Yarrow Herb Profile

Uses and benefits of Yarrow Leaves and Flowers a great soothing and healing herb Yarrow Herb Profile

Yarrow is an herb that I always keep on hand, especially with kids. Yarrow is part of my Sweet Dreams Sleep Tincture and I often add it to teas or preparations for the kids.

What is Yarrow?

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Yarrow is a long-stemmed member of the sunflower family found in the wild throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It can be recognized by its highly segmented leaves (millefolium literally means “thousand leaves”), and the clusters of daisy-like white or lavender flowers at the top of the stalk.

Greek myth had it that Achilles painted himself with a tincture of yarrow to make himself invulnerable to arrows, everywhere on his body except his heel. Native American herbal medicine makes extensive use of yarrow. Among the Micmac people of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the stalk was chewed or stewed to induce sweating to “break” fevers and colds. They also pounded the stalks into a pulp to be applied to bruises, sprains, and swelling.

The Cherokee, Gosiute, Iroquois, and Mohegan peoples used yarrow as a digestive aid. Other herbal healing traditions use yarrow to treat a variety of conditions characterized by swelling, often combined with echinacea, elder flower, ginger, and peppermint.”

Benefits of Yarrow:

Yarrow is one of my go-to herbs for children. It is helpful in relieving fevers, shortening the duration of cold and flu, helping improve relaxation during illness, and relieving cramps associated with hormones or illness. Applied topically, it is helpful with skin itching, rash or other issues.

An external tincture or poultice will often help with hemorrhoids, rashes and broken skin. Some people will notice relief from allergy symptoms by drinking a tea of yarrow and mint.

From Practical Herbalism:

Yarrow flower used in chronic diseases of the urinary apparatus, is especially recommended by Prof. J. M. Scudder. It exerts a tonic influence upon the venous system, as well as upon mucous membranes. It has been efficacious in sore throat, hemoptysis, hematuria and other forms of hemorrhage where the bleeding is mall in amount; incontinence of urine, diabetes, hemorrhoids with bloody and mucoid discharges, and dysentery. Also in amenorrhea, flatulency and spasmodic diseases, and in the form of injection in leucorrhea with relaxed vaginal walls. It will be found to be one of our best agents for the relief of menorrhagia.”

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a mild, slow, and stimulating diaphoretic that is best used for the first stage of acute fevers, and for atonic and relaxed tissues where there is free discharge or passive hemorrhage of bright red blood. They recommend cold preparations to stimulate the appetite and tone the digestive organs, and give the following specific indications: Acute stage of colds; influenza and respiratory catarrhs; chronic diarrhea and dysentery; epistaxis; intestinal hemorrhage, bleeding hemorrhoids, uterine hemorrhage; profuse or protracted menstruation; and leucorrhea.”

From Mountain Rose Herbs:

“The British Herbal Compendium notes that preparations of yarrow lower fevers, induce sweating, stop cramps, encourage menstruation, relieve inflammation, and stimulate the release of stomach acid to digest proteins and fats. The herb is taken internally to treat colds, fevers, and indigestion, and used in skin treatments of slow-healing wounds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs recommends sitz baths with yarrow added to the bath water to relieve pelvic cramps in women.”

How We Use Yarrow:

  • In homemade Buckwheat Relaxation pillows to help promote restful sleep
  • In sweet dreams sleep tincture for times when falling asleep is difficult
  • In teas (with mint and chamomile) during illness
  • As a tea, tincture or poultice on skin for rashes and itching
  • As a tincture to help ease menstrual cramps and hormone issues (not for use during pregnancy)
  • Yarrow tea often helps with congestion symptoms from allergies and illness
  • Adding yarrow to skin lotions, oils or salves can help with eczema or dry skin
  • I add a strong yarrow tea to my child’s bath for a high fever that I want to bring down naturally
  • Since it is helpful in stopping bleeding and avoiding infection, poultices of yarrow and plantain can be helpful on wounds

Where to Get:

I buy Organic Yarrow Leaves and Flowers in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs, as this is the most inexpensive way I’ve found and I just make my own teas, tinctures and poultices as needed. It can also be found in pre-made tinctures, teas, and lotions. For those who like to wildcraft herbs themselves, check with herbalists or experts in your area to see if Yarrow is a native plant.

Notes:

Not for use during pregnancy since it may stimulate the uterus, but I personally use in my post-labor tincture to help tone uterus, reduce cramping and avoid hemorrhage. Some people will develop a rash from touching the fresh plant. Should be avoided by those with allergies to ragweed.

