Whether you’re injured on the hiking trail and need a remedy, or you’re feeling off-color and are looking for a natural remedy, there’s one plant you need to add to your wellness arsenal: yarrow.
A wild herb that grows throughout temperate regions of North America, yarrow has been used for generations as natural healing agent against a variety of health issues.
Yarrow blooms from late spring through early fall, and reaches 1-3 feet in height. Part of the daisy family, yarrow produces yellow and white flowers depending on the variety.
Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow, is a medicinal wonder. A simple, antique bloom that looks beautiful fresh or dry, is often found growing in abandoned places and fields. It's history is steeped in physical and spiritual healing properties. Legends say Achilles used it to heal his comrades on the battlefield and herbal practice today has extensive use of it in teas and ointments. Through the ages, it has been hung or worn as a protective charm. Adding Yarrow to a Bride's bouquet was said to bring lasting love for seven years. An interesting option for a Bride looking to bring intention into her design.
You can use the entire plant – flowers, stalks, leaves and roots. WebMD says yarrow can be used as relief for everything from fever, the common cold, loss of appetite, toothaches, poultices for wounds, to combat bloating and much more.
Whether it’s fresh or dry, yarrow yields impressive healing powers. It can be brewed into tea, or plucked straight off the plant for on-the-go healing. The warming properties of yarrow are what stimulate the immune system to fight whatever the body is facing – as well as allowing the body to sweat, drawing out fever.
And there are multiple ways to use yarrow – as a tea, tincture or poultice on the skin, adding it to lotions for relief anywhere, or raw for use on wounds.
For the common cold, as well as flu and fevers, drink yarrow tea throughout the day. Yarrow has a naturally bitter flavor, so for those that aren’t a fan, mix in mint or peppermint to mask the flavor.
For cuts, either chew up fresh yarrow leaves, forming a poultice that you can apply to the wound to seal and promote healing, or place dried yarrow directly on the injury to stop bleeding. Wait a few moments, and then wash the yarrow out to get a better look at the severity of the cut.
Although there are a plethora of health benefits, because it is an unregulated natural substance, special care should be taken ingesting or using yarrow when pregnant, as it can affect the menstrual cycle.
Also, if you have any sort of allergy to ragweed or related plants it may cause an allergic reaction to those that are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family.
As with any substance that can affect your health, it’s always best to consult your doctor before jumping into regular use.
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