Agrimony Manages Diabetes by Repairing Liver Function and Protecting Nerves

Learn about the long term benefits of agrimony for diabetes


 

Latin name: Agrimonia eupatoria

Other names: Common Agrimony, Church Steeples, Cockeburr, Sticklewort, Philanthropos, hemp agrimony, common Dutch agrimony, water agrimony, bastard hemp, Ackerkraut, Agrimonia, funffing, funffingerkraut, herbe d’aigremoine, herbe de saint-guillaume, liverwort, longyacao, odermenning, potentilla, roadside rosaceae, sticklewort, woodland groovebur.

Overview

T

his plant was originally known as Agrimonia now commonly known as agrimony. A perennial herbaceous flowering plant belonging to the Rosaceae family. Agrimony is native of temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and abundant throughout Europe.

Agrimony is perhaps one of the most famous panacea of medieval Europe and earlier times. Even to this day there are claims that it will cure just about anything. A quick search on the Internet will lead you to a cure to all ailments. Some of it is probably true otherwise agrimony’s fame would not have endured the test of time. As with any herbal treatment it requires a certain method in order to obtain benefits. Right dosage, purity, length of treatment all play a role in successful treatment.

Ancient Greeks treated eye conditions and concocted a brew to treat gallbladder, diarrhea, liver, and kidneys. Austrian traditional medicine used agrimony internally as a tea to treat conditions related to liver, bile, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract disorders. Anglo-Saxons used it to treat wounds, preparing a solution made from the leaves and seeds.  In the middle ages there was a preparation called eau d’arquebusade, or “musket-shot water” made from it. Agrimony is also part of the Bach flower remedies.

Agrimony for diabetes

Before the introduction of insulin in 1922, diabetes treatment was bases on dietary measures and it relied heavily  on the use of traditional plant therapies. Agrimony in the past has been among the most popular herbs used for diabetes management.

I’ll not get into detail on the 1001 uses of agrimony. I made a list of some interesting sites and you can check it there. Most sources however don’t mention agrimony for diabetes. So let get right into it.

Studies using agrimony alcohol  extracts indicate its powerful antioxidant, anti diabetic and anti inflammatory activity. This activity is due in part by a high polyphenolic content. The action of compounds found in agrimony also affect pro-inflammatory, weight gain and fat fighting enzymes.

Studies also shown that the long term use of agrimony extract is more effective and produces better results.

Agrimony extracts have been studied using isolate muscle pieces in vitro. The mechanism of action of agrimony enhances glucose transport, glucose oxidation, glycogensesis and lactate release in a similar way to insulin. Agrimony extracts mimics insulin action. Studies show that the anti-hyperglycemic action of agrimony is associated with the stimulation of insulin secretion and augmentation of glucose uptake and muscle metabolism.

“Administration of extracts prevented body mass gain and fat accumulation and normalized serum lipid profile in high fructose fed rats”[4]

Long term effects in diabetes

It works by stimulating insulin and glucose uptake lowering blood glucose, but the long term effects are attributed to its highly antioxidant and nerve, liver protective properties.

Agrimony lowers blood sugar on permanent basis by reverting the diabetic process or at least helping combat the most important enemy: oxidative stress, one of the most serious metabolic damage inflicted to the liver, nerves and cells. Oxidative stress creates a systemic inflammatory process which is he hallmark of diabetes and many other diseases such as obesity, fatty liver disease, and high blood pressure.



The use of agrimony extract prevented body mass gain and fat accumulation in liver and adipose tissue and normalizes serum lipid profile in high fructose fed rats. It does that by inhibiting the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cells. Agrimony powerful antioxidants were found to modify expression of pro-inflammatory factors and enzymes in glutathione metabolism in cell culture and animal models.
 Benefits

  • normalize liver function
  • normalize kidney function
  • protect nervous system
  • prevent obesity
  • increase glucose uptake
  • decrease thirst
As with any herbal treatment you should use the alcohol extract on a long term basis. This is not the kind of herb you take ounce our twice but something you take always and at moderate amounts. Experimentation is the key.

Warnings

  • It may lower blood sugar. If you are on a anti hyperglycemic drug regimen such as metformin, glipizide or insulin be aware that you might have to lower the dose or make adjustments on some of these medications.
  • Risk for bleeding. Because agrimony root contains isocoumarins you should not take it along with aspirin, coumadin, warfarin, plavix or any other blood thinner. Also don’t use ginko giloba while taking agrimony.
  • Low blood pressure. Excessive doses of agrimony may cause hypotension. Be careful if you already use hypertension medication such as coreg, or lisinopril.
  • Hormone therapy interaction. Agrimony contains estrogen-like components therefore it you should not use if you are on some form of hormone-replacement therapy.

 

 


References

  1. Current status of Indian medicinal plants with antidiabetic potential: a review
  2. ANTIOXIDANT AND α-GLUCOSIDASE INHIBITION ACTIVITIES AND POLYPHENOL CONTENT OF FIVE SPECIES OF AGRIMONIA GENUS
  3. Actions of the traditional anti-diabetic plant, Agrimony eupatoria (agrimony): effects on hyperglycaemia, cellular glucose metabolismand insulin secretion
  4. ANTIOXIDATIVE POTENTIAL OF AGRIMONIA EUPATORIA L.
  5. THE PHARMACOLOGICAL AND THERAPEUTIC IMPORTANCE OF AGRIMONIA EUPATORIA- A REVIEW
  6. AGRIMONIA EUPATORIA L. EXTRACT MODULATES GLUTAMATE-CYSTEINE LIGASE AND GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE EXPRESSION IN 3T3-L1 CELLS
  7. Effects of the Four-Herb Compound ANBP on Wound Healing Promotion in Diabetic Mice
  8. Studies on the health impact of Agrimonia procera in piglets
  9. Actions of the traditional anti-diabetic plant, Agrimony eupatoria (agrimony): effects on hyperglycaemia, cellular glucose metabolism and insulin secretion
  10. Effect of neuroprotective flavonoids of Agrimonia eupatoria on
    glutamate-induced oxidative injury to HT22 hippocampal cells
  11. Oxidative stress and diabetic complications

Other sources

  1. Purple sage
  2. Botanical.com
  3. webMD

Image credit: flickr.com [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]

 

Comments

comments