Yarrow is a flowering plant that grows wild and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Originally used to stop wounds from bleeding and to fight against bacteria and infection, it is now used for many different health conditions. Yarrow is available in many forms which make it an easy and affordable herbal remedy to use.
Yarrow Plant Description
Yarrow grows wild all over North America, Asia and Europe and blooms in the summer months of June to September. Yarrow grows 24 to 36 inches tall, has delicate, feathery leaves and tiny white flowers which grow in small bunches. Yarrow flowers that grow in higher elevations can also be pink or light purple in color. The plants are harvested while blooming because all parts of the plant is used for as herbal remedies.
Healing Benefits of Yarrow
Yarrow has long been used to stop the flow of blood from external wounds and to prevent bacteria. Pressing a compress of yarrow infusion (made with 1 cup of dried herb combined with boiling water in a quart size jar, covered and left to sit 8 to 10 hours) can stop external bleeding and protect against infection from bacteria. Yarrow is also effective in treating internal bleeding caused by stomach ulcers or heavy menstrual flow. Drinking one to three cups of yarrow tea per day helps stop internal bleeding.
The yarrow plant is rich in flavonoids which are effective in increasing stomach acid and saliva and helps improve digestion. The increase in stomach acid from yarrow also prevents gallstones from forming and to promote a healthy gallbladder.
Yarrow is effective for uterine health. Drinking yarrow tea or taking yarrow supplements can regulate the menstrual flow and improve uterine tone. Because of the salicylic acid (same compound as in aspirin) and anti-inflammatory effects of yarrow, it is an effective pain reliever for menstrual cramps, PMS and endometriosis. Yarrow also works as a natural diuretic, effective for eliminating excess fluids from the body.
Yarrow contains astringent which is helpful for treating allergies and contains a decongestant that dries up excess mucus and sputum caused by allergies and colds. It is effective in treating sinus infections, especially when mixed together with goldenseal. Additional medical conditions that benefit from yarrow include:
- Appetitie loss
- Muscle spasms
- Liver detoxification
Even though yarrow is a natural medicine, it does come with side-effects. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take yarrow. People with allergies to ragweed, asters or chrysanthemums or who do not tolerate aspirin should also not take yarrow. Yarrow may also make the skin sensitive to sunlight.
Because yarrow has sedative properties, it shouldn’t be taken by people who are already taking a prescription sedative or anxiety medication. People taking medication for high blood pressure or heart disease should also not take yarrow.
How to Buy Yarrow
Yarrow is sold in tablet, capsule, tincture and extract form and is also available in dried herb and tea form. You can pick and dry your own yarrow herb for use in tea or compresses. To make your own tea, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried yarrow flower for every cup of boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes before straining. Yarrow tea can have a strange taste, so mixing it with chamomile tea may help soften the flavor.
Dosing instructions for yarrow depends upon the health condition you are using if for. Recommended dosing is:
- Tea – One to 3 cups per day
- Capsules – One to 2, two to five times each day
- Tinctures – 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, two or three times each day
It is best to consult a licensed herbalist as to dosing instructions and proper use of yarrow.
Yarrow is an affordable and effective treatment for many ailments and is generally safe to use. Always talk to your doctor before trying any herbal medication to make sure it will not interact with prescription medications you are taking.
University of Maryland Medical Center “Yarrow”
Discovery Health “Yarrow Herbal Remedies”