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!

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.

  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?

  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

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