Yarrow takes its name from Achilles, who would have discovered and used the plant to heal the wounds of his soldiers during the Trojan war. Although some claim that it was a completely different plant. It has also been called cutting herb, bleeding herb, carpenter’s herb, soldier’s herb, bleeding-nose, all names that indicate its traditional uses to heal wounds and injuries of all kinds. As for the name “Venus eyebrow”, its origin remains obscure. Perhaps it refers to the fact that the plant was supposed to help women discover who would be their prince charming? We will come back to this later. In Quebec, it was called “turkey grass” and “turkey grass” in reference to the use of the plant in the diet of this poultry. Finally, the name “millefeuille” comes from the fact that its leaf is very finely cut and gives the impression that there are a thousand of them when there is really only one.
It is the whole plant that is harvested at flowering time, which takes place from mid-June to fall, depending on the region and the whims of Mother Nature. White or red flowered yarrow is said to be more medicinally active than yellow or orange flowered yarrow.
The benefits of Yarrow:
– Yarrow has a fortifying effect on animals and livestock. “It comprises volatile substances that stimulate their appetite and strengthen their organism”.
– Yarrow gave a delicate fragrance to the meat of sheep that consumed it as fodder.
– The spasms of the digestive and uterine tracts,
– Tonic, antispasmodic, haemostatic and, in external use, healing, it was used to treat general tiredness, lymphatism, neuroses, disorders of the circulation and of the fifties (which are perhaps, roughly, the same ones…): sedentary life, varicose veins, phlebitis, hemorrhoids. Externally, it has been used against rheumatic pains, dermatitis, leg ulcers, nipple cracks, cellulite pains… It is said that in the Middle Ages, knights carried a bag of it in their “first aid kit”.
– Yarrow is most useful for women suffering from both painful periods and digestive disorders during menstruation.
– It is rare, in fact, that a medicine treats both genital and digestive problems with such effectiveness.
– Taken in the form of a tincture, it will quickly calm down the inflammation, as well as that detestable feeling that the uterus and the intestines are fiercely competing for the attention of their legitimate owner.
– Yarrow keeps certain insect pests away.
– Considered as an excellent companion plant
– it would increase the essential oil content of plants growing nearby.
– It is the stems of yarrow that the Chinese traditionally use to draw the Yi-King.
A fragrant lawn
Instead of grasses, plant thyme, chamomile and yarrow. More resistant to heat, less demanding in fertilizers, this new type of lawn will have, moreover, the advantage of smelling very good when you tread it in the morning dew.
How to use yarrow?
The leaves can be served in salads, but only in small quantities, as they are rather bitter. To prepare them cooked, first boil them for twenty minutes in water to remove some of their bitterness and aroma, then drain them and sauté them in butter or oil.
The leaves were also used to flavour beer. In Germany, one threw its seeds in the barrels of wine to ensure the conservation of it. The whole yarrow plant was sometimes used as a condiment, replacing cinnamon or nutmeg.
The infusion is prepared at a rate of 30 grams per liter of water. One will take 3 cups per day, between the meals. The tincture – that one will prepare with 1 part of plant for 5 parts of alcohol with 90% – is taken at a rate of 20 to 30 drops, three times per day. For the external uses, one uses the concentrated infusion (a handful per liter of water) in washings.
The 30 gram infusion of yarrow to which one will have added a teaspoon of honey and three drops of Tabasco sauce is supposed to have for effect to open the pores of the skin and to cause a profuse perspiration which will break a cold or a flu. It is recommended to cover yourself well to avoid catching a cold.