Have you ever used yarrow? How do you use it? Share your tips below!

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Reader Comments

  1. says

    I have some yarrow that I was going to use for tea. Just loose leaf, steep for how long? Or… what do you recommend? The ‘link’ for tea just took me to your homepage. Thanks!

    • says

      That is strange… I’ll see if I can fix the link. I just mix equal parts of yarrow and peppermint leaf (can also add some stevia leaf if you have it) and steep (covered) for about 5 minutes

  2. Mobius says

    I am fortunate to have yarrow growing wild in my little acre of heaven. I harvest it, dry it and have used it to make a healing salve. Next I will make a tincture….from all the good information I received above.

    • Julia says

      I make yarrow balm that I rub on my legs to reduce the dark color of spider vein, especially around my ankles, like my mother and grandmother had. In a large mason jar, I pour 2 cups of organic virgin olive oil in a large mason jar. I add 3/4 to 1 cup ground yarrow in place in the olive oil, shake to mix with the tightly, and let it sit in a sunny window for 30 days.

      After 30 days, In a medium kettle I add the contents of the yarrow and olive oil in the kettle, along with 1 cup of coconut oil’, and heat on low heat. I the begin to shave bees wax in to the kettle. I test with my stirring spoon how firm my my balm is becoming. After stirring the mixture, i take the spoon out, cool it off, and am able to determine how thick my balm is becoming. If it too thin, I keep adding my organic beeswax until my balm has a thicker texture ti it,on the spoon.

      I strain the contents in my kettle in to a wooden bowl that is covered with cheese cloth. I pull the cheese cloth out of the mixture and twist and squeeze the cheese cloth getting every bit of yarrow squeezed into my balm.

      I but small mason jars, fill those, giving them as gifts them as gifts, and keeping some for myself, I use ut for buts cut scrapes, and on my legs and ankles after showering, especially in winter.

  3. Mitchie says

    I’m trying something a bit risky with yarrow. I got it in the form of capsules, and am going to use it as a replacement for a prescription for Provera. I’m on 30mg of Provera per day to treat (more like a patch for) dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Without Provera, IV Premarin, and birth control pills I would have bled to death. I needed a transfusion 2 weeks ago. Now, I’m not saying all those drugs have worked well. I was on birth control when I needed the transfusion. I was told to take the placebo pill week, and the flood gates opened on day 3. I’ve been on Provera since the transfusion, and although I’m not bleeding out, I am still bleeding, and it’s slowly increasing. I feel like a medical mystery, and as though doctors can’t do anything more than patch me up and send me home until the next round.
    I hope yarrow can help, or I’m sure a hysterectomy is in my near future.

    • Aria says

      Did the yarrow capsules work for you? I’ve been bleeding for two weeks (first five days were a normal period, then suddenly it got crazy heavy). I needed a blood transfusion as well. My obgyn had prescribed progesterone as well. I did 30mg in 24 hours along with ibprofen, per the doctors recommendation, and it didn’t do a thing. that’s when I needed the blood transfusion. The bleeding stopped and then came back, though not as heavy. I’m trying to get it to stop. I bought yarrow capsules but now I have no idea how much to take or when.

  4. Ashley Zwijacz says

    I have gone through your website and want to make a lot of different tinctures. First, can I use tinctures to replace a lot of common medicine? If so can you give me recipes for children?

    Also, I have a 2mo old. I am nursing and giving her a Vitamin D supplement, is there an alternative to the Vit. D supplement?

    • Melody says

      Vitamin D is created naturally when our skin is in the sunlight. Just take your child outside for at least an hour each day in the sunlight (sunscreen ok, but nothing higher than 35SPF). Even on cloudy days, being outside we recieve diffracted sunlight, so keep them out often, and you don’t need Vitamin D. I never used them, but we are at altitude and it only takes 20 minutes in the sun to fulfill our D requirement. When we lived in Vermont it was highly recommended, but we did not use it, just made sure to be outside for 3 hours or so a day.

  5. Olesya says

    Hello
    Can you please tell me the recipe for yarrow tea to put in my toddlers bath? His fever is almost 104 since last night and i have some dried yarrow and i am desperate!

  6. Mel says

    What parts of yarrow can be used for what? For stopping bleeding, is it just the leaves or can the whole plant be powdered and sprinkled on wounds? What about for the bath, or tea?

