Yarrow Uses

Put this native plant to good use in your garden.
Achillea Millefolium

Achillea Millefolium

Yarrow's spiky form lends visual interest to the garden.

Include common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in your landscape to reap benefits of beauty and a host of purported medicinal uses. The genus name, Achillea, hints at some of yarrow’s medicinal uses. Achillea is a reference to the Greek mythological hero Achilles, who reportedly used yarrow to stop the bleeding of the wounds of his soldiers. Yarrow's uses in treating military wounds through the centuries are further revealed in several of its common names, including Soldier’s Wound Wort and Knight’s Milfoil.

In Scotland, the Highlander people make an ointment from yarrow that was used to treat wounds. Historically, this herb was also called Nosebleed, because a rolled up leaf is said to stop the blood flow from a bleeding nose. Modern yarrow medicinal use some have employed include crushing, rubbing or chewing leaves to put on an injury to stop bleeding. Another yarrow use some have reported is as an antiseptic on wounds. 

Among Native American peoples, yarrow uses included healing digestive issues, such as cramping and upset stomach. In the Canadian Maritimes and Maine, native people groups relied on the yarrow use of inducing sweating to break colds and fevers. These same individuals pounded yarrow stalks to a pulp to apply to swelling and sprains. 

Among modern herbalists, one of yarrow’s purported medicinal uses is its ability to treat skin issues. When added to salves, skin lotions or oils, some believe yarrow helps to relieve skin rashes, itching or dry skin. A poultice or tincture of yarrow herb has also been claimed to help relieve hemorrhoids and bruises. 

A common yarrow use some have claimed is in treating coughs, colds and flu symptoms. Yarrow has also been said to cause sweating, which can help to break fevers associated with these conditions. Some claim that yarrow can have a decongestant effect that helps to alleviate coughs and limit mucus formation. 

Yarrow leaves and flowers have a bitter flavor, but can be easily sweetened by blending with other herbs or adding honey. To make tea, simply add fresh or dried leaves to boiling water. The general recipe is 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) of dried herb to 2 cups of boiling water. Use half as much fresh herb for the same effect. Add honey and mint or chamomile to sweeten the brew. A traditional fever-reducing tea is a blend of yarrow, peppermint, catnip and elderberry flowers. 

To harvest yarrow for herbal or medicinal use, gather flowers, leaves and stems. Pick flowers when they’re open and leaves when they’re dry. Air dry on screens or in bundles hung upside down in a dark place. Store the dried herb in tightly sealed containers in a cool, dark place. 

People who are allergic to plants in the aster family, including ragweed, daisy or chrysanthemum, should not use yarrow medicinally. Yarrow can make skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Editor's Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.

This article is not intended as medical advice. Always consult a professional healthcare provider before trying any form of therapy or if you have any questions or concerns about a medical condition. The use of natural products can be toxic if misused, and even when suitably used, certain individuals could have adverse reactions.

Include common yarrow ( Achillea millefolium ) in your landscape to reap benefits of beauty and a host of purported medicinal uses. The genus name, Achillea, hints at some of yarrow’s medicinal uses. Achillea is a reference to the Greek mythological hero Achilles, who reportedly used yarrow to stop the bleeding of the wounds of his soldiers. Yarrow's uses in treating military wounds through the centuries are further revealed in several of its common names, including Soldier’s Wound Wort and Knight’s Milfoil. 

In Scotland, the Highlander people make an ointment from yarrow that was used to treat wounds. Historically, this herb was also called Nosebleed, because a rolled up leaf is said to stop the blood flow from a bleeding nose. Modern yarrow medicinal use some have employed include crushing, rubbing or chewing leaves to put on an injury to stop bleeding. Another yarrow use some have reported is as an antiseptic on wounds. 

Among Native American peoples, yarrow uses included healing digestive issues, such as cramping and upset stomach. In the Canadian Maritimes and Maine, native people groups relied on the yarrow use of inducing sweating to break colds and fevers. These same individuals pounded yarrow stalks to a pulp to apply to swelling and sprains. 

Among modern herbalists, one of yarrow’s purported medicinal uses is its ability to treat skin issues. When added to salves, skin lotions or oils, some believe yarrow helps to relieve skin rashes, itching or dry skin. A poultice or tincture of yarrow herb has also been claimed to help relieve hemorrhoids and bruises. 

