Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is plentiful in Central Oregon right now (early to mid-July)  and the best time to get it is when it goes into flower, harvesting the aerial parts.  Yarrow has a long rich history of usage around the world.  Yarrow has been used by the Chinese for I Ching, an ancient divining system describing changes and cycles.  Its Latin name comes from the Greek hero, Achilles, who used it to stop bleeding. Native Americans also used yarrow for wound healing and treating fevers.  The Paiute used it for several purposes including analgesic for headaches, crushed leaves for swellings.  Decoction of leaves and stems in a liniment for skin sores, cold infusion of leaves for eye wash, and leaves chewed for toothache.

As a diaphoretic, it causes sweating, relieving the first sign of colds, flu, fevers, chicken pox and measles.  It is an astringent and homeostatic that can be used to treat hemorrhoids, hemorrhages, inflammations, abscesses, burns, cuts, excess menstrual bleeding. The organs that it directly affects are the lungs (fevers) and liver (blood).

For fevers, combine one ounce Yarrow  with once ounce Angelica.  Simmer in one quart of water, reduced to one pint.  Strain, Cool, Bottle and store in a cool place, combine with 1/4 c. alcohol for preservation.  Take 2 fluid ounces (warm) every two hours until fever is abated.

For medicated oil, bruise yarrow leaves and flowers.  Fill a mason jar and then cover with oil, masticate for several minutes with a wooden spoon.  Cover and maintain at 110 degrees (in crook pot) or alternating sun during the days and crook pot at night) for one week.

For fresh tincture:  weight out 100 grams of yarrow flower and leaves, bruise with rolling-pin.  Put in jar, add 200 mill of alcohol.  Shake daily for two weeks, then strain.  For dry tincture the rate is 1:5 (100 grams yarrow, 500 millilitres of menstrum at a rate of 75% Alcohol and 25% water).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eva Herbal
    Aug 10, 2012 @ 09:56:54

    Does anyone know the native name for yarrow….?
    Eva Herbal


    • foodscrap
      Aug 10, 2012 @ 20:11:06

      Native, as in Native American, no I don’t know. I am working on a paper on medicinal herbs of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, but at this point I don’t know another name yet.


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