HERBAL FIRST AID
Yarrow (Achellia milfolium)
Yarrow grows wild in dry fields, open forests, meadows and just about every desolate area. It is easy to spot and identify. It has a strong aroma and unique white umbrella, flowering tops with tiny white flowers. There are many varieties currently found in the market which have similar use. For first aid, Achellia Milfolium is recommended. Pick yarrow in mid-summer, look for healthy green stems with lace like leaves. Cut the flowering stock down about 6 inches. Use fresh or hang to dry in a cool dry area. When fully dry store in a mason jar for future use.
Yarrow is specific for deep wounds and excessive bleeding. Used as a poultice or taken in a tea, it will stop bleeding quickly, prevent infection and excessive inflammation. It is known as a great “normalize” of the blood, meaning it helps coagulate blood wherever needed to close a wound, while at the same time it keeps moving the “bad” blood that needs to be removed from the area. Because of this action, it is a wonderful remedy for bruises that turn dark or discolored and linger. Yarrow has a strengthening effect on the blood vessels, cleans stagnated blood & benefits an irritable bowel, gastric ulcers and chronic digestion. It will help alleviate stomach cramps or pain in the digestive tract.
INTERNAL: Drink 1-2 cups yarrow tea daily until wound or pain has fully healed — approximately 1-2 weeks. Yarrow is a first aid medicine it is not like nettles that can be ingested daily for long periods. Use it when needed. Keep it next to your first aid kit and take it when camping.
TEA: Add one heaping tablespoon of yarrow into a tea ball or tea bag, place into a large coffee cup, add boiling hot water, cover for 15 minutes and drink; sweeten with maple syrup or honey.
INFUSION: Add 1/2 cup dried or fresh yarrow into a 1 quart mason jar, pour in boiling hot water, cover and let infuse 30 minutes. Strain and drink as needed. Add maple syrup or honey to sweeten.
EXTERNAL: Make a poultice with the fresh or dried yarrow flower tops. Chew up or grind up then pack into and on a gash, laceration or any severe wound. Wrap it up and leave on until bleeding has stopped. Yarrow actually works best the more intense the bleeding. It can also be compressed on the skin where there is lingering discolored bruises inflamed cuts.
- This plant is regarded as one of the oldest herbs used in medicine, dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece.
- It was used to treat wounds during battle. Warriors called it “Staunchweed.”
- Yarrowearned its scientific name from the Greek warrior, Achilles, who used the herb to stop bleeding of his wounded men.
- ‘Achillea’ for the warrior and ‘millefolium’ meaning “thousand leaved.”
- After being dried, yarrowcan be made into a powder and sprinkled onto wound to stop bleeding.
- Do not take yarrowon an empty stomach or during pregnancy.