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

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Yarrow in 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 (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 or topically), and as a powder or infused oil (or salve), topically.

It has a terrible bitter taste, but it works so effectively…you’ll see right past that.

Extra:  CASE STUDY 1 – One of my clients own words about using yarrow for UTIs — “One thing you were a huge help with was UTI. I had several and was sent to a specialist, even. They wanted me to take meds everyday from then on. You came to the shop and brought me a bitter tea. The taste is very bitter, but it took away my UTI. After you moved I felt one coming on and used your tea again, and it went away. I have not had any more trouble.”

CASE STUDY 2 – Another client had a terrible infection on her leg where a dog had bitten her.  She wrote, “I had tried antibiotics prescribed by the Dr and nothing has worked. The yarrow on the wound 2x a day and it healed beautifully!”  In 1 1/2 weeks she was able to clear the infection by using an herbal compress of yarrow twice a day and washing with activated charcoal soap.  “I barely have a scar!,” she wrote me later.

Extra Extra:  A flower essence of yarrow (or a low-dose of the tincture) is used to help people create and maintain boundaries.  I’ve seen this work very well for people who feel overwhelmed.

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