A common yarrow use some have claimed is in treating coughs, colds and flu symptoms. Yarrow has also been said to cause sweating, which can help to break fevers associated with these conditions. Some claim that yarrow can have a decongestant effect that helps to alleviate coughs and limit mucus formation. 

Yarrow leaves and flowers have a bitter flavor, but can be easily sweetened by blending with other herbs or adding honey. To make tea, simply add fresh or dried leaves to boiling water. The general recipe is 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) of dried herb to 2 cups of boiling water. Use half as much fresh herb for the same effect. Add honey and mint or chamomile to sweeten the brew. A traditional fever-reducing tea is a blend of yarrow, peppermint, catnip and elderberry flowers. 

To harvest yarrow for herbal or medicinal use, gather flowers, leaves and stems. Pick flowers when they’re open and leaves when they’re dry. Air dry on screens or in bundles hung upside down in a dark place. Store the dried herb in tightly sealed containers in a cool, dark place. 

People who are allergic to plants in the aster family, including ragweed, daisy or chrysanthemum, should not use yarrow medicinally. Yarrow can make skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Editor's Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.

This article is not intended as medical advice. Always consult a professional healthcare provider before trying any form of therapy or if you have any questions or concerns about a medical condition. The use of natural products can be toxic if misused, and even when suitably used, certain individuals could have adverse reactions.

Include common yarrow ( Achillea millefolium ) in your landscape to reap benefits of beauty and a host of purported medicinal uses. The genus name, Achillea, hints at some of yarrow’s medicinal uses. Achillea is a reference to the Greek mythological hero Achilles, who reportedly used yarrow to stop the bleeding of the wounds of his soldiers. Yarrow's uses in treating military wounds through the centuries are further revealed in several of its common names, including Soldier’s Wound Wort and Knight’s Milfoil. 

In Scotland, the Highlander people make an ointment from yarrow that was used to treat wounds. Historically, this herb was also called Nosebleed, because a rolled up leaf is said to stop the blood flow from a bleeding nose. Modern yarrow medicinal use some have employed include crushing, rubbing or chewing leaves to put on an injury to stop bleeding. Another yarrow use some have reported is as an antiseptic on wounds. 

Among Native American peoples, yarrow uses included healing digestive issues, such as cramping and upset stomach. In the Canadian Maritimes and Maine, native people groups relied on the yarrow use of inducing sweating to break colds and fevers. These same individuals pounded yarrow stalks to a pulp to apply to swelling and sprains. 

Among modern herbalists, one of yarrow’s purported medicinal uses is its ability to treat skin issues. When added to salves, skin lotions or oils, some believe yarrow helps to relieve skin rashes, itching or dry skin. A poultice or tincture of yarrow herb has also been claimed to help relieve hemorrhoids and bruises. 

A common yarrow use some have claimed is in treating coughs, colds and flu symptoms. Yarrow has also been said to cause sweating, which can help to break fevers associated with these conditions. Some claim that yarrow can have a decongestant effect that helps to alleviate coughs and limit mucus formation. 

Yarrow leaves and flowers have a bitter flavor, but can be easily sweetened by blending with other herbs or adding honey. To make tea, simply add fresh or dried leaves to boiling water. The general recipe is 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) of dried herb to 2 cups of boiling water. Use half as much fresh herb for the same effect. Add honey and mint or chamomile to sweeten the brew. A traditional fever-reducing tea is a blend of yarrow, peppermint, catnip and elderberry flowers. 

To harvest yarrow for herbal or medicinal use, gather flowers, leaves and stems. Pick flowers when they’re open and leaves when they’re dry. Air dry on screens or in bundles hung upside down in a dark place. Store the dried herb in tightly sealed containers in a cool, dark place. 

People who are allergic to plants in the aster family, including ragweed, daisy or chrysanthemum, should not use yarrow medicinally. Yarrow can make skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Editor's Note: The content of this article is provided for general informational purposes only. Be cautioned that some wild plants can be poisonous, and poisonous plants sometimes resemble edible plants which often grow side by side. It is the responsibility of the reader, or the reader’s parent or guardian, to correctly identify and use the edible plants described. HGTV does not guarantee the accuracy of the content provided in this article and is not liable for any injury resulting from use of any information provided.

This article is not intended as medical advice. Always consult a professional healthcare provider before trying any form of therapy or if you have any questions or concerns about a medical condition. The use of natural products can be toxic if misused, and even when suitably used, certain individuals could have adverse reactions.

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