Herb: Hemp Agrimony

Latin name: Eupatorium cannabinum

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Hemp Agrimony:

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.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

By streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Other uses of Hemp Agrimony:

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.

Propagation of the herb:

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.

Cultivation of Hemp Agrimony:

By streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Known hazards of Eupatorium cannabinum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.