Achillea Millefolium or more commonly known as Yarrow, is a wonderful wayside herb with many uses. Yarrow is found in Asia, Europe and North America, and it is even mentioned in ancient Greek mythology. Achilles used yarrow leaves and blossoms as a poultice to staunch the wounds of soldiers wounded in battle.
It is a powerful medicinal that has a ton of different uses. The roots can be pulled up and chewed on for about 15 minutes, producing an effect similar to Novocain. It numbs the mouth and can provide temporary relief for toothaches.
If you take the leaves and make a tea, it will help to break a fever. Note that when breaking a fever, your temperature will spike up before it begins to go down. So do not use yarrow for this purpose if you or the person you are giving it to has a fever of 102 or over. You could possibly cause brain damage. As a tea it can also be used to stop menstrual bleeding or start a late period.
Topically, you can use it to help stop bleeding cuts. Make sure you clean out the cut thoroughly before you use the yarrow treatment. Grab the leaves or blossoms of the yarrow plant and crush or bruise the leaves and apply to the wound, wrap with a piece of clean cloth or some sort of bandage to hold it in place. You can also make a wash out of the leaves and flowers that works well to clean cuts and helps speed up the healing process of rashes and other skin ailments.
You can also make a tincture out of the fresh leaves.
Things you will need:
Mason Jar with lid
Apple cider vinegar or 100 proof vodka
Rinsed yarrow leaves
Tape that you can write on
So go out into your local patch of yarrow and harvest enough leaves to fill a mason jar almost to the top. Now when harvesting make sure you’re in an area that is not contaminated by pesticides, manure, or brake dust and exhaust from vehicles. So no roadside harvesting! Find a nice field or maybe even in your backyard. Make sure that you leave at least a 1 inch gap at the top of the mason jar so you can shake it up once it’s in the extracting process.
The next step is to choose if you want to use alcohol or apple cider vinegar. Alcohol is often the preferred method of extraction for it pulls the most beneficial components out of the plants and into the liquid. This creates a very strong concentrate and medicine. Apple cider vinegar also works very well for extracting the medicinal properties of plants, but the concentrate will not be as strong as an alcohol extraction.
A brief aside: Apple cider vinegar has many medical benefits. On it’s own apple cider vinegar is good for weak bones better known as osteoporosis, leg cramps and pain, upset stomach, sore throats, sinus problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, helping to rid the body of toxins, stimulate thinking, slow the aging process, regulate blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and fight infection. So when you use it in your tincture, you get some of the plants beneficial components along with all the wonderful medicinal properties of apple cider vinegar.
The next step is to fill your mason jar almost to the top with either apple cider vinegar or 100 proof vodka, leaving a 1 inch gab at the top. Make sure that the liquid covers all the plant material. If it’s not covered completely, the parts that aren’t covered will mold and ruin the batch. Put the cap on and shake well then label with the date you made it. Keep in a dark dry place, preferably a cupboard in your kitchen so you will see it every day. Shake once or twice a day for best results. Let the tincture sit for at least 6-8 weeks but the longer you let it sit the more powerful the concentration will be. When you’re tincture is done, strain out the plant material and put the liquid into a dropper bottle, label the bottle, and you’re done!
How to Use Yarrow Tincture:
Oral use: Take at the onset of a cold, flu, fever or urinary tract infection. 1 dropper full twice a day
Topical use: Apply around wound to help prevent infection
Warning! Do not use if pregnant, nursing or dehydrated. Also be warned that large or frequent dosage of this can be harmful to your liver. It has a toxin in it called Thujone. So only use when needed.