Yarrow Herb Profile

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

Yarrow is an herb that I always keep on hand, especially with kids. It 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:

“It 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 it 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 Buy Yarrow

I buy Organic Yarrow Leaves and Flowers in bulk from here, 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.

Additional 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!

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. 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!

    • 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

      • Hey Wellness Mama! Can you use yarrow topically while pregnant, like in a facial toner? Thanks your your time!

        • I have used yarrow topically (tinctures and vinegars) but avoid it and most other essential oils while pregnant.

  2. could you share the recipe to your post-labor tincture?

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • Julia, thanks for posting the recipe for your leg balm. I have been searching for a natural way to lighten the spider veins on my legs for years. They get worse every year, no one in my family suffers from them. I don’t have dried yarrow only a tincture I purchased from a local health food store. Do you think it could still work to help with spider veins?

      • Thanks for sharing that wonderful yarrow slave ointment i will sure to try that.

  4. Could you share your post pardum tincture recipe?

  5. Can or will yarrow cause miscarriage if ingested as a tea

  6. 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.

    • Shepherds Purse?

      • No, Not “shepherds purse” yarrow is also known as “Auld Mans Baccy” if picking your own though, do take care, it’s quite similar to other wild plants that are unsafe, such as hog weed

        Hope that helps

        • I think he was referring to shepards purse for stopping or slowing bleeding.

    • 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.

    • I empathize with you greatly. After 2 weeks on low estrogen birth control, I too am seeking other herbal remedies. Unfortunately western medicine knows more about the study of cadavers than live people. I also have been threatened with bleeding out. 2 years ago after getting the depo shot, I almost did. I bled for 60 days straight. Nearly went into cardiac arrest. Now after speaking to an herbalist and soon a naturopath, I will be taking this yarrow tincture, liquid vitamin D, liquid iron, and castor oil packs plus Serrapeptase to shrink these grapefruit sized fibroids.

    • When I had oral surgery that did not stop bleeding for about 4 days, I made a poultice with shepherds purse and lady’s mantle, with some plantain. I pulverized them in a mortar and pestle, put the mash on my gum, covered with gauze – next morning it had stopped bleeding. They are good herbs for that purpose. They might help as a tea, but look up if lady’s mantle can be taken internally. Still, bleeding is not something to take lightly, you should probably stay on the drugs for a bit. In an ‘underground’ midwifery newspaper in the 70’s, they used cayenne tea to stop post partum hemmorhage. Always do your own checking when dealing with serious health issues – not worth risking your life. Your family needs you.

  7. 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?

    • 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Can dried Yarrow leaves and flowers be used for Sinusitis relief? thanks

  10. 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?

  11. 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)??

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

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

    • c.b.d. oil!!!!

    • 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!

    • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • My neighbor’s son got bad psoriasis by age one. Her chiropractor told her to give him a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of goats milk and carrot juice. Within a few months all his psoriasis is gone. After a week of drinking it you have to increase the amount of gost’s milk and decrease the amount of carrot juice. She gave it to him throughout the day. I would recommend brushing your teeth a bit more often, too.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.


    • The best treatment I have found for hemorrhoids is ice. Hold an ice cube against them when u go to the bathroom til it melts down some. It is cooling, takes away the pain and itching and will reduce them quickly. It may take a week of this or so, but I cured a nasty case that way and they have never returned…

  19. Hi, I see that yarrow root can induce menstruation. I have also read conflicting information about parsley and yarrow that indicate if taken early enough that it could delay or postpone menstruation. Has anyone foudn this to be true?

    I am going on a coastal vacation and am certain that I am not pregnant, I am looking for a way to postpone menstruation a few days. I have been off birth control pills for several years now and do not want to use that as method ever again.


    • I realize this is probably too late for you, but I successfully did this one time before a beach vacation. I can’t remember how far in advance I started taking the yarrow tincture, but it was at least a week or two. If I remember correctly, it delayed my period for about 5 days, which was long enough for me. I didn’t use parsley though.

      • Hello Debbie,

        Thank you so much for sharing. Your experience gives me hope – I would like to delay my period for my first ever beach holiday in early July (in the past, I’ve only ever gone on sightseeing trips). Will take yarrow tincture and see if it works for me! 🙂 Could you kindly share how many times you took it (e.g. 3 drops under your tongue per day?) and which brand of pre-made tincture did you use, if it wasn’t homemade?

        Many thanks and blessings!


        • I believe it was a local brand from a company here in town, and I took a dropper full probably once or twice a day. I usually take tinctures in a small amount of water.

  20. you mentioned making a tea out of Yarrow and Mint. I don’t have mint growing in my yard put I do have Catnip… can you use the Catnip with the Yarrow for a tea??

    Thank You

  21. Would this help in an uteran prolapse and if so how would I prepare it??

  22. I used to have heavy periods and its amazing how well shepherds purse works to lessen the flow. Jut make a simple (steeped) tea from the plant. I personally would not use it for an extended time without consulting a doctor though because its quite a strong vasoconstrictor.

