(Achillea millifolium)


Excerpted from:

The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants

By Matthew Wood

 “Yarrow is one of the primal remedies of the Western herbal tradition.  It can be called the ‘master of the blood.’  Through numerous devices – clotting, unclotting, neurovascular control, flavonoids, etc. – it regulates the flow of blood to and from the surface, in and out of the capillaries and venules, thickening and thinning.  Through this it cures all manner of wounds, bruises, hemorrhaging, and clotting.  The same property, combined with its diaphoretic capacity, makes it a ‘master of fever,’ moving blood to or from the surface to release or preserve heat and regulate fluids.  Although pungent, bitter, and astringent in taste, it also contains high levels of flavonoids, which soothe the capillaries so the blood passes quicker.  Thus, it is both cooling and warming, fluid generating and controlling.  Remedies with contradictory but complementary properties are often of great utility since they are able to normalize opposing conditions.  This is true for Yarrow.

 “Through its action on the blood and vasculature, Yarrow is suited to (1) lacerations, bruises, active hemorrhaging, and old, hardened bruises, (2) fevers, or fevers and chills, (3) heat and congestion in the digestive tract, portal vein, liver, and abdominal viscera, and (4) uterine congestion with excessive (or lack of) bleeding.  Yarrow can be useful in almost any kind of acute inflammation with congestion of blood.  It is specific for hemorrhages with bright, red bleeding and is contraindicated in passive, dark, coagulated flow (cf. Shepherd’s Purse).

 “In addition to its action as a hemostatic or normalizer of the blood and circulation, Yarrow also acts on the skin as a diaphoretic and on the kidneys as a diuretic.  Thus, it normalizes the distribution, secretion, and elimination of water in the body. 


“SPECIFIC INDICATIONS:  Nosebleed; bleeding hemorrhoids; lack of menstrual flow, difficult to start; or heavy, hemorrhagic flow, hard to stop, excessive bleeding; uterine fibroids with bright red hemorrhage; vaginal discharge; uterine prolapse; nephritis, acute inflammation and bleeding from the kidneys; acute cystitis, with or without bleeding, with mucoid discharges, scanty urine, also incontinence; arthritis, gout, rheumatism; varicose veins; high blood pressure where there is blood congestion; fever; fever in chicken pox, measles, brings out rash; lacerations, injuries to the arteries, of violent origin; hemorrhage, of bright red arterial blood; tenderness and oversensitivity in wounds; bruises of violent origin, with cuts; blood blisters; old bruises that have become hard, especially on the head; head injury; hematoma (external [application]); cerebral thrombosis; stroke.”


Excerpted from:

Down There, Sexual and Reproductive Health The Wise Woman Way

By Susun Weed

 “Yarrow flower (tea or tincture) counters urinary infections, relieves pain, restores tone to the bladder, counters incontinence, eases urinary tract spasms, and aids those with bladder cancer.

 “Yarrow not only destroys infective bacteria in the bladder, it strengthens the bladder wall, so repeat infections are less likely, and it doesn’t promote vaginal yeast, as antibiotics do.  Expect relief from pain in minutes, lessening of fever in hours, and complete remission of bladder infections in a couple of days when using a dropperful of the tincture hourly or taking frequent sips of strong Yarrow tea.  To kill all the bacteria in your bladder, it is important to take Yarrow tincture 4-6 times a day for 7-10 days.

 “To tonify the bladder, counter incontinence, and heal interstitial cystitis ulcers, the dose is up to a dropperful of tincture or a cup of tea daily.

“Blood in your urine?  Reach for Yarrow.”


Excerpted from:

10 Essential Herbs

By Lalitha Thomas

 “Allergy:  Many allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, eye irritations, and scratchy throat are greatly helped by using Yarrow tea.  Drink 1 to 4 cups daily.  It can be used as a very soothing eyewash or skin wash.  If your allergy symptoms are seasonal, Yarrow can be used as a preventive method by starting a 1-cup-per-day regimen ahead of time.  For food allergies that may result in hives or swollen face, Yarrow works well taken as a tea or used as an herbal wash.

