Of the myriad of species collected, Francisca relied on Hemp-Agrimony above all others, collecting the leaves and flowering tops in August before they opened and dried.
Vitamin C in plants such as Hemp-Agrimony staved off scurvy and colds during the long Vosges winter without fresh fruits.
A tea made from Hemp-Agrimony leaves or dried flowers is a natural cure for colds and sore throats, reduced fever, and relieved stomachaches. The bruised leaves applied directly to the skin healed wounds or infections or rubbed on domestic animals repelled insects. Placing the leaves in a bath relieves aching muscles and joints and compress of the leaves relieves headaches. Even the roots from the plant were used as a laxative.
To harvest, wear long pants and boots as it is found in wet soil near swamps and thickets or along freshwater streams, the same place snakes like to inhabit.
Hemp-Agrimony is a tall woody plant, growing between two and five feet high with long, toothy leaflets. The leaves grow in familiar tiered hemp-style in pairs of three lobes. Reddish stems covered in downy hair with clusters of tiny pink or white flowers that burst forth from July to September.
Hemp-Agrimony is no relation to Agrimony, a plant with yellow flowers, nor is it related to Cannabis Hemp, though the shape of the leaf is similar.
PLEASE NOTE: All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten and should only be ingested as tea.
Source: Weiner, Michael A., Earth Medicine, Earth Food. MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc. (1980) Print