Benefits and uses of Yarrow
Yarrow is an herb that I always keep on hand, especially with kids. It is part of my Sweet Dreams Sleep Tincture and I often add it to teas or preparations for the kids.Native American herbal medicine makes extensive use of yarrow. Among the Micmac people of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the stalk was chewed or stewed to induce sweating to “break” fevers and colds. They also pounded the stalks into a pulp to be applied to bruises, sprains, and swelling. Yarrow is also a natural insect repellant. This beneficial plant grows fairly easily in the Treasure Valley.
Dramatic Benefits of Yarrow:
My first introduction to yarrow was quite dramatic. While out camping, a friend sliced open her hand quite deeply and it started to profusely flow with blood. After sitting her down and raising her hand above her heart, yarrow was picked fresh and place on the wound. Within seconds it stopped bleeding. Later at the emergency room the doctor was at first annoyed with the “dirty” plant material that was placed in the wound, but then amazed as he realized how deep the cut was, and how very little blood there was.
Yarrow is another magical herb that can not only stop bleeding almost instantly, but can also increase circulation when taken internally or used externally to promote blood flow in bruises or varicose veins. Yarrow’s healing abilities have been known for an immeasurable amount of time and have even been made famous in our myths of Achilles.
Wellness Mama talks about the benefits of yarrow with her young children.
Yarrow is one of my go-to herbs for children. It is helpful in relieving fevers, shortening the duration of cold and flu, helping improve relaxation during illness, and relieving cramps associated with hormones or illness. Applied topically, it is helpful with skin itching, rash or other issues.
From Practical Herbalism:
“Yarrow flower used in chronic diseases of the urinary apparatus, is especially recommended by Prof. J. M. Scudder. It exerts a tonic influence upon the venous system, as well as upon mucous membranes. It has been efficacious in sore throat, hemoptysis, hematuria and other forms of hemorrhage where the bleeding is mall in amount; incontinence of urine, diabetes, hemorrhoids with bloody and mucoid discharges, and dysentery. Also in amenorrhea, flatulency and spasmodic diseases, and in the form of injection in leucorrhea with relaxed vaginal walls. It will be found to be one of our best agents for the relief of menorrhagia.”
Priest & Priest tell us that it is a mild, slow, and stimulating diaphoretic that is best used for the first stage of acute fevers, and for atonic and relaxed tissues where there is free discharge or passive hemorrhage of bright red blood. They recommend cold preparations to stimulate the appetite and tone the digestive organs, and give the following specific indications: Acute stage of colds; influenza and respiratory catarrhs; chronic diarrhea and dysentery; epistaxis; intestinal hemorrhage, bleeding hemorrhoids, uterine hemorrhage; profuse or protracted menstruation; and leucorrhea.”
From Mountain Rose Herbs:
“The British Herbal Compendium notes that preparations of yarrow lower fevers, induce sweating, stop cramps, encourage menstruation, relieve inflammation, and stimulate the release of stomach acid to digest proteins and fats. The herb is taken internally to treat colds, fevers, and indigestion, and used in skin treatments of slow-healing wounds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs recommends sitz baths with yarrow added to the bath water to relieve pelvic cramps in women.”
How We Use Yarrow:
- In homemade Buckwheat Relaxation pillows to help promote restful sleep
- In sweet dreams sleep tincture for times when falling asleep is difficult
- In teas (with mint and chamomile) during illness
- As a tea, tincture or poultice on skin for rashes and itching
- As a tincture to help ease menstrual cramps and hormone issues (not for use during pregnancy)
- Yarrow tea often helps with congestion symptoms from allergies and illness
- Adding yarrow to skin lotions, oils or salves can help with eczema or dry skin
- I add a strong yarrow tea to my child’s bath for a high fever that I want to bring down naturally
- Since it is helpful in stopping bleeding and avoiding infection, poultices of yarrow and plantain can be helpful on wounds
Have you ever used yarrow? How do you use it? Share your tips below!