Yarrow: herb of the battlefield (or just an amazing first aid herb)

yarrow flowers

Yarrow in full bloom

Common Name:  Yarrow
Latin name:  Achillea millefolium
Family:  Asteraceae

Parts used:  leaves, flowers
Tissue or system affinity:  skin, uterus, urinary tract, throat, mucous membranes
Taste:  bitter, astringent
Energetics:  cooling & drying
Actions:  anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, antiviral, diaphoretic, styptic, hemostatic, febrifuge, antibacterial, aromatic

Uses:  One of the best first aid herbs I know of.  You can read more about it in this chicken healing story.  It will calm inflammation around a wound, tighten the tissues, AND fight off bacteria and infection.  It also happens to be a superior pest deterrent (think homemade bug spray).  You can use yarrow for nose bleeds, wounds, urinary tract infections, strep throat, heavy menses, & fevers/flus (induces sweat, breaks fever; add peppermint for taste).  The Romans used this herb on the battlefield to dress wounds (so you can imagine how effective this herb is for first aid).  Use as a tea or tincture (internally) and as a powder, tea (rinse), or infused oil (or salve), topically.  It has a terrible bitter taste, but it works so effectively…you’ll see right past that.

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