The valuable health effects of the Yarrow herb have been well-known in the annals of herbal medicine for eons.
Yarrow is also known as Achillea millefolium, common yarrow, milfoil, soldiers woundwort, staunchweed, woundwort, and Western Yarrow.
The yarrow is a long-stemmed plant found in the wild throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Yarrow has highly segmented leaves and has clusters of daisy-like white or lavender flowers at the top of the stalk.
In Greek mythology, it was said that the warrior Achilles painted himself with a tincture of yarrow during the siege of Troy to make himself invulnerable to arrows, everywhere on his body except his heel. He also used yarrow to heal the wounds of his soldiers.
Yarrow has the following constituents: btters, chamazulene, proazulene, saponins, tannins and fatty acids. These constituents give the yarrow its effect of being a ‘diaphoretic’, which causes the dilation of surface capillaries and helps poor circulation. However, the prolonged use of yarrow tea may make the skin sensitive to exposure to light. Use of the yarrow is not recommended for pregnant women and for those allergic to ragweed.
To make Yarrow Tea, add two or three fresh yarrow herbs (usually dried leaves and stems) to boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes or more.
The following are some benefits attributed to this herbal tea:
- Said to promote sweating that is useful for fevers and colds
- Thought to aid in the stimulation of appetite
- Believed to combat stomach cramps, flatulence, gastritis and enteritis
- May aid with gallbladder functions
- May assist in the overall treatment of liver problems
- Could help treat internal haemorrhage – particularly of the lungs
- Seen to help relieve inflammation
- Possibly encourages menstruation in women