Yarrow

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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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"Achillea millefolium"

The flowers and leaves of Yarrow are known to contain Astringent, Antiseptic, & Hemostatic properties. Yarrow can be prepared as an infusion (tea), a Fluid Extract, an Oil, & as a Powder.

Yarrow tea is known as a good remedy for shrinking hermorrhoids, & hemorrhages. It is also known to help with diarrhea, and expelling gas from the stomach. Due to its diaphoretic properties, it is good for fevers from colds, & flu.

Yarrow is also a good antiseptic because of its tannin and essential oils that it contains, thus making it a great herb to include in salves, etc.

The tea can be used as a douche for vaginal secretions and hemorrhage, or as an enema for piles.

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There are more than 100 species belonging the this genus, Achillea millefolium, but Yarrow is the most widely used for medicinal purposes.

The leaves and the flowers are all that is collected for medicinal purposes, and one should not use the woody stem. Yarrow should be carefully dried in a shady spot or non humid not brightly lit room.

Externally, the antiseptic properties of a yarrow infusion are used in the forms of a compress, or baths, to treat skin irritations, rashes, slow healing wounds, etc.

Mythology says that yarrow was present on the battlefield with Achilles during the Trojan War, thus its Latin name Achillea. Yarrow originated in Europe and Asia, but is now throughout most all part of North America.

Yarrow grows between 1 and 3 feet tall and can be found growing in most woodlands, roadsides, etc.

Yarrow is recommended to be planted as a border to the vegetable or herb garden because it is believed that it will increase the oil production in aromatic herbs.

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Yarrow is propagated from either divisions taken in the spring, or from seeds. Sow seeds on top of very fine soil and keep moist until germination occurs. When the seedlings are 3 inches tall, move them out to the garden bed. Yarrow plants are also available from many herb nurseries. Yarrow prefers a light, sandy soil, but it's a good idea to side-dress with aged compost in the spring if you can.

Harvest Yarrow when in full bloom. Cut the leaves from the stems and dry them separately. Because they are so fine, you must dry the leaves quickly, or they will discolor. Be sure that your drying area is between 90 and 100 degrees. You can leave the flowers on the stems and hang the stems upside down in bunches to dry.

Store the flowers separately and if you'd like to harvest the roots, dig them up when you harvest the tops. After scrubbing them well with water and a gentle brush, spread roots on a screen in the sun to dry.

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Yarrow Face Pack

1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal
1 tablespoon fullers earth
1 tablespoon ground almonds
3 tablespoons of strong yarrow tea infusion

Mix this into a paste and use as a face mask.

Leave on for 20 minutes and remove with warm water. Pat dry and then use an herbal moisturizer.

you are not supposed to use a face mask before you are going to go out for the night because it does cause the skin to flush because of its drawing power.

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Yarrow Cleanser

4 tbspn grape seed oil
1/2 tspn borax
6 tbpn yarrow infusion
1/4 cucumber, blended & strained to get 2 tbspns juice
2 vitamin "e" capsules

Melt wax over low heat. Add slightly warmed grape seed oil, blend well.

Heat the yarrow infusion and the 2 tbspns cucumber juice together and then add them slowly to the wax/oil mixture. Poke a hole in the vitamin E capsules and squirt into mix. Beat until the mixture cools. Spoon into tight sealing sterilized jars.

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Yarrow Skin Wash

1 ounce yarrow leaves & flowers
1 quart of boiled water.

Infuse the yarrow into the water for 10 minutes. Strain and let cool. Use this infusion as a wash when coming in from picking berries, fishing, gardening, etc.

You can also infuse half dried yarrow leaves and flowers in oil and use this oil as a base for your creams & lotions, & soaps, etc.

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Yarrow/Rosemary Astringent Soap

8 oz. Crisco Shortening
4 oz. Coconut Oil
4 oz. Olive Oil (Yarrow infused)

2 oz. lye
1 cup water

At Trace Add:
1 tbspn Castor Oil
1/4 cup ground yarrow flowers & leaves
1/4 cup ground rosemary

Follow basic soap making instructions.

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Yarrow & Cucumber Cleansing Cream

1/2 cucumber, pureed in blender
8 Tablespoons Yarrow infusion
6 drops of tincture of myrhh
5 Tabelspoons grepeseed oil (or emu oil)
1 teaspoon beeswax
1/8 tspn borax

Melt the beeswax with the oil. Strain the cucumber juice until you have 3 Tablespoons. Add to the yarrow infusion and then add to the oils, beating constantly. Remove from heat and beat until just cooled. Add the myrhh and beat until well blended. Pour into sterilized jars.

This is a good recipe for those with oily skin.

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Miscellaneous Yarrow Information

1. Dried flower heads are beautiful in dried herbal arrangements.

2. Speed up decomposition in your compost piles by adding 1 stalk of chopped yarrow to a wheelbarrow of compost.

3. The stems of the Yarrow plant were considered sacred and used by the Druids to divine seasonal weather in Europe.

4. In china, yarrow stems were used to foretell the future.

5. A member noted that Yarrow is a plant easily pulled up as weed by other family members.

6. Infuse fresh flowers and use for a facial steam for greasy skin complexion.

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm
10/21/98

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© 1998- Linda Coffin

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