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Herb Spotlight - Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Family: Asteraceae

Part Used: Flower; Leaf

Flavor/Aroma: Bitter; Pungent

Energetics: Neutral; Moistening


Herbal Actions: 

Antiseptic, Antifungal, Astringent, Stimulating Diaphoretic, Anti Inflammatory, Styptic3,1, Anodyne, Analgesic, Anticoagulant, Bitter Tonic, Choleretic, Hepatoprotective, Antimicrobial, Aromatic, Vulnerary, Antihistamine, Antiviral, Antispasmodic5

Overview:

Do not be fooled by the intoxicating scent or delicate flowers of the Yarrow plant- it has been used for centuries in ceremonies promoting both physical and emotional boundaries to those easily influenced, and also for its eclectic first-aid applications among many. Yarrow is intertwined in folklore and across cultures, all highlighting the variety of therapeutic properties found in this healing herb.

Botany:

Yarrow grows as a perennial herb that easily spreads and can take over sunny, open spaces even in poor soil conditions. This drought-tolerant plant thrives in many landscapes and is adorned with fern-like leaves and umbles of white, pink, red, and yellow flowers. It can grow to heights of three feet tall in ideal conditions.4

One of Yarrow’s many nicknames, ‘Thousand Weed’, and its species name, ‘millefolium’, are easily associated with this hardy, invasive botanical.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Yarrow is best cultivated in the springtime and harvested when the flowers are brightest and the energy is centralized in the aerial portions of the plant. It is native to Western Asia, Europe, and North America.2

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Yarrow can be found growing verociously in the wild in many areas of Southern Oregon. It can be found in stands along hiking trails, along mountain ranges, and even in urban spaces like parks and side-walk gardens. This is a great addition to any home garden because it not only provides us with medicinal value, but it is a favorite amongst local pollinators.

History and Folklore:

Yarrow’s therapeutic use ranges from internal, topical, spiritual, and beyond. Fossilized Yarrow pollen was found in a burial cave dating back 60,000 years that was speculated to have been used as a symbol of protection in the after life. It was popularly used to staunch soldiers bleeding wounds, promote the healing of infected tissues, and was even once known as the ‘military herb’. It is recognized in Ayurvedic Medicine as a wound healing ally, both internally and externally.4,1

In Greek mythology, Achilles mother dipped him in a vat of Yarrow when he was born to protect him; he died from a wound of the ankle- the only place the supposed potion did not touch.

Traditional Chinese Medicinal Uses: Yarrow was used to brighten dull eyes and to enhance intelligence. It was used to facilitate communication between heaven and earth, and to balance yin and yang. Yarrow was found growing at the burial site of Confucius and the straw of the dried stalk was used in many rituals. It was also used in cases of angina, headaches, and palpitations.4,3

American Native Uses: The Cherokee, Iroquois, and Mohegan tribes have utilized Yarrow for its therapeutic digestive properties and to treat a variety of types of inflammation.     

Modern Applications:

Yarrow is indicated to topically support the cessation of bleeding, to assist in the cleansing wounds due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and to soothe inflamed tissues. It can be used to combat fevers and when on the verge of illness, to protect liver tissue, to stimulate the appetite, calm stomach pains, and stimulate proper pancreatic function. Yarrow supports healthy blood circulation in the face of stagnation and can remedy hypertension, fibroids, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, and mouth sores. There is also research to support its use in cases of dysmenorrhea, as a uterine tonic, protect against blood clots, and during postpartum care. Yarrow is utilized best for its ability to tonify atrophied tissues throughout the body systems, both physically and energetically.1,5,2

Uses and Preparations:

 

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

1-2 Tablespoons of dried herb per cup of warm water.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

4-6 mL up to 4 times daily

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Recommended Usage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.

Note:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Sun God Medicinals products that contain Yarrow:

Sunna Ra Herbals Yarrow Tincture

Organic Aja Hemp Salve

Airmed Loss of Appetite Herbal Elixir 

Airmed Loss of Appetite Herbal Tea

Airmed Digestion Herbal Tincture

Panacea Cold & Flu Herbal Tea

Organic Panacea Immune Support Hemp Tincture 

Panacea Cold & Flu Herbal Tincture

Precautions:

We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.

References:

  1. Moore, Michael, Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, http://www.swsbm.com/ManualsMM/MatMed5.pdf 
  2. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Yarrow.html 
  3. Wood, Matthew (1997). The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.
  4. Yarrow Monograph. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/yarrow
  5. Moradi, M.-T., Rafieian-Koupaei, M., Imani-Rastabi, R., Nasiri, J., Shahrani, M., Rabiei, Z., & Alibabaei, Z. (2013, October 3). Antispasmodic effects of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) extract in the isolated ileum of rat. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847392/

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.