Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Other names: Folk Names: Achillea, Arrowroot, Bad Man's Plaything, Carpenter's Weed, Death Flower, Devil's Nettle, Eerie, Field Hops, Gearwe, Hundred Leaved Grass, Knight's Milfoil, Knyghten, Lady's Mantle, Milfoil, Militaris, Military Herb, Millefolium, Noble Yarrow, Nosebleed, Old Man's Mustard, Old Man's Pepper, Sanguinary, Seven Year's Love, Snake's Grass, Soldier's Woundwort, Stanch Griss, Stanch Weed, Tansy, Thousand Seal, Wound Wort, Yarroway, Yerw.
Features/description: The stem is angular and rough, the leaves alternate, 3-4 inches long and 1 inch broad, clasping the stem at the base, bipinnate, the segments very finely cut, giving the leaves a feathery appearance. It flowers from June to September. The flower, white or pale lilac, being like small daisies, in flattened, terminal loose heads, or chymes. The whole plant is more or less hairy, with white, silky hairs.
Cultivation Yarrow is an undemanding plant that thrives even in poor soil but does best in a sunny position with good drainage and light soil.Yarrow grows well in zones 3-8 with some cultivars extending to zone 10. Plants are susceptible to disease in humid areas. Tolerates light shade. Soil-moderately rich and moist. Propagating-sow or divide invasive roots in spring or autumn. Growing-thin or transplant to 12 inches apart. Plant will bloom a second time if they are deadheaded. Not suitable for indoor growing. Harvesting-gather leaves and flowers in late summer. Preserving-dry both leaves and flowers.
Propagate from seeds, by root division or from woody cuttings taken in autumn or spring. They can take a year or two to establish themselves from seed. Place the plants 1-2 feet apart and divide the clumps when they become crowded. Taller cultivars may need to be staked, especially if grown in very fertile soil.
Culinary- LEAF, finely chopped slightly bitter, peppery young leaves into salads and cheese dips. Used like flour (the root) to thicken sauces Yarrow ale was a traditional drink at country weddings for centuries be fore the introduction of Hops to brewing. The ale has all of the healing qualities of the herb.
Yarrow Ale (makes about 8 16-oz. bottles)
1 gallon water (use bottled spring water)
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup organic unsulphured molasses
1 oz. dried Yarrow flowers (enough to pack two muslin tea bags)
1 quart strong Sage infusion
1 packet brewer's yeast
Bring the water to a boil. Add the brown sugar, molasses, and one of the muslin bags of Yarrow. Boil for a half hour. Remove the herb from the "wort," and allow the liquid to cool to 70 degrees (about room temperature -- this will take a couple of hours). While the wort cools, prepare your fermenter. This can be any glass container larger than one gallon, with a wide mouth. Wash with soap and water, and rinse first with boiling water and then with a strong infusion of Sage to discourage unwanted bacteria. Pour the cooled wort into the fermenting jar. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm waterand let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Add the yeast/water to the jar, and suspend the second muslin bag of Yarrow in the wort. Cover the jar loosely with plastic wrap or a loose top so the developing gas can escape. Let it foam up for a week or ten days. When the foam is gone, wash and sterilize bottles as above (recycled Grolsch beer bottles work well). Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to each bottle. Pour ale into primed bottles and cap or cork, label and date. Set bottles in a cool spot for a couple of weeks to carbonate, then refrigerate and enjoy.
Medicinal- LEAF, The Yarrow plant has been used throughout the ages for its healing properties. Yarrow is known to help with high blood pressure, digestive problems, and as an antiseptic. Yarrow can help with varicose veins, and other circulatory disorders. It has a balancing effect on urine flow, and help to cure bedwetting. It is used to alleviate muscle pain and headaches infuse as a tea for digestive problems.Aids progesterone production. Shrinks fibroids and hemorrhoids,Dries secretions & reduces menstrual flooding ,Regulates blood sugar levels & mood swings Yarrow tea is a good remedy for severe colds and is useful in the commencement of fevers. It opens the pores freely and is recommended for colds and measles.
NOTE: extended use may make skin light-sensitive Do not use Yarrow during pregnancy, for undiagnosed bleeding, or for more than two weeks.
Yarrow Tea The infusion is made with 1 oz. of dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water. It may be sweetened with sugar or honey with a small amount of pepper.
Tea Tips: Tea - 1 oz herb per 1 cup water. Drink 1/2 - 1 cup every hour until cold/ feverbreaks or bleeding stops
A piece of the plant held against a wound will staunch bleeding. An infusion can help to break a fever. A tea made from yarrow with peppermint and elderflower can be used to fight colds and flu.
Other Uses WHOLE PLANT, helps nearby plants to resist disease.
LEAF, speed decomposition by adding one chopped fresh leaf to each wheel barrel-load of compost.Adds color to a border. The flat heads add contrast to mounding or spiky plants.Use in fresh arrangements.Makes attractive dried flowers if cut before the sun bleaches them. To dry the flowers, cut them at their peak befor they start to fade and hang them head-down in clusters of six to 12 in a dry, airy place out of the sun.Fragrant addition to potpourri.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.