 “Childhood Diseases:  Most common childhood diseases – chicken pox, mumps, measles, German measles, colic, whooping cough, bronchitis, tonsillitis – respond well to Yarrow.  Use it specifically for fevers, itching, lymphatic cleansing, inflammation, calming the stomach, and fighting many types of infection.

 “Circulation:  When a health problem persists, it is often the circulation that needs to be strengthened.  Accumulated toxins in the organs and body systems result in an overall sluggishness.  Nerve, blood, and lymph circulation/energy are then greatly slowed down and this in turn contributes to an even greater build-up of toxins.  Since this syndrome is inherent in most illnesses, anything that will flush out the toxins and stimulate renewed circulation to these areas can turn the illness around.  Yarrow is a potent and persistent help in this, especially since it stimulates the pores of the skin to open and release body waste.

 “Colds and Flu:  Yarrow can often prevent a cold or flu from “getting you.”  Try Yarrow as a preventive.

Digestion:  Yarrow stimulates the liver and gall bladder to produce the digestive juices which assist the digestive process to work more smoothly.  It also operates as an astringent to firm and tone the tissues of the digestive organs themselves, which speeds their rejuvenation.  What this means is less gas, less stomachache, better assimilation of nutrients, and a feeling of renewal rather than the typical “dragged-down” feeling that accompanies poor digestive functioning.  Use Yarrow tea for any digestive distress, especially for painful gas anywhere in the stomach or intestinal area.

 “Fever:  Yarrow is the first herb you should think of when you want to do something about a fever.  If the fever is particularly severe, use Yarrow tea or Yarrow tincture as much as needed.  Continue taking the tea – 4 to 8 cups in a day – in severe illness.  A Yarrow bath can also work wonders.  Make 2 quarts of triple strength tea, strain, and add the liquid to a basin or tub of bath water.

 “Gall Bladder:  Yarrow tincture, tea or infusion is useful as a stimulant for the flow of bile, as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as an efficient, long-term liver and gall bladder tonic.

 “Inflammation: Especially concentrated in the flowers of Yarrow are carbohydrates and proteins that some observers feel are retained at a site of inflammation to enhance the quick repair of damaged, inflamed tissue.  In addition, these nutrients, along with Yarrow’s volatile oils and tannic acid, break down and eliminate irritating (inflammatory and/or infectious) toxins in the blood, lymph, and tissues themselves.  Use Yarrow as an herbal soak or bath for inflamed injuries, arthritis, bursitis, etc.  At the same time use Yarrow internally, preferably as a tea.

 “Lungs:  Yarrow is highly recommended for bleeding in the lungs as well as for lung congestion. 

 “Lymph:  Lymph fluid surrounds and saturates every cell in the body.  It brings nourishment to the cells and picks up waste products for elimination which is a crucial process of healing during any health crisis.  Lymph glands collect these wastes.  ‘Pumping’ the lymph glands through general exercise and physical activity encourages the elimination of these accumulated wastes from the body via the skin, blood, and other eliminative channels.  Anything that helps open the pores in the skin, stimulate circulation, cleanse the blood, and strengthen the function of internal organs will improve the healthy functioning of the lymphatic system.  Yarrow promotes all these actions and is an efficient herb to think of for supporting the lymphatic system.

 “Stomach:  If you need something to quickly settle an upset stomach, improve digestion, or quiet the symptoms of a stomach flu, Yarrow is probably the herb for the job.  Even when vomiting is persistent and nothing at all will stay down, you can often alleviate it by taking Yarrow tea, 1 tsp. at a time every 5 or 10 minutes.  The idea is to take these small doses at regularly spaced intervals, even though the first 1 to 3 doses may be vomited up.  In most cases the vomiting reflex will stop very quickly.  Yarrow itself is nourishing, so it is fine to depend on the herb alone for a while before starting to eat simple foods again.

 “If you feel queasy after eating, feel you have gotten food poisoning, have nervous digestion, or get frequent heartburn, try Yarrow tea.  Ulcerous conditions, too, often respond well to Yarrow.

