Thank you for joining today’s Plant Walk! I am so happy to have you along with us and can’t wait to dive into our plant of the week: Yarrow << Achillea millefolium >>
Let’s take a walk to meet the magical powerhouse and dear friend, Yarrow. This cooling & drying herb is a member of the daisy family. Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, it can be found in grasslands and open forests. Keep your eyes peeled for Yarrow along the roadside, or on your next walk around the neighbourhood. Yarrow is just about everywhere!
This herb is an ancient medicine that has been used around the world for thousands of years. Traditionally it was used for magic in ancient China to receive divine answers from the heavens. Legend has it that Yarrow received its Latin name (Achillea millefolium) because the Greek warrior, Achilles, used Yarrow for protection. Achilles would bathe in Yarrow, believing it made him invincible during battle. This beauty was also used to heal the wounded soldiers.
As seen in this ancient tradition, one of Yarrow’s primary usages is for wound healing. Yarrow is a great ally to include in your first aid kit – as it is antiseptic and styptic, meaning it stops bleeding.
However, wound healing is just one of the ways Yarrow can be used as it is an herb that is a polycrest, meaning it can help with a wide range of ailments, and has lots of actions and usages. For example:
-The flowers can be used as a diaphoretic – aiding the body to allow a fever to run its course
-Mild bitter to help stimulate digestion
-Antiviral making it a great remedy for a cold
-As a cardiac tonic to reduce blood pressure
-Antimicrobial used specifically for urinary tract infections
-Antispasmodic used to help females with menstrual cramps
One of my favourite ways to use Yarrow is as a flower essence, which is an energetic medicine similar to homeopathy. Flower essences are used for mental and emotional health, and Yarrow can help one to set healthy energetic & emotional boundaries. As an herbal essence, Yarrow has been one of my dearest medicines, as I can pick up on others stress and emotions around me. It allows me to keep my own energy aligned by not take in the world around me, and keeping me grounded. If you are a highly sensitive person or an empath like me this medicine can work wonders.
Making Yarrow tea: When using Yarrow, due to its bitter flavour, I like to pair it with some of my favourite aromatic herbs. An infusion recipe that I personally use when I am feeling a little bit under the weather is:
To make this infusion you add the ingredients to two cups of hot water. Steep for 5-10 min, and enjoy!
Due to its wide range of benefits Yarrow is an excellent herb to keep stocked in your medicine cabinet. It is a safe medicinal herb but should be avoided if you are pregnant or have a known allergy to the daisy family. As always there is far more to this herb than what I was able to share in this brief summary. If something that you read spoke to you then I encourage you to experiment with the medicine that calls to you, and to build a personal relationship with Yarrow. This information is meant to inform you on just how powerful Yarrow is – so that you can consider including it in your practice. It is my hope to empower and enlighten all on the different benefits of herbs, reminding you that medicine is all around ;). However, it is not meant to be used as medical advice, or prescription.
Thank you for reading along I hope that you keep your eyes peeled for Yarrow next time you are on an outdoor adventure, and I can’t wait for next weeks journey.
Sending Love and Light
Lisa Marie Holmes
Sources: The Herbal Academy herbarium : Yarrow
Hunter, Candace. “Yarrow Myth, History, Folklore, and Magic – The Practical Herbalist.” The Practical Herbalist. 20 June 2010. Web. 13 Dec. 2015