I would like to focus some attention in this blog on the herbal remedies that we often have growing in our yards. Many plants have medicinal uses, although some are nearly impossible to use safely or effectively without specialized training. A fair number, however, can easily be used to treat a variety of minor ailments. One of the best known of these is yarrow, Achillea millefolium.
Yarrow has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of issues, and is common both in gardens and in the wild across the northern hemisphere. It has been used to flavor beer in a manner similar to hops, and it is used in gardens to repel pests but attract pollinators.
Medicinally, it is used to prevent infection and to stop bleeding. A poultice of the young leaves is applied to a wound, where it not only acts as an antiseptic, but also stops the bleeding and numbs the pain. Dried, powdered yarrow can be put on shallow wounds to help them close more quickly.
Yarrow tea is also an effective remedy. It can help fight off a cold or flu, if taken as soon as the first symptoms appear. Later, it can also be used to reduce fevers and to induce sweating.
Please comment with other uses that you have found for this marvelous plant!
Having grown up in a medical family, I feel obligated to offer this warning:
Don’t be stupid. If you take other medications, check with a doctor before using yarrow. If you are seriously injured or ill, go to a doctor instead of relying on my untrained advice. As with any other herb, some people are allergic and should not use yarrow. If you experience side effects such as death, discontinue the use of yarrow. Seriously, though, stop if it’s causing problems.
~The Homesteading Hippy