I said that Yarrow would be the first herb I discuss as part of the “For the Love of Herbs” blog series, so here it is.
Firstly, you have my apologies for the delay, I am not the most confident blogger and tend to shy away from this kind of thing, but that is precisely why yarrow is a great first herb for this project, and I’ll tell you why in this post.
Tradition of Yarrow
If I take a second to cover a little about the tradition of Yarrow, its Latin name is Achillea millefolium and is often associated as a warrior herb that provides great strength of character (hence good for this post).
From a mythological point of view, it was said that Achilles’ mother bathed her son in a bath infused with Yarrow, thus this was the source of his boundless strength, except as she held Achilles, she did so by the heels and we all know proved to be his fatal weak spot.
How I Use Yarrow
Yarrow is a herb that I use in the vast majority of my bespoke herbal formulations, not only is it great a great herb for most people, but in my mind it is also a very special herb.
Yarrow’s actions are typically mild, but with far reaching benefits, and I tend to use the herb to lend its strength to a formulation and help support a person with their external boundaries (most of us need a little help there).
In addition to its energetic uses, Yarrow is physically a great blood circulation normaliser.
I will always remember one of my university lecturers describing its blood movement effects, stating that it moves blood to where it needs to be, thus helping to get congested areas moving and flowing freely, and improve overall blood circulation.
An example of Yarrow’s blood movement benefits can be seen we are chronically stressed. When we perceive a sense of threat, our blood moves out to our peripheries getting us ready to take flight, as a result this causes a slowing down blood movement in and around the digestive system. This movement particularly effects the rate at which blood moves through the liver and long term can lead to blood congestion in this area, a poorly functioning digestive system and a sluggish extraction of natural waste materials by the liver. By excelling at normalising blood movement, Yarrow can be a very useful herb for minimising the effects of chronic stress on the circulation and the body as a whole, and help improve digestion. Another great application is to help normalise blood congestion associated with the menstrual cycle, by clearing congestion Yarrow can be helpful for a host of menstrual issues including PMT and cramps.
As described before, Yarrow has the association as a warrior herb, but for more than one reason, this time because it has superb healing abilities. Yarrow is both a vulenary and a styptic, and was typically used to stop bleeding and help the healing of wounds on a battlefield. Thus yarrow is a great herb to use topically on cuts, bites and burns (see the link below for a salve recipe)
Yarrow is also traditionally used to help support the body during a cold/flu/fever. It is typically brewed alongside elderflower and mint to help break a fever and support the immune system to recover quicker, find out more about its benefits for fevers below.
How you can use Yarrow.
The easiest way to use Yarrow is to brew up a cup. All you need is:
1) a teaspoon of the dried herb
2) allow to infuse in a cup of boiled water (covered) for 10 minutes
4) add honey or lemon to taste (optional)
If you do brew a cup of this wonderful herb, I recommend you take the time out and do it by this method.
Other useful links