Belongs to the Asteraceae family. (Dandelion, Burdock, Calendula, Artichoke, etc)
Yarrow is a perennial, growing extensively around the world for thousands of years.
It was mentioned in ancient Chinese literature more than 4 thousand years ago in the Book of Changes (The IChing... Using 50 Yarrow stalks for divination).
Dioscorides included Yarrow in his herbal (first century). He called it Stratiotes Chiliophullum, in Greek, when translated into Latin (Herba Militaris) means the herb of the soldiers.. referring to the healing properties of Yarrow for battle wounds.
Egyptians used Yarrow in their temples as well as as a medicine.
The botanical name Achillea Millefolium is derived from the Greek Hero Achilles, (from the Illiad) who learned from the Centaur Chiron how to heal one of his army chiefs, Telephus, by applying Yarrow to his bleeding wounds.
Millefolium means ‘Thousand Leaf”, which describes the lace like leaves of this plant. Other names are Nosebleed, Soldier’s Woundwort, and Old man’s pepper. Also called Bad Man’s Plaything, and Devil’s plaything because it is a popular herb for use in charms and incantations.
“Yarrow” is derived from Hieros, which means sacred. In Germany it is called Schaf Garbe, which means Sheep’s herb..sheep love it and thrive on it.
Rudolph Steiner first suggested Yarrow as an important constituent for increasing the working eficiency of the organic compost heap.
The roots of Yarrow contain Sulphur and aromatic oils similar to Valerian.
The leaves contain tannic and prussic acids and flavonoids. Lime, iron, potash, soda, phosphorus, nitrates and sulphur are some of the minerals present in Yarrow.
Yarrow is a diaphoretic, stimulating perspiration. It is useful in treating influenzal colds and fevers.
It is hypotensive, dialating blood vessels thus lowering blood pressure.
It is astringent, as well as antiseptic, useful in all types of internal haemorrhages, especially the kidneys, urinary tract and the uterus.
It assists in the digestive process, relieves cystitis as well as alleviates menstrual cramps.
Ingested as a tincture or it can be drunk as a tea. As a poultice it is valuable to heal bloody cuts and contusions.
It is prepared in ointments for rheumatic pains. As a liniment, or a toner it makes a great aftershave as well.
Gather the flowering tops, between June and September.
Lata Chettri Kennedy