 “Teething:  Soak equal parts of Yarrow and brandy (or vegetable glycerin) together in a glass jar for 10 days.  Strain well.  To apply to baby’s gums, dip your finger in the mixture and rub on the gums.

 “Varicose Veins:  Use Yarrow as a tonic, 1 to 3 cups a day, to cleanse and help rehabilitate varicose veins.  Sometimes it helps to put a Yarrow poultice on the more severe areas of varicosity.

 “Yarrow Bath:  To make a Yarrow bath, use one full cup of Yarrow blossoms and/or leaves.  Bring one gallon of water to a boil, remove from heat, add Yarrow and steep for at least 30 minutes, covered.  Strain and add this concentrated brew to a bathtub of very warm water.  Soak for at least 30 minutes.  This bath will soothe a tired and aching body, calm emotions, and promote relief of inflammation both internally and externally.  It also provides antiseptic action for skin difficulties, soothes itching, and imparts Yarrow’s tonic qualities to the whole body through the skin.”


Excerpted from:

The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook

By James Duke

 Cautions:  “Certain people may be allergic to Yarrow; a few others might get a case of contact dermatitis from it.  The herb contains trace amounts of thujone, a phytochemical that, in sufficient amounts, can trigger uterine contractions.  For this reason, pregnant women might wish to avoid Yarrow.  Excessive doses could interfere with or enhance the actions of sedatives, diuretics, blood pressure drugs, and blood thinners.”


Excerpted from:

Hydrosols, the Next Aromatherapy

By Suzanne Catty

 “Yarrow is one of the more potent hydrosols.  It is a good digestive aid and is significantly detoxifying, but in a gentle manner.  A three-week course will improve digestion, increase elimination, and calm gastric spasms and rumbles and is recommended as part of a cleanse or weight-loss program.  It improves digestion of fatty foods and seems to have hepatostimulant and/or cholagogue properties, since it can quickly relieve indigestion and heartburn caused by overindulgence.  Yarrow is antispasmodic for the digestive, reproductive, and muscular systems, used topically or internally.  Cooling, it helps reduce fever and eases aches and pains in association with flu and colds.  It is anti-inflammatory and can be used as a compress for varicose veins and in a sitz bath for hemorrhoids and excessive or painful menstrual periods or postpartum healing.

 “Yarrow stabilizes body fluids and gets rid of excess water without being overly diuretic.  Use it in a compress for fluid in joints and rheumatic pain or for any area of swelling where fluid has accumulated.  Effective for cleaning wounds, it helps stop bleeding.

 “Yarrow is a very effective water for use on animals, as they like the smell.

 “Yarrow hydrosol provides mental calm and can help one find peace.  Like the essential oil, it is highly energetic and good for spiritual or distance work.”


Excerpted from:

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit

By Gabriel Mojay

 “Yarrow Essential Oil’s ancient reputation as a ‘woundwort’ relates on a subtle level to its role as a Herb of Protection, as well as its ability to consolidate the ‘aura’ (or personal psychic field). 

 “It is relevant for deeply repressed anger and embitterment, and echoes symbolically the vengeful wrath of Achilles.  Yarrow Essential Oil is most appropriate for those in whom feelings of anger or rage are linked subconsciously with emotional wounding and vulnerability.  Easily offended, they tend to strike out furiously at every injury, at all costs determined to keep hurt and ‘weakness’ hidden.  On the other hand, the same basic problem may cause them to suppress their feelings of anger and annoyance – submerged as they are by the pain of past wounds.

 “Yarrow Essential Oil’s ‘visionary’ effect on an emotional level is one that helps those in depression release the bitterness of hidden rage; while in those who are habitually defensive and severe, it allows them to tap and relinquish their tears.”

 Cautions:  Due to the highly concentrated chemical nature of Cheryl’s Herbs’ aromatherapy-grade essential oils, their appropriate handling is always necessary.



Yarrow Flowers whole or cut

Yarrow Flower liquid extract

Yarrow hydrosol

Yarrow essential oil



Linda Hall

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