Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, is a perennial herb that grows at the edge of dry fields and usually flowers during July in the northern United States. This plant produces white flower clusters atop a stalk with a square stem and feathery alternate leaves. The leaves make a quick topical first aid treatment for bugs bites and wounds. A cup of yarrow flower tea makes a bitter digestive tonic.
Last summer I was delighted to find a wonderful stand of white yarrow growing in a nearby field. During its blooming cycle I went out at sunset and gathered bags of premium Yarrow flower tops. Yarrow was one of the first herbs that I began gathering wild while living at Mt. Baldy in Southern California, so it has been a favorite plant friend for a long time.
I make a tea with Yarrow flowers and drink a cup at the first sign of a cough or sore throat. I blend it with Oregano, Hyssop, and Rose hips for extra immune boosting power. Yarrow’s natural bitter flavor makes it a healing digestive tonic. The bitter flavor actual stimulates natural digestive juices. When you eat too much or too fast a cup of yarrow tea can help your stomach relax and feel better. It is an important herb for girls and can help ease menstrual cramps. Sip on the tea before bed when needed.
To make a tea
Boil 1 cup of water. Add about a teaspoon of blossoms to the hot water. Steep the herbs for about 10 minutes. Strain off the herbs through a small sifter. I have grown accustomed to the bitter flavor but sometimes I do add honey especially when I am taking the tea in the winter when I want a natural sore throat remedy.
For topical use
I add the flowers and leaves to a healing salve for yarrow’s anti-inflammatory and ability to stop bleeding. Salves are rubbed on the skin for soothing, antiseptic, anti inflammatory, and moisturizing purposes. I have rubbed the fresh leaf on my arm when it was scratched from wire fencing. The bleeding stopped immediately. Historically yarrow was gathered and used to treat battle wounds. Choose 1-2 fresh leaves, crush to release the juices and rub or place on the area needed.
Yarrow has natural antihistamine properties. You can make a refreshing anti-itch rinse for hair or skin by putting 1/2 cup of yarrow flowers into a quart jar. Fill to the top with boiling water. Steep by placing a plate or cup over the jar opening for 10-20 minutes until cool enough for your skin. I like doing a yarrow rinse after a day of being out with the horses or at the end of a hot day.
I gather Yarrow flowers, leaves, and stems to make a liquid spray that keeps the aphids off my roses and hops plants. To make your own gather the fresh yarrow, chop it up with scissors and place the plant bits into a bucket. Fill to the top with water. Let it sit and ferment a couple of days. Strain off the liquid into spray bottles. Compost the plant bits. Spray the liquid onto plants that have aphids on them and watch them leave.
This picture from the herbal tarot gives an idea of its emotional and spiritual benefits. Notice how the flower tops creates and umbrella of protective light for your Aura. I make a Spirit Herbs formula called Protectea which contains Yarrow tincture, Saint john’s wort flower essence, and Gold gem elixir. This formula strengthens the aura by helping you keep focused on the blessings of Divine Light within and around you. This formula provides a natural shield that helps you to set healthy boundaries and stay true to your Highest self. Click here to schedule and Herbal Tarot Reading for yourself or a friend.
This is prayer that I learned at Unity church, that I have adapted. Protec-tea Elixir helps you to remember this when needed to Let your Light Shine because you are filled with Divine Light.
The Light of God surrounds you,
The love of Goddess enfolds you,
The power of Creator protects you,
And the presence of Spirit watches over you,
Wherever you are, they are there and all is well.