The latin name of yarrow refers to the Greek hero Achilles, legend has it that he was dipped in the river Styx to make him immortal when he was a baby. Not wanting to let go of him completely, his mother kept hold of him by his heel, the only place on his body that wasn't immortal. This is now famously known as "Achilles Heel". As the story goes,the Spartan warrior had an affinity to Yarrow, after being shown its amazing ability to stop bleeding, by Chiron the Centaur, he used this herb to heal the cuts of his wounded soldiers during the Trojan war. He was eventually killed with a poisoned arrow, shot into his heel, his only vulnerable spot. What a great little piece of history!
Yarrow is one of the most widely used medicinal plants around the world, its known to contain alkaloids that actually reduce clotting time!
There is still a debate as to whether or not yarrow was introduced to North America by the colonials, or if it was a native plant. The first Nations of North America used yarrow and it was a deeply rooted herb in their culture. They embraced the medicinal properties of yarrow and used it to remedy a large number of external and internal ailments including wounds, burns, toothaches, arthritis, digestion and sore throats, just to name a few yarrow uses.
Part of the Daisy family, Yarrow is known as a “styptic” – an astringent herb that stops bleeding. Its wound healing ability comes mostly from the alkaloid achilleine, which facilitates the coagulation of blood, which leads to the rapid closing of the wound.. A 1954 study found that just half a milligram of achilleine per kilogram of body weight can reduce the time it takes a wound to clot by 32%!
Yarrow also reduced the chance of infection, buy activating the blood platelets which form a protective layer to keep the body protected from infection causing bacteria. Also an antiseptic, antimicrobial, and he natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb make it ideal for use on minor cuts and burns, encouraging healing whilst relieving pain and inflammation.
Are you in love with yarrow yet? This plant can go side by side with PLANTAIN in salves and poultices!
Some other really beneficial uses for yarrow are its ability to help blood circulation and improves blood flow. It is known to dilate the capillaries, which increases circulation. Healthy blood circulation is essential to maintaining the overall health of the body as it ensures that every part of the body receives enough blood and oxygen to function properly.
Myself, I have an issue with varicose veins and as I get older, I am seeing them worse and worse. Yarrow can help with this by dispersing blood congestion and by toning the walls of the veins with its astringent properties. Amazing isnt it!
A few other great benefits to yarrow is its effects on stomach flu symptoms. Yarrow is an excellent digestive stimulant that encourages proper bile secretion from the gallbladder, which in turn promotes digestion and can prevent gallstones from forming in the first place! Yarrow contains phytochemical azulene, which has anti-spasmodic properties and relaxes the internal stomach muscles, making it useful cases of digestive cramps.
Yarrow and Womens health- This plant is essential for womens health! Particularly effective in either lessening heavy menstrual flow or in stimulating the uterus to bring on menstruation- Yarrow aids in toning the muscles and increasing muscular activity of the uterus, which serves to initiate menstrual flow, this is especially useful for women who suffer from absent period of suffer from heavy blood flow.
So now you have read all about yarrow, I bet you are wondering.... how the heck can I use it ?! Ill tell you how.
You can harvest yarrow, by cutting the stem and drying the whole plant. I grind mine up, leaves, stem and flowers are all considered medicinal.
Some common ways to use your dried yarrow :
Herbal tea: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of hot water. you can steep for as little as 15 minutes, or as long as you like. The longer you steep, the more benefits that are extracted from the herb.
Tinctures: alcohol tincture is the best for pulling out all the constituents from the plant, but you can also use vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar. Take 2 - 3 ml 2 to 3 time a day, or as directed by a herbal practitioner.
Salves and poultices: You can make your own healing salve using simple ingredients like beeswax, olive oil and essential oils. Yarrow is great to buddy up with the powerful healing plant- Plantain click for more information!
I have also found out that you can even powder your yarrow and add it to smoothies and health shakes! Wow what a versatile plant. I would really love to know about your experiences with yarrow ! If you want , let me know in the comments below, and if you really loved this blog post, then subscribe to my mailing list to stay in the know ! As summer progresses on, I will be adding more educational posts about the special herbs that are available in our amazing province of Alberta!
*This information for educational purposes only. This blog post is not intended to cure, diagnose treat any type of disease or condition whatsoever, or replace any prescription medication you are currently taking.
Always make sure to check with your doctor before choosing herbal teas or salves for remedies, as some herbs may not work for all people and may react to certain medications.
This post is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is not intended to represent or replace professional medical advice or prescription medicine. It is not intended to give medical advise either. **