Herbal Guide to Yarrow

Yarrow or Achillea Millefolium is a hardy perennial which can grow up to 3 feet high with white or pink flower heads. It likes cool temperatures in sun or partial shade and can thrive in most soil’s.

Yarrow has been a valued medicinal herb in Europe for hundreds of years. The name “yarrow” comes from the Anglo-Saxon term for the plant “gearwe,” but it has many descriptive colloquial names in English such as soldier’s woundwort, bloodwort, and staunchweed. Which all refer to it’s ability to reduce bleeding and is very handy as a first aid herb.

A fun fact about yarrow is when it is distilled into an essential oil the color turns blue and can have an anti-inflammatory effect.

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Parts of the Plant Used:

  • Flowers
  • Leaves

Active Ingredients:

  • Alkaloids
  • Amino Acids
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Saponin
  • Sugar
  • Volatile Oil

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Available for use as:

  • Tea
  • Tablets
  • Essential Oil

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Has been know to help with:

  • Colds and influenza: an infusion of dried or fresh leaves drunk 2-3 times daily or tablets taken as directed help induce sweating that brings down fevers, especially during viral infections.
  • Cuts, grazes and wounds: an infusion of fresh or dried leaves (cooled) cleanses injuries and slows bleeding. In an ointment, yarrow encourages the wound healing process and the formation of new skin cells. You can apply this twice daily.
  • Rheumatism: in an ointment, yarrow relieves stiffness and pain in joints. You can either take this as a tablet or massage gently twice a day with an ointment.

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Culinary Use

  • None

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Safety Information

  • Prolonged use of yarrow can lead to headaches and skin sensitivity in the sunlight.
  • Only use in periods of 1-2 weeks.
  • Avoid if you are pregnant because it is a uterine stimulant.
  • Always consult your doctor if you are on medication or plan to use for medical purposes.

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Growing and Harvesting:

  • Prefers well-drained soil in the sun or partial shade.
  • Sow seeds in the spring or early fall in a cold frame. Alternatively, divide plants at any time of year.
  • Harvest aerial parts when plant is in flower. And you can use them fresh or dry.

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Sources:

Book: Herbs by Jennie Harding (ISBN-13: 978-0-7858-3568-4

Book: Essential Guide to Herbs by Lesley Bremness (ISBN 978-1-78678-282-3

Information pulled September 23, 2021

Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

Image by Olga Kachor from Pixabay

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

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