  7. Melissa says

    I planted yarrow in my garden. It’s grown like crazy! I’d like to use it, but haven’t much time to invest in the process these days. Can I just use the undried plant/flowers? & if so – for what.? Can I make (safe/effective) teas, poultices, tinctures etc from the freshly picked flowers/leaves?
    AND – how helpful is yarrow for allergies? If I’m having itchy, irritatedeyes-with some swelling – is it safe to use a cloth soaked in yarrow tea? Yarrow tea made from the fresh plant? (ie. not dried)??
    Thanks!

  8. Miranda says

    Do the coloured varieties (pink, yellow, etc.) have the same properties and are they safe to use in the same manner? Thanks

  9. mary taylor says

    I am interested in how to make the teas. Can I use fresh or dried leaves. What are the flowers used for?

  10. aaron says

    is there a difference between using red yellow or white yarrow, I’ve heard to only use white but was unsure of the validity of the statement and haven’t been able to find an answer anywhere

  11. Karen says

    Help!! Both my husband and I have been diagnosed with stage 3 CKD. We itch like crazy. Nothing helps. Nothing. He has a lot of health problems but CKD is the main thing with me. We have yet to find a Dermatologist that can help us. There is no way I could list everything we have taken. My husband also has psoriasis, a scorching case which combats the itchy skin. Does anyone know of anything natural we could try for this itchy skin. I did buy some Yarrow capsules but now as I have read further it can interact with some meds. We just need help. Thank you

    • josh says

      Hi Karen, one of my favorite natural medicines, chaga mushroom tea, has been used to cure psoriasis in numerous cases. Chaga has many wonderful healing properties and there is plenty of research and information online to get you pointed in the right direction. Good luck!
      Josh

    • dylan says

      here is a recipe for a salve that helps with itching /rashes/burns/superfitial wounds/poison ivy/poison oak/poison sumac/ pretty well any skin issue

      you’ll need

      3 ounces of dried yarrow
      3 ounces of dried plantain(I don’t think I spelt that right)
      1/4 ounce of dried cannabis(this helps with pain from symptoms)
      2 liters of olive oil
      1/4 pound of bees wax

      how to make

      preheat oven to 230c

      chop up cannabis into small chunks with sissors then place on a cookie sheet and put into the oven for 9 minutes . then take out and let cool(this process eliminates the tupins from the THC and leaves all the mendicinal aspects CBD,CBG,ect.)

      take a large pot and steel bowl to make a double boiler then take dried yarrow/plantain/cannabis into the double boiler add all of the olive oil that will fit leaving a one inch space from the top. simmer for 1.5 hours

      remove from heat and begin to strain into another steel bowl making sure there is no more plant matter left inside the oil
      put back onto double boiler
      take beeswax in small chunks and mix into the oil stirring as you go,do this until your oil has turn into the consistency of neo sporin

      take small containers and fill with the new salve seal and there u go this stuff has a maximum potency for around 6 months

      hope this helps
      take

      • Liza says

        Aw, this sounds lovely. I only wish I had access to the cannabis. Everyone should, of course. I bet it would make a nice salve without it but it’s ridiculous that I can’t purchase and use a healing herb.

    • Sew says

      Karen,
      A friend had bad psoriasis, redness and burning on her hands that kept her up nights and used Calendula oil made with olive oil infused with Calendula flower petals. She said she had relief with the first drop, now a few years later her hands are mostly cured. She told me none of the hundreds of dollar spent on drugs and creams helped her until the Calendula oil.
      To make Calendula oil: I add about a cup of dried (Have to be dried, no moisture) Calendula flower petals in a quart mason jar, fill the jar with olive oil tie a paper towel or cheescloth on top of the jar and set it in a window with indirect light for a few weeks to a month. Strain the oil into a clean jar or bottle.

      I use it for light wrinkles and it really helps, since I refuse to use any chemicals on my skin.

  12. Bob says

    Hi Karen. If you haven’t already, quit all wheat, dairy and processed grains/sugars. Eat only organic and as raw as you can handle.

    I’ve been eating a lot of yarrow. It’s a good vegetable, though frustratingly low-bulk. It also wilts pretty quickly so it’s kind of pick-n-eat.

  13. josh says

    Karen,
    Chaga mushroom tea has been used effectively to cure psoriasis. I drink chaga everyday and highly recommend it. Plenty of research and information online.

  14. Annmarie says

    Hi there!

    I was wanting to try Yarrow root to help with pain/discomfort in the rectum from hemorrhoids. I have a Yarrow tincture. Are you able to help me as to what would be the best way to use this tincture for this purpose?

    I appreciate any help.

    Annmarie

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