Yarrow
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YARROW
Achillea Millefolium
Compositae

It is thought that knights of Medieval Europe used yarrow as their principal healing tool in treating wounds of battle or internal complaints, so abundant are its curative properties. In fact, yarrow's official Latin name is Achillea millefolium; the first word showing that legend ascribes its use to Achilles and his comrades during the Trojan War in Greece to handle their healing needs. Millefolium means "thousand - leafed," referring to its multitude of tiny leaflets - maybe a thousand on one plant.

Yarrow is of value as a companion plant, as it repels Japanese beetles, ants, flies, and garden pests, much as does its close relative, Tansy. Yarrow will augment the volatile oils in herbs surrounding it, making it a good companion to other herbs. Its currently know medicinal uses include diaphoretic (will cause sweating - it will break a cold or fever), styptic (stops bleeding by contracting blood vessels), tonic (strengthens and invigorates organs - being helpful then to the entire nervous system), and astringent (reduces secretions and discharges). Folklore claimed that it aided in baldness if the head is consistently washed in a strong tea of Yarrow. For centuries in Europe and America, yarrow has been used as a healthful snuff, a toothache remedy, and as a stand-in for hops in the brewing of homemade beer. In culinary use, it has been occasionally used as a substitute for cinnamon or nutmeg.

Jethro Kloss, author of Back To Eden, says that yarrow is excellent for hemorrhages and bleeding from the lungs, for promoting urination or bladder complaints. An ointment of it is useful for old wounds, ulcers, and abscesses. A douche of yarrow tea is good for vaginal discharge and other female troubles. A warm enema of it is good for problems in the bowels, including bleeding and hemorrhoids. Jethro Kloss used strong tea enemas a treatment for typhoid fever (he found it more useful than quinine), diarrhea, dysentery, even in infants. Kloss used yarrow in treating diabetes, Bright's disease, chicken pox, measles, and smallpox.

Yarrow has such a wide range of uses and is so deeply cleansing to the body that it is valuable in supporting an immune system taxed by many serious illnesses.

by F.C. English
Bibliography:
Coon, Nelson - Using Plants For Healing
Kloss, Jethro - Back To Eden
Lust, John - The Herb Book
Rodale Press Book Division - The Rodale Herb book
Tenney, Louise - Today's Herbal Health

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last updated on August 26, 2013