regarding toxicology with the use of this product.

References

Ad’hiah AH, Al-Bederi O, Al-Sammarrae K. Cytotoxic effects of Agrimonia eupatoria L. against cancer cell lines in vitro. J Assoc Arab Universities Basic Applied Sciences. 2013;14(1):87-92.
Agrimonia eupatoria. USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, December 2016). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Bisset NG, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Medpharm Scientific Publishers; 1994.
Bunney S, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs: Their Medicinal and Culinary Uses. New York, NY: Dorset Press; 1984.
Drozd GA, Yavlyanskaya SF, Inozemtseva TM. Khim Prir Soedin. 1983;1:106.
Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2003.
Granica S, Kluge H, Horn G, Matkowski A, Kiss AK. The phytochemical investigation of Agrimonia eupatoria L. and Agrimonia procera Wallr. as valid sources of Agrimoniae herba--The pharmacopoeial plant material. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2015;114:272-279.26092224
Hoppe HA. Drogenkunde. 8th ed. Berlin: Walter deGruyter; 1975.
Ivanova D, Vankova D, Nashar M. Agrimonia eupatoria tea consumption in relation to markers of inflammation, oxidative status and lipid metabolism in healthy subjects. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2013;119(1):32-37.23078582
Kuczmannová A, Balažová A, Račanská E, et al. Agrimonia eupatoria L. and Cynara cardunculus L. water infusions: comparison of anti-diabetic activities. Molecules. 2016;21(5).27136516
Kuczmannová A, Gál P, Varinská L, et al. Agrimonia eupatoria L. and Cynara cardunculus L. water infusions: phenolic profile and comparison of antioxidant activities. Molecules. 2015;20(11):20538-20550.26593896
Li Y, Li X, Tip P, Zhang L. Use of a novel herbal medicine in a 75-year-old woman with multi-metastatic pancreatic cancer: A case report and review of the literature. Oncol Lett. 2015;10(1):263-267.26171011
Pu R, Zhao Q, Li Z, et al. Rapid bone repair in a patient with lung cancer metastases to the spine using a novel herbal medicine: A case report. Oncol Lett. 2016;12(3):2023-2027.27602132
von Gizycki F. Agrimonia eupatoria L. - Der Odermennig. Pharmazie. 1949;4:276, 463.
Wang S, Zhang Q, Zhang Y, et al. Agrimol B suppresses adipogenesis through modulation of SIRT1-PPAR gamma signal pathway. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016;477(3):454-460.27320865
Yoon SJ, Koh EJ, Kim CS, et al. Agrimonia eupatoria protects against chronic ethanol-induced liver injury in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(7):2335-2341.22525864
Yu C, Liu SL, Qi MH, et al. Herbal medicine Guan Chang Fu Fang enhances 5-fluorouracil cytotoxicity and affects drug-associated genes in human colorectal carcinoma cells. Oncol Lett. 2015;9(2):701-708.25621039

Disclaimer

This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

Further information

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