Yarrow is a pretty plant, growing wild in many areas. You can also plant it in your garden – it’s easy to start from seeds (and even I managed to grow it without killing it!). Its uses are vast and it can be taken internally or applied externally.
Applied externally, it is useful in healing wounds. Yarrow is also helpful for bleeding, as it contains an alkaloid that makes blood clot faster. Keep a bottle of the tiny yarrow flowers in a shaker bottle to shake on cuts before applying pressure. (I keep some in my natural first aid kit).
The first time I tried that trick, I was amazed with how quickly it worked. I’ve even found that a healing balm with yarrow infused in it helps stop bleeding. When we get nose bleeds in our house, which is often, I now roll a “nose plug” in said ointment and the bleeding stops so much faster.
Though cayenne also effectively stops bleeding, I recommend yarrow because it doesn’t carry the bite that the pepper does.
Yarrow also comes in handy in the summertime when pesky bugs are aplenty. A yarrow infusion can be sprayed on the body as an insect repellent. Steep the yarrow with lavender to keep bugs of all kinds away.
It is also antibacterial and can be taken internally. Yarrow is a useful for treating infection, like those in the urinary tract. A bladder infection I had once responded well to yarrow, though my taste buds did not.
Now, if I make a yarrow tea, I’ll add some lemon balm leaves and a touch of raw honey. (I use raw, even if I’m adding it to something hot, to make sure it’s not cut with corn syrup). It’s much more palatable.
I do a tablespoon of yarrow flowers, plus a teaspoon of dried lemon balm leaves, in a a hot cup of water, if I need some yarrow tea.
Yarrow also helps tighten the uterus, causing contractions that bring down the placenta after birth. A tea made with yarrow, lady’s mantle and red raspberry leaves is great to drink following birth (or you could make a tincture) to prevent hemorrhage and promote the return of the uterus to its original size.
How to Use Yarrow
Brew some yarrow tea or make an infusion or tincture. Crushed leaves can be put in the nostrils for nosebleed. Yarrow flowers can be applied to fresh cuts. Yarrow makes a great addition to a healing balm. (I use dried yarrow flowers in all of my recipes).
Yarrow is a uterine stimulant and should not be used during pregnancy. Some people may be allergic to yarrow – do a small skin test before using yarrow. I recommend using an herbal guide in conjunction with herbal remedies.