Yarrow, My Favorite Herb

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If you can’t tell by the name of this blog there is a special place in my heart for the herb we’re going to talk about today!

Why It’s My Favorite

Yarrow was the first herb I came to know as a medicinal plant. I learned at a young age what it looked like, what it smelled like, what it was best used for! It was by far the first special step toward the journey I’m on now. It is also very easy to find and has very special healing properties.

What does it look like

Yarrow is a tall slender plant that grows wild all over the Kansas prairies, along with many other places. It has a smell that some may not prefer, but something about the spicy smell of yarrow just makes me smile. Yarrow has dark green, feathery leaves that alternate up the thin stem. Yarrow flowers appear mid-summer and are white to pale in the wild. They are like teeny tiny daisies in a bouquet, with flat tops. You can also find many different colors of yarrow at your local nursery. I read long ago that colorful yarrow isn’t as medicinally strong as other yarrows so I stick to the white yarrow.

Where does it grow

The yarrow plant can be found in early spring if you know what you are looking for. You’ll only find the lower feathery leaves at this point. Come midsummer you will see the white flowers speckled throughout prairies and meadows. It thrives under stress and the best quality yarrow can be found in sandy, gravelly soil that is warmed in the sun. You will find it flowering in June through September.

Warning: Yarrow does have a look alike or two. Queen Anne’s Lace and Hemlock are said to look similar to the yarrow plant. Personally I think the easiest way to tell the difference is to check the leaves. Yarrow leaves are very light and feathery. The other plant’s leaves are much thicker. The stems are also different. Hemlock has a very thick stem and grows very tall. Yarrow as I mentioned has a thin stem. Check out the picture of the leaves below and you’ll have no problem identifying Yarrow.

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What is it used for

Yarrow herb is not your typical herb. It is both stimulating and sedative and it moves where it is needed in the body, moving fluid in exactly the way it needs to be moved in most cases.

It staunches bleeding making the flower useful in nose bleeds and cuts. It tones blood vessels and moves inflammation away from the affected area making it very good in the case of hemorrhoids, varicose veins and bruises. Yarrow is my go to herb for fevers and chills. It encourages sweating making it good for breaking fevers. I always find it useful when fighting colds and flu.

How have I used it.

Yarrow is the herb I reach for when I start to fill icky sicky. I always have yarrow tincture on hand and a few drops (not a specific dose) of it in a hot tea throughout the day really seems to help me out. I will also use the flowers to make a tea if I need to.

I have used fresh and dried yarrow to stop bleeding. Both the flowers and the leaves have worked for me. I take the time to powder dried yarrow and keep it in my first aid kit at all times to help with cuts and lacerations.

 

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Yarrow is a special herb to me, I love the smell and I think she is just beautiful. I’m thankful that we met so many years ago and every time the weather changes and my body starts to feel those winter aches I am thankful that her tincture sits in my cabinet!

How about you, have you used yarrow before?  How have you use Yarrow?

 


If you want to dig deeper into Yarrow be sure to sign up for the Melissa and Yarrow Membership and check it out under Herbal Plant Profiles.