Yarrow is a wild herb of pastures and waste places. It is recognized by its white or pink flower heads that are actually hundreds of tiny blossoms, spraying out from a single stock, giving its Latin name “Achillea milliflourium.” Grazing animals usually leave it alone so a well grazed pasture will still maintain many untouched groups of Yarrow, waiting to be harvested. It is pungent and medicinal smelling.
Harvest it by cutting off the flower heads, leaving the stalks in the ground. It is perennial and the stocks will give you many years of harvests.
You can preserve it by drying the flower heads for tea, or by making a tincture.
How to make yarrow tincture
All tinctures are made the same way. Put the flower heads in a mason jar. Cover with 100 proof alcohol — I use vodka. Allow to steep for 4 weeks, shaking the jar daily. Strain. Preserve the now yellow liquid in a dark coloured glass jar in a cool, dry place, away from light.
To use the tincture mix 1 tsp in a 1/2 glass of water and drink up to 3 times a day. During a fever, use warm water to increase the flushing action of the herb. This tricks your body into acting as if the fever has broken and speeds your immune system to finish the healing.
What to use Yarrow for on your homestead
Yarrow is the herb of choice for chest congestion, coughing, and fever. It lowers blood pressure naturally and strengthens the heart and blood vessels. It is antibiotic and supports the liver in cleansing the body of toxins.
You can dry the long basal leaves and make an effective styptic that not only staunches bleeding, but also disinfects the wound, prevents infection, and eases pain and inflammation. Find out more here.
Do you want to establish a patch of yarrow?
If you want to get a patch of perennial yarrow established on your homestead, choose wild white or pink yarrow. It has the strongest medicinal properties. You can get seeds from Richter’s herbs. They ship from Ontario to the USA with a phytosanitary certificate.
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Learn more about herbal remedies and essential oils from an herbalist’s perspective in my new Book, The Beginners’ Book of Essential Oils, now available in paperback, in Kindle, or in a printable digital format.(pdf).