Yarrow, referred to as Achillea millefolium in Latin was named in honor of the Greek legend Achilles. This magic herb carries exciting and intriguing properties. It was used to treat ancient Greek soldiers in the battlefields; this modest herb was suggested to have strong healing powers.
Since ages, yarrow has been an integral part of divination rituals; these rituals were performed by the people of China in their waking rituals, to manipulate dreams, and to find love.
Yarrow was also an integral component of I.Ching, the epic Chinese ritual that consists of 64 straight, long sticks of this flowering plant used to read the hexagrams necessary for performing divination.
Yarrow contains one or more stems and can reach up to a height of 0.66 to 3.28 feet. It has feathery leaves, which are around 2- to 8-inches long and covered with minuscule hairs and are spirally arranged on the stem of the plant.
What is Yarrow – An Overview
A flowering plant, yarrow has been an essential part of modern-day medical treatment for digestion and hormonal imbalance in women.
This modest plant has been used extensively around the world for its medicinal properties that provide safe and quick relief from several common health conditions such as cold, menstruation problem(1), fever, digestion, and eating disorders.
The yarrow plant has several other names, such as bloodwort, carpenter’s weed, old man’s pepper, knight’s milfoil, nosebleed, and staunch grass.
Together with its wispy leaves, yarrow has several distinguishing characteristics such as its flowers. The flowers of yarrow plant are small and grow in composite flat-topped clusters right on top of its stems. The flowering season is from June to October, and yarrow flowers are either lilac- or rose-colored, or sometimes white.
Yarrow is a native of Europe, but ultimately it reached North America with early colonists. The yarrow plant can now be found in almost all countries in the world — wild in meadows and fields, along the roadsides, or gardens.
Yarrow’s several health benefits include fighting inflammation, quick wound healing, fighting infection, reducing scarring, gastrointestinal remedy, fighting mastitis, managing blood pressure, and inducing hormonal balance.
Certain medicinal advantages may include curing a common cold, treating skin infections, and treating asthma.
[Also Read: Benefits of Barley Grass]
What Does Science Say About the Benefits of Yarrow?
The medicinal plant yarrow has been scientifically proven to have highly potent substances that exhibit anti-inflammatory and blood-clot formation properties. During the Middle Age in Europe, most people preferred yarrow herbal tea to stop mild to moderate internal bleeding. Yarrow(2) tends to speed up the healing process.
Also, Micmac Indians used to prefer drinking this herbal plant extracts with warm milk to resolve their symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Also, yarrow is scientifically proven to possess strong anti-rheumatic properties to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Health Benefits of Yarrow Essential Oil
Let’s explore more about these versatile and somewhat unexpected health benefits of Yarrow essential oil.
While this magical medicinal plant offers several versatile and rather unexpected benefits to boost our health and general well-being, the following ten health benefits certainly make yarrow worth a try for everyone.
The essential oil derived from this medicinal plant yarrow possess potent anti-inflammatory properties and is, therefore, extremely effective in reducing pain as well as swelling in the respiratory or nasal tract caused by the common flu or cold, inflammation in the digestive system resulting from the consumption of spicy foods, and several other types of inflammation in the body.
Yarrow is, extremely useful for circulation and, therefore, works exceedingly well for arthritic or rheumatic patients. It enhances circulation and, thus, prevents uric acid accumulation in the muscles and joints, thence helping cure arthritis and rheumatism.
[Also Read: Treat Arthritis with Natural Remedies]
Natural antiseptic lotions and creams available out there hardly live up to the expectations. Yarrow essential oil works wonders when used as an antiseptic to safeguard wounds and cuts, and fights against septic, fungal, viral, or bacterial infections.
It works by forming a protective layer on the wound. At the same time, it activates the blood leucocytes and platelets on the affected area, thus stopping the intrusion of bacteria and microbes.
A spasm can be understood as an extraordinary contraction in your body and can cause a wide range of severe and painful conditions. In such cases, yarrow essential oil comes handy in relaxing your muscles, intestines, nerves, or tendons with its powerful anti-spasmodic effect to provide relief from the symptoms.
Heaviness in the chest, stomach aches, loss of appetite, chest pain, indigestion, flatulence, etc. can always be trouble. Try yarrow essential oil that works well in removing old, trapped gases from your intestines through the downward path along with preventing their build-up in the longer run.
Yarrow offers exceptional cicatrisant properties that can give even the costliest of skincare products a run for their money with its deep-acting and effective anti-scar and anti-mark actions. Use it for boils, pimples, acne, wounds, or other skin disorders to a relief that lasts long, truly long!
Yarrow increases perspiration and, therefore, aids in the removal of water, extra salts, and toxins from the body. It also cools down and soothes the body, provides effective relief from fever, and aids in losing weight naturally.
Yarrow improves the digestive system altogether. It enhances the secretion of various digestive juices (bile and acids) along with restoring the health of all digestive organs as well as the liver.
[Also Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion]
With anti-inflammatory properties for the respiratory tract along with high-potency expectorant properties, yarrow relieves congestion in the nose, bronchi, and chest, along with clearing the tract of the phlegm to provide adequate relief.
Yarrow carries the secret to younger- and smoother-looking skin bt providing a balanced proportion of moisture in the skin cells. It keeps your skin free from infections, cracks, dryness, and visible marks.
While there are numerous ways in which you can use the medicinal plant yarrow to treat or prevent several acute or chronic health conditions, some of the most common uses of yarrow include:
1. Yarrow Herbal Tea
Ingredients You Need:
- 2 pieces fresh or 1 teaspoon dried large yarrow leaves
- 1 cup boiling water
- A slice of lemon
- Raw honey (optional)
How to Prepare:
- Add the yarrow leaves to a jar of boiling water, then let it steep for some 10 minutes.
- Now strain the yarrow leaves.
- Add honey or lemon (optional) and serve with a smile.
2. Yarrow Powder
Yarrow powder can be encapsulated, added to smoothies, or mixed with juice or water. It can even be used topically on cuts, wounds, minor bruises to make the most of its large healing properties.
3. Yarrow Tincture
Yarrow tincture is readily available in the market. Take 2 to 3ml or 2 to 3 times a day, or as prescribed by your Herbal Practitioner to heal internal bleeding or minor wounds.
While yarrow is entirely safe for use by people of all ages, its overuse can have specific potential adverse effects. In some people, taking yarrow orally may cause increased urination, drowsiness, skin irritation, or contact dermatitis.
It tends to make your skin more sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and can, therefore, cause allergic reactions in people having sensitive skin or an allergy to plants that belongs to the Aster family. Pregnant or nursing women must altogether avoid the use of yarrow.
Also, yarrow may have adverse side effects when consumed by people who’re already using the following medications:
- Blood thinners (such as warfarin)
- Stomach acid-reducing proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole)
- High blood pressure medicines
- Anticonvulsants or sleeping pills
It is recommended that you consult a registered medical practitioner before including yarrow in your diet.
Yarrow is a rare herbal plant that exhibits a wide range of health benefits. In particular, its healing properties are far more superior as compared to conventional medicines. Adding yarrow extract to sauces, soups, and teas can lead to a unique bittersweet flavor along with a treasure of health benefits. This herb deserves a sweet spot in your kitchen, and you can use it as an alternative to tarragon in recipes.
While yarrow has numerous benefits to enhance your overall health and general well-being, you should remember specific points to ensure safe usage of this magical plant. Just follow the instructions given in this post and, rest assured, you will never make a mistake in unleashing all the benefits of yarrow.