Yarrow is a special herb that has a place in myth and legend. It gets its name from Achilles, who is said to have taken it with him into battle when he invaded Troy. He had been educated about the benefits of Yarrow by Chiron and was said to use Yarrow to stop the bleeding of his wounded compatriots!
Beyond its place in ancient legendary tales, Yarrow, (Achillea millefolium) is a perennial herb native to Europe. It flowers in various colours including white, pink and yellow. Traditionally it was called ‘nosebleed’ by those who used it as it was so effective at stopping blood flow. In earlier years it was also referred to as the military herb as soldiers used it to treat wounds sustained in battle - just as Achilles did!
Yarrow is effective for use in external applications as it is highly effective at restricting blood vessels and so helps with wound healing. It also prevents tissue swelling and general inflammation, which makes it helpful in resolving bruising (Tadic et al, 2017). It was shown in the Tadic (2017) study to alleviate irritated skin by re-establishing an optimal pH level and rehydrating the skin. This mighty herb also has antibacterial properties which helps to protect wounds from infection.
Yarrow’s helpful properties for external injuries is just the beginning of what it has to offer. Yarrow makes for a very useful digestive tonic as it promotes the productions of gastrointestinal secretions and eases spasms in the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract (Benedek et al, 2007). Its antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle helps to settle discomfort in the reproductive tract during a mare’s cycle. Yarrow can be found in Moody Madam.
Yarrow is also valuable as a herb to manage colds and flus as it can help to reduce fevers.
In areas where yarrow grows wild, or amongst meadows and pastures, it is readily and happily grazed by horses, who not only enjoy its earthy flavour but its many benefits to a sense of well-being.
Benedek, B., Kopp, B., Melzig, M. F. 2007, Achillea millefolium L. s.l. – Is the anti-inflammatory activity mediated by protease inhibition?,Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 113 (2), pp. 312-31.
Tadić, V., Arsić, I., Zvezdanović, J., Zugić, A., Cvetković, D., Pavkov, S. (2017) The estimation of the traditionally used yarrow (Achillea millefolium L. Asteraceae) oil extracts with anti-inflamatory potential in topical application, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 199(1), pp. 138-148.
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