Native to Europe, Asia and North America, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an aromatic herb, growing wild on meadows on a sunny position. It is up to 90 cm high, and has small white flowers that bloom from June to October. Yarrow contains substances that invigorate, calm and relieve cramps. It also helps at stopping bleeding. As a bitter tonic, this plant can be used with digestive troubles and colic. It also helps to reduce high blood pressure, improves blood circulation and eases problems with varicose veins or hay fever. Gather young sprouts from May onwards and flowers from June to September. Tie the plants together and dry them in bundles, hanging in an airy, shady place.
Its Latin name refers to the mythical Greek warrior Achilles, who applied yarrow to stanch the wounds of his warriors during the Trojan War. Yarrow infusions are also added to shampoos to treat greasy hair. As well as its many reputed medical properties, yarrow is a plant with magical properties; yarrow stalks were used by the ancient Chinese for foretelling and the druids for divining. Although its culinary applications are limited, young yarrow leaves can be added to salads.
(Summarised from A Concise Guide to Herbs, by Jenny Linford)
Carpenter’s Weed, Millefoil, Nose-Bleed, Soldier’s Woundwort
Since yarrow has the ability to keep a couple together for 7 years, it is used in love sachets as well as a gift to give to newlyweds. When worn it wards off negativity, and if held in your hand it repels fear. Yarrow added to the bath protects from harm.