YARROW Achillea millefolium (composite family)
This herb is a traditional digestive aid and stomach tonic useful in treating gastrointestinal conditions. Used as a tea or yarrow infusion it induces sweating and helps lower a fever. It’s mild sedative properties make it useful in treating insomnia, cramps and menstrual pain.Aerial parts are used medicinally as teas, infusions and poultices.
Yarrow is a highly versatile remedy, with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic volatile oils, and astringent tannins. The resins are also astringent and antiseptic, while silica promotes tissue repair. These properties promote healing of cuts and wounds, burns and ulcers, and inflammatory skin conditions. In the digestive system, yarrow stimulates the appetite, enhances digestion and absorption; its astringent properties curb diarrhea and dysentery, and stem bleeding from the lining of the gut. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties treat infections and inflamed conditions such as gastritis and enteritis, the bitters stimulate liver function, while its antispasmodics relax tensioning cramp, wind, colic or nervous dyspepsia.
This herb has an action in many different systems of the body. Primarily, it is probably best known for its action in the respiratory system, its diaphoretic (increases sweating) properties being used for colds and fevers. It can also be used for allergy for example, in hay fever. Its combined properties make it useful following flu or illness where there is little appetite as a tonic to promote digestion. In the cardiovascular system its antispasmodic and slightly diuretic action has made it valuable for lowering high blood pressure, and improving the venous circulation. In the reproductive system it is known as a menstrual regulator, which also helps to reduce heavy bleeding. Conversely, it can also bring on a period.
Taken hot, yarrow is excellent for helping to throw off fevers and infections such as colds, flu, coughs, and sore throats. Yarrow clears heat and toxins from the system by causing sweating. As a tonic to the circulatory system, yarrow helps improve varicose veins, hemorrhoids, phlebitis and thrombosis, and reduces blood pressure. Yarrow’s diuretic action aids the elimination of fluid and toxins from the system via the urine. Yarrow also relieves cystitis, irritable bladder, stones, and gravel. Yarrow helps relieve painful joints and clear the skin. Yarrow contains sterols which have a hormone-like action and help to regulate the menstrual cycle. Yarrow reduces heavy bleeding and uteric congestion, and relieve heavy periods. Yarrow is also a tonic to the nervous system.
CAUTIONS: Not for internal use during pregnancy as this herb is a uterine stimulant.