Why You Need Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) is an important medicinal plant with different pharmaceutical uses.

It has been used for centuries to treat various diseases including malaria, hepatitis and jaundice, and is commonly prescribed to treat liver disorders. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent and is a hepatoprotective herb.(Hepatoprotection or antihepatotoxicity is the ability to prevent damage to the liver. This damage is known as hepatotoxicity.)

Considered safe for supplemental use, it has antihepatotoxic effects also and has been prescribed as an astringent agent. It is also prescribed in hemorrhoids, headache, bleeding disorders, bruises, cough, influenza, pneumonia, kidney stones, high blood pressure, menstrual disorders, fever, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, hemorrhagic disorders, chicken pox, cystitis, diabetes mellitus, indigestion, dyspepsia, eczema, psoriasis and boils. So, it’s easy to see why you need to have this important herb in your natural “medicine” cabinet.

yarrow post

It is easy to grow in your backyard.

It can be found among grass, meadows, or pastures. To grow yourself, it just needs a place in partial to full sunlight and good drainage. It is spread by the roots, so it can easily overtake an area.

To prevent it taking over your yard, but to have enough, try planting it in a plastic kiddie pool with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. You can harvest the flowers when they are blooming, usually from June to September.

To harvest, I simply cut the flower about 1 inch from the soil, with the leaves and all. Wash carefully and hang upside down to dry for 2-5 days. Once it’s completely dry, the uses for yarrow are nearly endless. I use it in a flu tea, a healing balm, and tincture form.

FLU TEA

This is great when you are feeling under the weather, but you need to use it as soon as you recognize symptoms to get the most benefit. It can help settle an upset stomach and supports your immune system in speeding healing.
3 parts red raspberry leaf
1 part nettle
1 part alfalfa
1 part mint
1/4 part yarrow
Mix herbs together and store in an airtight jar. Use 2 T. per quart of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Drain and sweeten as desired, preferably with raw honey. Drink hourly at onset of symptoms to help assist body in healing.

HEALING SALVE:

This is a summertime must in our family. After a long day of chores or other homestead projects, it’s just a fact that we get sore knees, or sore backs. Yarrow helps to soothe those achy joints.
1 ounce dried yarrow
.7 ounce red raspberry leaf
3 ounces tallow

Carefully melt tallow and add herbs. Place in 200° oven for 2 hours, then strain herbs out using a cheesecloth, squeezing to get all the goodness. Allow to cool completely and use externally on sore joints, bruises or hemorrhoids.

You can also replace the tallow with lard if you choose, or 2.5 ounces coconut oil and .5 ounce beeswax melted together. I prefer the tallow because it’s cheap and since it’s a solid fat, it is easier to store in hotter summer months, when I seem to need it more often.

TINCTURE

Easy to make, and with the alcohol, it has a very long shelf life. I use it more often externally than internally, due to it’s ease of overuse. You CAN use it internally, but only for short periods of time.
1/4 cup dried yarrow flowers
2 cups vodka

Pour vodka over flowers and allow to steep for 3-5 weeks. Strain herbs and compost. Soak a gauze pad in tincture and place directly on veins to help assist in shrinking. 3-5 drops of tincture can be used for indigestion, but only for SHORT periods of time.

Overuse may put a strain on your liver, or may cause sensitivity to sunlight in some individuals. NOT for use by pregnant women. You can also make a safe liniment for varicose veins. Get the recipe from Nerdy Farm Wife here.

Do you use yarrow? What are your favorite uses for it? Be sure to pin this for later!

Sources

PubMed here and here

Other great reading:

Yarrow for Fevers
How To stop bleeding with Yarrow
Foraging for Yarrow
Herbs to Prevent and Treat UTIs

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5 thoughts on “Why You Need Yarrow”

  1. Hi Heather,
    Very interesting article. I love all your recipes for uses for Yarrow – I actually never have used Yarrow much or did I release the medicinal qualities of this plant. Thanks for enlightening me and the tea recipe sounds really healthful Thank for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

  2. Jennifer in PA

    I used yarrow in a tea that I make. Have never used it in anything else though.
    Congrats on being featured at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

  3. What awesome information about Yarrow! Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope you’ll stop back again this week!

    Lisa

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