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Medicinal Plants: Yarrow

A creeping perennial, growing up to 3 feet in height, the yarrow is native to most of Europe and the western parts of Asia, where it has long been respected as a method for cleansing and healing wounds.  Making its way into America through early pioneers and traders, it would soon become a common cure-all for many American Indians, as well as amongst the pioneers who sought to settle the land. 

Sporting clusters of delicate white flowers and finely divided leaves, it was originally known as “herba militaris” or “nosebleed,” due to its common use for staunching the flow of blood in wounds that the soldiers had gained, while at war.  Yarrow has also been taken as a tonic and is known to aid in the treatment of various cold and flu symptoms, as well as being beneficial in the treatment of hay fever and related pollen-based allergies.  Additionally, yarrow has also been used to aid those with circulatory problems, as well as offering assistance to women who suffer from trouble during menstruation.

Healing Wounds With Yarrow

It was said that Achilles used the yarrow plant to heal wounds, dating this practice clear back to the time of ancient Greece.  Regardless of where or when it stemmed from, however, the yarrow has been used to staunch the bleeding of wounds for centuries, as well as proving beneficial in cleansing the wounds.  To apply, the yarrow is commonly made into a poultice, which is then placed and gently bound over the bleeding area.  A traditional wound ointment in Scotland, yarrow continues to be a common method of treating injuries, especially amongst those who prefer more natural methods of healing.

The Therapeutic Properties of Yarrow

The yarrow has a wide variety of uses, aside from simply staunching wounds.  Chamazulene, which is present in many volatile oils, is well-known as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an antiallergenic.  The falvonoids are believed to be the source of the yarrow’s antispasmodic benefits, while the alkaloid, achilleine, is believed to help control both internal and external bleeding.

Yarrow As a Gynecological Herb

Yarrow is a very helpful plant, when it comes to its various gynecological properties.  Helping to regulate the menstrual cycle, it promotes menstruation while reducing heavy bleeding and clotting.  Additionally, yarrow is very beneficial in that it not only helps with bleeding discomfort, but it also provides pain relief for those suffering from monthly cramps and pain.

Additional Uses For Yarrow

When combined with various other herbs, yarrow can be quite useful in treating the symptoms of cold and flu, and the plant has also been known to work quite well as a method to help tone varicose veins.  Yarrow is also said to help to lower high blood pressure and improve circulation, as well as proving useful for those who have poor digestion problems or suffer from colic


Like many herbs now available on the market, not much research and testing has gone into the true effects of these medicinal plants.  Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use or take any product containing yarrow and it is always best that you consult your family physician, prior to starting any kind of new treatment.


Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2007. Published with permission. Shawna L. Krautheim is a freelance writer and is not affiliated with avivahealth.com.

Medicinal Plants: Yarrow - Shawna L. Krautheim - Health Disclaimer
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