Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Yarrow

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Medicinal Herb Post #17 written June 21, 2018

Yarrow – Achilliea millefolium

Are you ready for this list of amazing benefits? Yarrow is one of those plants that almost does it all! First, it is a perennial that reseeds itself easily, so once established it will be there for good if you let it. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. It is happy with lots of water or dry conditions. Some herbalists believe the wild white variety holds the best medicinal benefits, but one herbalist in particular, Dr. Patrick Jones (Veterinarian and Herbalist) hasn’t seen a difference in his practice using other hybrid varieties. Yarrow contains the most amount of medicine when it blooms.

Yarrow is a fabulous antibiotic, anodyne (topical pain), antihemorrhagic and styptic (meaning it stops bleeding internally and externally), anticatarrhal (removes mucus from the upper respiratory tract), anti-inflammatory (which can help with pain reduction), astringent, diaphoretic (induces perspiration to help the body eliminate waste and break a fever), emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual activity and is useful for easing cramps and heavy bleeding, for this reason it should not be used during pregnancy), hepatic (strengthens and tones the liver), hypotensive (decreases blood pressure), and is a nervine stimulant.

There are so many things you can do with Yarrow. I use it in skin salves for healing wounds of all kinds. I recently used the yellow hybrid variety to stop bleeding on my son’s face who was accidentally hit by a rock above his nose. He probably needed 2 stitches, but instead I used yarrow and a butterfly bandage and you can barely see where he got hit. George Washington had his soldiers carry the dry powdered herb with them during the Revolutionary war to stop bleeding. The dry herb works well for nosebleeds too. I know of midwives that use it along with Shepard’s purse to stop hemorrhaging only after a woman delivers her baby. Dr. Jones uses it to save animals from bleeding out in his Vet practice. We also use it in our cold and flu formula along with elder and peppermint to kick out nasty bugs. Drink it as a tea and then take a bath. It really can drive out a fever within 20 minutes by drinking it, bathing with Epsom salts if you want and then wrapping up in a warm blanket. Yarrow is truly one of the best first aid herbs there is. I keep the tincture with me in my first aid kit.

Do you use yarrow? I’d love to hear how!  :)

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 cute kids, yoga/pilates instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care products and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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