Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Synonyms: Milfoil. Old Man's Pepper. Soldier's Woundwort. Knight's Milfoil. Herbe Militaris. Thousand Weed. Nose Bleed. Carpenter's Weed. Bloodwort. Staunchweed. Sanguinary. Devil's Nettle. Devil's Plaything. Bad Man's Plaything. Yarroway.

There are several varieties and subspecies of Yarrow. Found growing in the wild in Oklahoma is, Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium var. occidentalis.) Western yarrow is a native, herbaceous perennial in the Aster Family. It is a very common wildflower that grows erect from creeping rootstocks, to a height from 10 to 36 in. The leaves of western yarrow are densely hairy, and lacy and fern-like in appearance. Millefolium means a thousand leaves in Latin. The somewhat rounded terminal clusters of flower heads of western yarrow are normally white to cream-colored and have an extended bloom period from May to September.

Constituents:volatile oils including linalool, camphor, sabinene, and chamazulene, sesquiterpene lctones, flavanoids, alkaloids including achilleine, polyacetylenes, triterpenes, salicylic acid, coumarins, and tannins.

Medicinal use: Fresh leaves chewed, cure toothache Tea for cramps. Salve for piles. Tea for colds, fevers and kidney problems Tea used for the flu. Used on woulds and bleeding. For high blood pressure see,

Making Yarrow tea: To make Yarrow tea add two or three fresh or dried leaves per person to boiling water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes and sweeten. Yarrow is a bitter tea.

Making salve and tincture from Herbalist Lisa Zahn's site,

Harvest the herb just as in tincture-making but dry it for a day or so out of sunlight. Tear or cut the herb into one inch pieces and pack tightly into a jar, to the top. Fill the jar to the top with oil (cold pressed, organic olive, coconut or other oil). In a couple days, fill again to the top if some oil has soaked in. Keep a lid on the jar and let it sit on a plate in the sun for six weeks, no more. Some oil will seep out. Check for mold and scrape off as needed. After six weeks, decant the oil into a jar and squeeze any oil out of the herb material through cheesecloth. Thank the plant and compost it.

To make a salve, take a bit of beeswax (1/2 to 1 t.) and melt it on the stove. Take it off the heat, stir in the herbal oil and pour immediately into your salve container. It will set. Adjust beeswax amount to desired consistency and re-do if needed.

Edible use: Used to manufacture beer in Europe. Used in salads.