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Botanical name: Achillea millefolium.

Common names: Sneezewort, Thousand leaf, Milfoil, Nosebleed.

Parts used: Herb and flowers.

Properties: Alterative, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Haemostatic, Tonic, Vulnerary, Stimulant. The plants Latin name is derived from the Greek hero Achilles, and during the Trojan War, Yarrow was reputedly used to treat wounds. Yarrow is a valuable herb for headache, for which, it is taken internally and externally as a snuff. It is useful in cases of forgetfulness. Where there is vertigo, even with slow movement, Yarrow will often put the patient back to rights. Convulsions and epilepsy caused by suppressed menstruation will often respond to this remedy. For cases calling for Yarrow, there is often the feeling as though “the head is full of blood”.

One of the common names for Yarrow is ‘nosebleed’ and this name is given to it because of its use in the past, for staunching nosebleed. The powdered Yarrow is used as a snuff while the herb is taken as a tea, internally. It is of great value where there is ‘piercing pain’ in the nose.

For toothache and pyorrhoea, a strong decoction makes a good mouthwash. The wash is also useful for stopping the haemorrhage following tooth extraction. A mild decoction is useful as an astringent mouth wash or gargle and can be used daily for oral hygiene.

For stomach troubles, it is to be recommended for flatulence and cramps. It will improve the appetite and is good for Gastritis, reducing the inflammation.

It is an excellent remedy for diarrhoea and for bleeding from the intestines and bowels. It can also be used with good effect, for inflammation of these organs. For these purposes, a strong decoction should be used or large doses of the fluid extract. For bleeding piles (haemorrhoids) it is valuable, both internally and in strong decoction as an enema.

Yarrow may be used for liver and gall bladder problems along with other remedies as it promotes the flow of bile.

It may be used for both Kidney and Urtnary problems. Where there is blood in the urine, or after operations for the removal of stones, it will be a most valuable herb for healing. It is useful in cases of suppressed urine, when it should be used internaly and as a hot compress upon the abdoman. Where there are mucous discharges from the bladder, it again is a most efficacious remedy.

Where there is cough with bloody expectoration, Yarrow will prove itself to be an exceptional remedy. It is valuable in Bronchitis and bleeding of the lungs. Again, for palpitations and is useful for women with sore nipples. In the case of sore nipples, a strong decoction should be used to bathe the area frequently throughout the day.

For women’s complaints it is very useful. Where there is excessive menstruation, or the menses are early and profuse; where there is bleeding from the uterus and the blood is bright red, then this fine remedy will be of use. When there are painful uterine contraction again, it is a very useful remedy. A strong decoction should be regularly injected into the vagina for Leucorrhoea.

Yarrow can be used in fever, feverish colds with coughs, and in influenza. It should be taken internally and the decoction used regularly for washing the body. Yarrow is more effective than Quinine in fevers and should be drunk hot.

It is considered a specific for disorders of the circulation and mucosae. It is often used effectively in Measles and Chicken pox, and other eruptive diseases of childhood. Its use has proven of great value in Smallpox, Diabetes and Bright’s disease and when combined with other well indicated herbs, there has been a successful result.

It is well known for its vulnerary action upon sores, wounds, cuts, injuries and varicose ulcers, both cleansing and promoting healing. It is taken internally in the treatment of varicose veins.

To tone the system after a debilitating illness, it should be consumed for several months. It is classified by many of the older herbalists as a very efficient blood cleanser.

It contains iron, calcium, potassium, sulphur and sodium, and lesser quantities of other valuable trace elements. An alkaloid ‘acillein’ has been extracted and used effectively as a haemostatic, quickly reducing the clotting time of blood. There have been claims that it is an anti-cancer agent.

Infusion: One tablespoon of the herb in one cup of water. Parboil and steep for five minutes. One cup to be drunk during the course of the day.

Decoction: One tablespoon of the herb in one cup of water. Boil down to one third of a cup

Strong decoction: As for the decoction, except for there beingtwo tablespoons of the herb.

Fluid Extract: Half to one drachm per dose, four times a day. (Half to one teaspoonful).

5 comments to Yarrow

  • Grumpy Grandpa

    Kenneth, my thanks for this, as for all your other articles. I am convinced of their usefulness but a little less convinced of my ability to identify them!

  • Highlander

    Brilliant article, as usual,… thank you very much

  • Highlander

    GG,… I print Kens articles off and then google the plant picture and print that on the reverse side

  • Me_Again

    Ken I use Yarrow in my daily tincture along with a number of other herbs. But not I admit for any of your reasons though I am aware of them. I take it as part of an anti-inflammatory package. I guess that this is a relatively newish use for it but probably because inflammatory disease/conditions [of which there are many] was not understood biochemically until recently.

    All of the ingredients I use in my anti-inflammatory prep are from herbal sources except the vodka needed for the alcohol extraction process to make the final tincture. I have used British herbs as much as possible -yarrow, mugwort and willow bark- but have added ginger, turmeric, clove and crushed nigella seeds while they are available.

    It’s probably overkill but I have MS and so I need continuous anti-inflammatory action to stay functioning. I’ve been testing this brew since last August and have only had one break through during that time, which I beat by upping the dose. Before that I had prescription anti-inflammatories which are quite harsh on your systems.

    I think it’s going to be real helpful to future communities if there are those among us who can identify and utilize herbs correctly, more power to you Ken. I’m going to gradually expand my repertoire of herbs as I need.

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