“There is ancient charm for curing the tertian agues with yarrow. A leaf of it is to be pulled offwith the left hand, pronouncing at the same time the sick man’s name; and this leaft is to be taken.”
~Culpeper’s Complete Herbal
But the warrior yarrow has hidden secrets and depths. Steeped in mythology, the scientific name for yarrow is achillea millefolium. A nod to the great warrior Achilles in Greek mythology who used this fantastic plant to tend to his soldiers’ wounds.
The ancient Romans knew this plant as Herba Militaris and also used it in battle to stop bleeding sustained injuries from ferocious fighting. In more recent history it has been known as soldiers woundwort.
The warrior yarrow then, is surely a mighty garden flower warrior whose applications are more than worthy of exploring further.
Amazing healing properties of warrior yarrow
- treatment of wounds,
- spasmodic diseases,
- flatulence and dyspepsia
Some of these effects may be due to a broad range of secondary active metabolites including flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins, terpenoids (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes) and sterols. But little research has yet been done into the medicinal properties and benefits of yarrow.
We know that for quite some time the warrior yarrow herb has been used to quickly stop blood flow and promote the healing of wounds. A simple remedy is to simply crush or chew the leaves and apply directly to the affected area. You can also treat nosebleeds by crushing and rolling up a few leaves and inserting into the nostril. Once the bleeding has stopped the plug can be gently removed.
Chewing the leaves has also been associated with relieving toothache. Yarrow tea has many fantastic applications. The antibacterial properties of this warrior plant can be used to alleviate the symptoms of UTI’s and also bring down a fever.
It is also an amazingly effective way of regulating the menstrual cycle and therefore reducing cramps and complaints like heavy, painful flow. It is also extremely beneficial for reducing the effects of stomach ulcers and reduces inflammation in this area, also reducing indigestion and heartburn. Take the tea 1-3 times a day to really feel the benefit.
The application of warrior yarrow to the skin can help with reducing inflammation and bring down redness such as seen in Rosacea. Why not have a go at making your own yarrow soap and experience its soothing effect
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties yarrow essential oil, although maybe not your first go to oil, is a fantastic aid to the relief of coughs and colds when added to an oil burner. Why not add a few drops to a warm bath if you are feeling a little run down, the yarrow essential oil will soothe away muscular aches too.
In the garden with our warrior yarrow
Let’s not have any worries that the seeds may not germinate. Yarrow seeds can be difficult, and we don’t want any disappointment coming our way!
When deciding where to plant your young warrior yarrow, be cautious and considerate in your decision. Its sad to say but it is often classed as a weed.
Warrior yarrow battles and fights and wins on many occasions to be the most prolific plant in the garden.
It will take over, so one suggestion is to plant in a pot and bury this into your border. Or just keep it very contained in a large pot on your patio or lawn. If left unchecked, it can spread very rapidly and its seeds can be carried on the wind and self germinate so keep your eye on that warrior!
The warrior yarrow loves to be in full sun and moist but well drained soil. It’s an incredibly self-sufficient plant and needs little attention unless the soil becomes a bit too dry, in which case it will need a good glug of water.
It should give you a beautiful display from June to about August and maybe, if you’re lucky, into October. It is recommended to harvest a good bunch of yarrow on a sunny day. The sunshine helps to promote the production of essential oils in the plant and you can be sure to capture this. Then simply lay out in a cool dark place to dry. You can then store in an airtight container for culinary or medicinal use.
If you love to grow herbs or gorgeously aromatic plants, pop a pot or two of yarrow next to them. This fantastic plant will actively help them increase the production of essential oils. How fantastic that yarrow enhances and promotes the abundance of other plants in your garden or on your patio.
You can also add chopped leaves to compost to enrich the soil and add nutrients to your borders and pots. It truly is a heroic warrior!
In the kitchen with warrior yarrow
Our warrior yarrow looks remarkably similar to other varieties of plants. An easy way to tell you have yarrow in front of you is by its leaves, they are feathery and abundant, and something akin to the fern. Indeed, the species name is millefolium which means thousands of leaves.
As the day starts to turn into evening, head back to your kitchen to test your culinary skills with your plant haul.
Yarrow is perhaps best used as a herb to compliment your dishes. It has a bittersweet taste and could potentially overpower any other flavours. Less is more with this Warrior!!
Even though a little naughty, why not try your hand at making yarrow salt. Easy and simple to make, just crush the buds of the flower and mix with sea salt. Lay out on baking paper and dry for a couple of days. Use your yarrow salt for an interesting twist on your favourite dishes.
Dried yarrow is a great alternative to tarragon and by adding a little in stews and casseroles will add a ‘pop’ to those age old recipes handed down through the generations.
The classic salad is always a winner in summer but can become a little staid. Fear not! Let’s get adventurous and make a warrior yarrow salad, again a simple recipe that is sure to surprise and leaves you with more time to spend eating and socialising and less time slaving in the kitchen!
Thoroughly wash and roughly chop a good amount of yarrow and place in your favourite large salad bowl. Mix breadcrumbs with an egg and stir-fry until it is crumbly and golden. Crumble over the yarrow leaves and drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top.
Tea is always a good idea, no matter what time of the day, who doesn’t feel comforted and nourished by a warming cuppa. Yarrow tea is no exception and has many fantastic benefits, including helping to sooth digestive problems and calming anxiety and depression. You can buy yarrow tea from many health food shops but if you have some dried flowers to hand, all you need to do is roughly chop and steep in a teapot, strain then pour. Incredibly simple, incredibly effective.
Carefully goes it!
- As always please consult a doctor if you are unsure as to whether you should be using Yarrow.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding people should not use yarrow.
- Yarrow should NOT be used if you are prescribed with blood thinning medications.
- This plant is also toxic to cats, dogs and horses, so be sure keep animals away from this plant.
MS Guardio has also written about the healing properties of the oregano.
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