Yarrow, one of the best diaphoretic herbs, is known for helping the body during a fever. It contains flavonoids that increase both saliva and stomach acids, thus improving digestion and stimulating the appetite. As a urinary antiseptic, it can be used in the case of cystitis. It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and coagulant and therefore helps in the healing process for burns, cuts, ulcers and inflammatory skin conditions. As a tonic, it reduces high blood pressure by dilating the peripheral vessels and toning them, which also improves conditions such as thrombosis, varicose veins and phlebitis.
Common Name of the Herb: Yarrow
Latin Name: Achillea millefolium
Parts Used: The aerial parts of the plant
Actions: Diaphoretic, hypotensive, carminative, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-catarrhal, emmenagogue, hepatic, stimulant, astringent, antiseptic, tonic.
Preparation and Use: There are several ways to use yarrow. You can make an infusion by pouring one cup of boiling water onto one to two teaspoons of dried herb. Let it stand for ten to fifteen minutes. Drink several times a day, or as often as once per hour when feverish. The leaves may also be used as a poultice. Just apply fresh yarrow leaves to the affected areas. You can wrap with plastic to retain moisture. Yarrow may also be made into a tincture. For fevers, combine with elder flower, peppermint, boneset, cayenne, and ginger. For raised blood pressure, combine with hawthorn, lime blossom, mistletoe.
Cautions and Limitations of Use:
- Internal use of yarrow is not recommended during pregnancy because it might lead to involuntary abortion.
- Caution for all herbs and foods: Stop using if you experience symptoms of allergy. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives. People who are allergic to other foods in the aster family may be allergic to yarrow.
- Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking prescription medications, regarding possible interactions.
- If in doubt about the safety of any herb, consult a doctor with special knowledge and experience with herbs.
- Constituents: Bitters, volatile oil, flavonoids, proazulene, chamazulene, tannins, saponins, Vitamin K, and fatty acids.
- Growing the Herb: Yarrow may be grown by dividing the roots during spring. It may also be grown from seed in spring. It will grow in most soil types and can live without water for a long time.
- How to Gather: Gather the flower heads during autumn
- Other English Common Names: Common yarrow, milfoil, staunchweed, soldiers woundwort, woundwort, western yarrow
- Where it Grows: It is found all over the world and easily grows anywhere. It grows in waste lands, meadows, countryside, pastures, and even along the highways.
- How to Identify: Yarrow grows up to a yard tall and produces attractive flower heads that have white rays and yellow flat round plates. The leaves are feather-like. There are other similar-looking flowers, so it’s best to consult a photo.