Common Name: Yarrow
Latin name: Achillea millefolium
Parts used: leaves, flowers
Tissue or system affinity: skin, uterus, urinary tract, throat, mucous membranes
Taste: bitter, astringent
Energetics: cooling & drying
Actions: anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, antiviral, diaphoretic, styptic, hemostatic, febrifuge, antibacterial, aromatic
Uses: One of the best first aid herbs I know of. You can read more about it in this chicken healing story. It will calm inflammation around a wound, tighten the tissues, AND fight off bacteria and infection. It also happens to be a superior pest deterrent (homemade bug spray). You can use yarrow for nose bleeds, wounds, urinary tract infections, strep throat, heavy menses, & fevers/flus (induces sweat, breaks fever; add peppermint for taste).
The Romans used this herb on the battlefield to dress wounds (so you can imagine how effective this herb is for first aid). Use as a tea or tincture (internally or topically), and as a powder or infused oil (or salve), topically.
It has a terrible bitter taste, but it works so effectively…you’ll see right past that.
Extra: CASE STUDY 1 – One of my clients own words about using yarrow for UTIs — “One thing you were a huge help with was UTI. I had several and was sent to a specialist, even. They wanted me to take meds everyday from then on. You came to the shop and brought me a bitter tea. The taste is very bitter, but it took away my UTI. After you moved I felt one coming on and used your tea again, and it went away. I have not had any more trouble.”
CASE STUDY 2 – Another client had a terrible infection on her leg where a dog had bitten her. She wrote, “I had tried antibiotics prescribed by the Dr and nothing has worked. The yarrow on the wound 2x a day and it healed beautifully!” In 1 1/2 weeks she was able to clear the infection by using an herbal compress of yarrow twice a day and washing with activated charcoal soap. “I barely have a scar!,” she wrote me later.
Extra Extra: A flower essence of yarrow (or a low-dose of the tincture) is used to help people create and maintain boundaries. I’ve seen this work very well for people who feel overwhelmed.