Yarrow

Achillea millefolium var. millefolium

Acheillea millefolium var. Ianulosa (native to North America)

 Yarrow is a member of the Aster family native to Europe and Asia.  The leaves and flowers contain flavonoids, vitamin C, bitters, tannins, alkaloids, sterols, phenolic acids (including salicylates), coumarins, sesquiterpene, lactones (including achillein) volatile oils (including the toxic thujone, irritating borneal, stimulating camphor, antiseptic pinenes, etc.), and many other constituents.

Also known as: Bloodwort, Milfoil, Soldier’s Wound Wort

History:  Traditional herbalists in China, Europe and India have used Yarrow to stop minor bleeding and inflammation especially in the female reproductive tracts and can be used as a mild sedative.

Taste/Energetics:  Pungent, Bitter, Astringent / Cooling and Warming / Drying / K– V+

Yarrow reduces excess Pitta, bile and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract helping to strengthen the mucous membranes.

Tissue State:  Plasma, Blood, Muscle/ excitation, depression, relaxation

Body Systems: Nervous, Head, Respiratory, Digestion, Liver, Female Reproductive (regulates excessive bleeding & stops cramps), Kidneys & Bladder, Muscular/Skeletal, Circulation & Blood, Fever, Wounds, Skin (acne, sunburns, chicken pox and smallpox)

Symptoms:  Colds, fever, gastritis, enteritis, measles, menorrhagia, nosebleeds, stomach ulcers, abscesses, hemoptysis, menopause, varicose veins, earache, toothache, gingivitis, bee sting, Psoriasis,

Actions:  Diaphoretic, astringent, hemostatic, vulnerary, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, alterative, vulnerary, emmenagogic

Through numerous devices- clotting and unclotting, neurovascular control, flavonoids, etc. – it regulates the flow of blood to and from the surface, in and out of the capillaries and venules, thickening and thinning.

It also has some calmative, nervine action and promotes clarity and perception.  Yarrow contains a small amount of a hypnotic chemical called thujone (similar effects as marijuana).

It is well known to induce sweating and lower fevers.

Blurred Vision – Yarrow strengthens the muscles that surround the eyes, allowing objects to appear sharper and more in focus.

Aromatherapy:  Yarrow essential oil is used to reduce inflammation (through the compounds chamazulene and prochamazulene) and to relieve cold and flu symptoms. 

Precautions:  High Vatta. 

Preparation / Dosage:  Infusion (hot or cold) 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb (steep covered for 13 min.) 1-3x/ for acute conditions, powder (250 to 500 mg), paste.  A Decoction can also be used as a wash.  Tincture (1-3 drops up to 3x a day). 

*Add honey, sugar or lemon in the infusion to improve the taste.

Lotions, skin patches, bath, compress and massage oil.

Combines well with:  Peppermint as a diaphoretic, with sage as an astringent and nervine, with chamomile (a relative to Yarrow) as a stomachic.

Cold & Flu - Yarrow, Echinacea, Ginger, Elder Flower and peppermint leaf extracts.

Skin Issues: Angelica, cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, licorice, myrrh, myrtle, sarsaparilla, St. Johns Wort, Turmeric. 

High Blood Pressure - Hawthorn and Linden

Menstrum:  Teas, Poultices, and aromatherapy oil

Possible Reactions / Precautions: Skin irritation with prolonged use.  May cause sensitivity to sunlight.  Make sure when using to heal a wound, the wound is very well cleaned before applying because Yarrow heals so quickly it may seal in dirt and/or other contaminants.   Do not use to treat large, deep or infected wounds.  Use caution and low doses internally during pregnancy due to it being a uterine stimulant,.  Do not use on children under the age of 2 yrs. old.  Women who experience heavy periods or inflammatory pelvic disease should also avoid the internal use Yarrow.  Avoid during an acute attack of gallstones.  Men seeking to become fathers should also avoid internal use of this herb due to its ability to stop sperm production.  Could cause urine to appear brown in color but there is no alarm in this.

Written by: Sheryl Burns

 

Sources: Prescription for Herbal Healing; Phyllis A. Bach, CNC   Page: 144-145/The Herbal Healing Remedies Sourcebook; C. Norman Shealy MD, PhDPage: 15, 97/The Yoga of Herbs; Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant LadPage: 152/The Earthwise Herbal: Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants; Matthew WoodPages: 51-56/The New Healing Herbs; Michael CastlemanPage: 484-486

**Please note:  The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration.  It is always best practice to speak with your medical doctor and conduct your own research*