    • Did you ever use lady’s mantle for heavy menstruation? Could you please tell me how I am suppose to make it? I’ve read it can be used to increase and decrease mentrual flow, but I cannot find a recipe for reducing flow.

  23. please am having problem with my menses,its does not flow well it comes either 2 or 3 days and its come small small please can yarrow help me to have well flow menstruation

    • I’m not very skilled with using yarrow, so I don’t know the answer to that question, but I have had success with red raspberry leaf tea in your situation.

  24. I had read somewhere that an Army study had shown that a tincture made from Yarrow is more effective that DEET at repelling ticks, mosquitoes, but mostly sand fleas. I was wondering if anyone knew if this was true or not, or if it is safe for pets?

    • I have used yarrow on my llasa apso! Amazing results!! It can affect other herbs so b sure to not mix w other herbs within about 1-2 hrs of each other.. Yarrow and Slippery Elm saved my baby’s life!! Good luck to u..

      • If u mix Diatomaceous Earth,Neem and yarrow powder it’s great for pets skin issues and flea/bug repellent

  25. Yarrow is a special herb to me. A few years ago I began having horrific cramps. Every day for over a year. Doctors had no idea, I had numerous invasive procedures to try and figure it out. In the end they told me it was all in my head and there was nothing they could do. I was doing some research on herbal remedies and stumbled across yarrow. I infused it in coconut oil and massages my abdomen with it three times a day for about two months until the pain subsided. Now I just get the usual cramps once a month, and a day or two of massage with they infused coconut oil and it’s gone. I still can’t believe that I spent all that time and energy searching for an answer and this plant grew in my front yard the whole time!
    To make it, I like to use fresh yarrow just after it flowers. I pick the flowers and let them sit and dry just for a day or two to let the moisture evaporate a bit. Then I pull them apart into smaller pieces and fill a glass jar loosely packed. Then I top it up with melted coconut oil. I put that in a metal bowl and add water to halfway up the side of the jar and put it in there oven at the lowest possible temperature and leave it all day.
    I like using coconut oil versus other oils because I like how it feels on my skin. But since it is solid at room temperature, I have to use a bit of heat.

  26. I’ve heard yarrow is good for incontinence issues… wondering if it should be made the same way or in a tea?

  27. I woke up today with the beginnings of a nasty cold; I have everything I need-Echinacea, elderberry syrup, a homeopathic cold remedy-but after reading the blog on yarrow, I realized I had gathered yarrow flowers.plants this summer and they were sitting in my kitchen, already dried and ready to use. So, I had a cup of fresh chai tea and I crumbled up the dried flower tops, and a few dried leaves in my cup, let it steep for about five minutes and drank the mixture down. About three hours later, I am feeling so much better. Thanks for the yarrow discussion.

  28. We’re fortunate to have an abundance of this fantastic herb that shows up wild every year all over the place. We always have the salve on hand for it’s wonderful soothing work. If someone gets a cut, we can go out and pick a few leaves, crush them, and poultice on the wound for quick relief. I make the tea for anyone who gets a runny tummy–several cups a day and they’re usually back to normal in a day or so. What a blessing this beautiful and helpful plant is!

  29. i make a tea using flowers,leaves, and stems. i use this as a wash.ive used it for a abscessed tooth. it took the pain away in just a few minutes. the swelling went away over night. it never came back. ive told friends about this. they did the same. one guy had a very bad abscess , he had top use it for 2 days { once each day} . it went away for a few months. he had to get the bad teeth extracted eventually though. i also once had a splinter in my thumb i couldnt get out.after 2 weeks i had a red line going from my thumb halfway to my elbow. wife was telling me i better get to a hospital. i told her i would. but first i scratched the red area on my thumb open. scrubbed some tea in the wound.got dressed for going to the hospital. within 15 minutes the throbbing pain was gone and that red line was getting faint. i told my wife. give me a hour. it looks like its going away. about another 15 minutes and it was gone. the next morning the splinter was sticking out of my thumb and i was able to remove it. i now swear by yarrow.and i saved myself several hundreds of dollars.i read about it being used for tooth infections by native cultures.ive never read of it being used this way by us modern folks. but it works.

  30. Has anyone used Yarrow for INTERNAL hemorrhoids?? If so, can you please share — and which way you used it, tea, tincture, bath soak… Or really if anyone has any advice whatsoever about how to make them go away. My husband is suffering terribly, even after banding.

  31. I had an internal one, but it was within reach. I made a salve using dried yarrow, olive oil and beeswax. I used it several times a day over the course of a week and the hemorrhoids went away and have not returned. Yarrow will help stop bleeding, and the salve was also soothing.

  32. You can take yarrow internally or externally for skin, uterine bleeding, etc. Yarrow is incredibly potent and is the best natural ‘styptic’ powder around. I grind it finely and keep it in a tin. If I get a cut or scrape I put it on and within five minutes the bleeding is stopped and by the next morning, you can barely see a line.

    I also make a shepherd’s purse and yarrow oil for wounds. Works great for nosebleeds too!

  33. Hi,
    At the end of your post you mentioned “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.” Do you have a recipe for it? I tried searching your website, but nothing came up.