Friday, June 26, 2009


I have been asked to find out more about Yarrow so here are the results of my research. Please note that I claim no expertise in the use of any herb and I recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional and your doctor before ingesting Yarrow or applying it to any part of your body. Yarrow should also not be used if you are pregnant.

Botanical name: Achillea millefolium

Other names:

  • Arrowroot
  • Bad Man's Plaything
  • Bloodwort
  • Carpenter's Weed
  • Common Yarrow
  • Death Flower
  • Devil's Nettle
  • Devil's Plaything
  • Field Hop (Swedish)
  • Gearwe (Saxon)
  • Gordaldo
  • Herbe Militaris
  • Knight's Milfoil
  • Milfoil
  • Nose Bleed
  • Nosebleed plant
  • Old Man's Pepper
  • Sanguinary
  • Soldier's Woundwort
  • Staunchweed
  • Thousand Weed
  • Thousand-leaf
  • Thousand-seal
  • Yarroway
  • Yerw (Dutch)
Common Yarrow is an herbaceous perennial plant as it lives for more than two years but the leaves and stems die down to soil level at the end of the growing season, which for this plant is at the end of spring.

Gardening uses of Yarrow include being a combatant against soil erosion and to attract butterflies, such as in a butterfly garden.

Yarrow has astringent effects (i.e. contracts the tissues or canals of the body thereby diminishing discharges) therefore has been used to stop bleeding. It is also used to make tinctures to help in the early stages of fever and in colds and flu.

As it is an emmenagogue (herb that stimulates blood flow in the uterus and pelvic area), Yarrow should not be used during pregnancy.

Yarrow is sometimes used with other herbs to intensify their medicinal properties and can help eliminate toxins from the body.

Other ailments that Yarrow is said to assist with include:
  • Amenorrhea
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Baldness (prevention, not cure)
  • Bowels
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Blood pressure (lowers)
  • Blood purifier
  • Blood vessels (tones)
  • Catarrh (acute, repertory)
  • Colds
  • Chicken pox
  • Circulation
  • Contraceptive (unproven)
  • Cystitis
  • Diabetes treatment
  • Digestion (stimulates)
  • Dyspepsia
  • Eczema
  • Fevers
  • Flu's
  • Gastritis
  • Glandular system
  • Gum ailments
  • Heartbeat (slow)
  • Influenza
  • Insect repellent
  • Internal bleeding
  • Liver (stimulates and regulates)
  • Lungs (haemorrhage)
  • Measles
  • Menses (suppressed)
  • Menorrhagia
  • Menstruation (regulates, relieves pain)
  • Nipples (soreness)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Piles (bleeding)
  • Smallpox
  • Stomach sickness
  • Toothache
  • Thrombosis
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary antiseptic
  • Uterus (tighten and contract)
  • Varicose veins
  • Vision
Magical uses of Yarrow include:
  • Bravery
  • Break curses
  • Courage
  • Divination
  • Endurance, especially in love
  • Exorcise evil and negative enery
  • Good luck
  • Healing
  • Increase psychic powers
  • Protection
  • Restraint
Deities associated with Yarrow are the Greek God Achilles, who is said to have used it on his wounded troops in battle in order to stop their bleeding and the war God Mars due to his courage and bravery. Other associations include the planet Venus, the element of water and female energy.

Yarrow sticks have also been used for I Ching divinations, although these are commonly replaced by coins in modern times.


Cynthia said...

I have been fascinated with Yarrow for years. I mean more than any other herb, root, or essence. Very strange attraction. Tried growing it out here in Arizona -- but it only took for the cool months.
It was a nice surprise to come across your lengthy info on it! Such beautiful pictures too

Hibiscus Moon said...

Oh, I'll be looking for some of this for my lammas ritual. Thanks for all the info. on it.

Wendy said...

Thanks, lovelies! I so appreciate your reading and am glad that you have found somethings of interest here. Blessings to you both.