Mind + Body
Herban Love with Goldthread Herbs | Yarrow
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Taste: Bitter, sweet, astringent, aromatic principles
Temperature: Cool overall, with some initial heating
Moisture: Drying and astringing
Herbal actions: Astringent, Bitter tonic, Diaphoretic,
Hemostatic, Emmenagogue, Antispasmodic
General Information & Effects | Incorporating Yarrow Into Your Life:
The ancient Greek Achilles reputedly used Yarrow in wounded troops during the Trojan wars. A multifaceted and multi-directional herb, taken hot it is a useful and reliable diaphoretic for colds, flus, eruptive skin issues, and fevers. Yarrow’s astringent, vasoconstriciting qualities come to the fore in uterine conditions and blood circulation issues. Yarrow can bring on a delayed period and help to relieve cramps associated with stagnant conditions. Yarrow has famous wound healing and blood staunching qualities useful externally, and it actually strengthens blood vessels and veins.
Preparation and dosage:
Essential oil, diluted in carrier oil
Cautions and contraindications:
Not to be used in pregnancy due to emmenagogue functions. Allergic skin conditions at times a possibility.
Yarrow is a perennial herb that has naturalized in most parts of North America. In New England, we find it growing mostly on roadsides. It grows up to 3 feet in height, although this is rare, and spreads 2 feet or so. It has beautiful white flowers that grow in clusters and have a fantastic aroma.
We sow Yarrow in the greenhouse and get a pretty good germination rate, at least 50-60%, in about 14 days. It can also be propagated by root divisions in the spring or fall.
Planting and cultivation:
Yarrow spreads vigorously and this must be thought about if planting in beds as it will travel. We plant about 12-inches apart in late spring. It is not picky about soil, but does prefer full sun. It is resistant to drought and we have never had any pests.
Harvesting and processing:
Harvest the flowers and best leaves in the summer in successive waves using snips. We like to grow Coastal Yarrow (Achillea millefolium var. litoralis) from Oregon for our distiller. It is the largest species and in our opinion the most fragrant. Even the foliage has a very strong and lovely fragrance on this variety. Yarrow dries well and isn’t difficult to garble.