Common Name: Yarrow
Latin Name: Achillea millefolium
A perennial found throughout the Northern Hemisphere Yarrow is characterized by a cluster of white flowers above a stem of lacy leaves (millefolium means “thousand leaves”). Yarrow received its Latin name Achillea from the legendary Greek hero Achilles. According to the common legend, Achilles’s mother dipped him into the river Styx by the ankle in an effort to make him invulnerable. Fighting many battles as a seemingly invincible warrior, Achilles used yarrow to treat the wounds of his fellow soldiers. He later died from a wound to his heel, as it was the one unprotected part of his anatomy. Nick named the cure-all one it is one of the most versatile healing plants we can grow in our garden. Native Americans used yarrow extensively for tooth aches, digestive aid, to break fevers and to reduce swellings.
Parts Used: Flower
Constituents: Flavonoids, linalool, eucalyptol, limonene, coumarins, tannins
Actions: Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient
Medicinal Uses: Yarrow is one of the best diaphoretic herbs, helping to promote sweating and thus reduce fevers. Used in a bath for this purpose, it is a great go to herb for children’s fevers.
For delayed or absent menstrual cycles Yarrow’s stimulating properties is a great ally long with and helping to ease uterine tension and menstrual cramps.
Hoffman suggests its use to help lower blood pressure due to a dialation of the peripheral vessels and considered a urinary antiseptic for infections such as cystitis. As a bitter it helps stimulate liver function, and aid in digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes and helping to support a healthy appetite. Externally it aids to support healthy skin and can be uses as a poultice for minor wounds. Yarrows astringent properties are helpful for tightening and firming blood vessels and clearing blood congestion which make it useful for haemorrhoids, varicose veins, and bruises. As a first aid yarrow is a styptic to help stop bleeding of open cuts & wounds.
Used In: Leg & Back Creme, Herbal Sitz Bath