Yarrow (Achillea millefolium}
Yarrow is an aromatic perennial herb that can be grown by seed or plant division.Yarrow needs light to germinate, so seeds should be sprinkled on the soil surface. They will usually sprout in ten to fourteen days. Yarrow grows wild in many regions of the country. It can usually be found in open fields, woods and ditches.Yarrow can be identified by it's fragrant white flowers that bloom in clusters most of the summer months. It's leaves are fern-like with a distinct scent.
Native Americans used Yarrow for many purposes. The leaves were chewed and applied to burns,bruises,sprains and wounds. The leaves and roots were also chewed for toothache. A tea made from the entire plant was used as a wash for sore eyes, insect stings and snake bite. A pinch of powdered dried herb was snuffed up the nose to stop nosebleeds.In more modern times, Yarrow is recognized as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and diaphoretic. Leaves chewed and placed on a wound will stop bleeding. A tea made from the plant will stop internal bleeding, aid in digestion by increasing the flow of bile, regulate menstruation and relieve menstrual cramping. It is also effective in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.Yarrow tea promotes sweating and is commonly used for treating colds and flu. Yarrow added to a hot bath will stimulate the immune system and shorten the duration of an illness. It is excellent for bringing out the rash from chicken pox and measles. It can shorten the duration of shingles dramatically when added to a hot bath along with Licorice root. Profuse sweating can occur when soaking in a hot bath of tea, so remember to keep well hydrated. Yarrow can also be made into a tea and used as a hair rinse. It is said to bring gray hair back to it's original color within a matter of months.
Yarrow should not be used during pregnancy or when nursing. It may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.