Botanical Name :Eupatorium cannabinum
Species: E. cannabinum
Synonyms: Holy Rope. St. John’s Herb.
Common Name: Hemp-agrimony
Habitat :Eupatorium cannabinum is grows in most of Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, western and central Asia.they are found by streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.
Eupatorium cannabinum is a Perennial herbaceous plant.The root-stock is woody and from it rises the erect round stems, growing from 2 to 5 feet high with short branches springing from the axils of the leaves, which are placed on it in pairs. The stems are reddish in colour, covered with downy hair and are woody below. They have a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. It is dioecious, with racemes of mauve flowers which are pollinated by insects from July to early September. The flowers are tiny, fluffy and can be pale dusty pink or whitish.It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The fruit is an achene about 2 or 3 mm long, borne by a pappus with hairs 3 to 5 mm long, which is distributed by the wind. The plant over-winters as a hemicryptophyte. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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An easily grown plant, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or part shade. Prefers a rich moist soil. Grows well in marshy soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it has a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. Often found as a weed in British gardens, it can be allowed to naturalize in short grass in the wild garden. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. An excellent bee and butterfly plant.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.
Part Used:The Herb.
Constituents: The leaves contain a volatile oil, which acts on the kidneys, and likewise some tannin and a bitter chemical principle which will cut short the chill of intermittent fever.
Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for fevers, colds, flu and other viral conditions. It also stimulates the removal of waste products via the kidneys. Due to its content of alkaloids, the plant should only be used under professional supervision. The leaves and flowering tops are alterative, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, purgative and tonic. The plant has a long history of use as a gentle laxative that does not provoke irritation, though excessive doses cause purging and vomiting. A tea made from the dried leaves will give prompt relief if taken at the onset of influenza. Recent research has shown that the plant might have anti-tumour activity, though the plant also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause damage or cancer to the liver. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The roots are diaphoretic, laxative and tonic. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. Recently the plant has been found of use as an immune system stimulant, helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other infections. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of influenza and feverish chills and also for disorders of the liver, spleen and gall bladder.
The leaves have been laid on bread in order to prevent it from becoming mouldy. The leaf juice has been rubbed onto the coats of animals as an insect repellent.
All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell when bruised. This has been likened to the smell of cedar when it is burnt.
Toxity : Eupatorium cannabinum contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.