Medicinal Herbs: Yarrow

Yarrow: (Milfoil)

Yarrow, while almost certainly safe to use when pregnant, should be avoided during pregnancy on the “better safe than sorry” principle as it can induce bleeding in women who have been missing periods.  Conversely, however, it also restrains violent bleedings and indeed it’s botanical name Achillea is given because many, down the ages, have used it to staunch war wounds, going back to Achilles in the battle of Troy. I wish I’d used it myself in 1654 when I took some lead on Cromwell’s behalf. And I’d only gone to Reading to see Placebo and the Kaiser Chiefs!

Anyway, the humble milfoil is also a useful urinary disinfectant for laydies who’ve been playing with my mate Sammy. A bitter tonic, it can be used for weak indigestion and colic. It tones varicose veins and is good for the venous circulation in general and lowers blood pressure due to dilation of peripheral blood vessels. Hoffman says it is specific for thrombosis accompanied with high blood pressure and he’s a clever lad so I’d tend to believe him.


In the home:

For colds, make a tea with equal parts of yarrow, peppermint, and elder flower, 1 teaspoon per cup.  Infuse in a pot or cup with the saucer on top, for ten minutes, and drink three times a day. 

You can use an infusion of yarrow on it’s own as a wash for inflamed wounds or eczema, and it can be drunk for cold feet and piles.

Medicinal herbsYarrow