Yarrow uses have surprised the general public with its vast nutritional and medicinal properties. It’s a plant with numerous uses, both internally and externally.
Today, we’ll go into greater detail about this miraculous plant and all the benefits that it can bring to your overall health. So stick around!
Although this is a widespread plant currently used for different treatments, there is still a lack of scientific evidence to support studies.
Nevertheless, yarrow uses have been documented for their medicinal importance, and in fact, several drugs have been developed with its active ingredients.
Yarrow is of Eurasian origin, but today it’s found on all continents; it is a plant that spreads very easily and is naturalized in many places.
Achillea millefolium is a plant of the family of Asteraceae (compounds) also called: yarrow, milflores, millefeuilles, Aquilea, Altamisa, among other names, the name Achillea was given by the Greeks in honor of Achilles.
Mythological history of yarrow uses
As we’ve said before, this plant is also known as Achillea. According to Greek mythology, a special recommendation was given by a Centaur called Chiron to a warrior named Achilles.
This advice was decisive because it worked to cure his combatants’ health damage caused by tough battles.
Thanks to its extraordinary composition, yarrow makes a great alternative for various natural remedies. Thus, making its uses seem endless.
Let’s take a closer look at its composition and nutrition facts:
- Essential oils
- Fatty acids
- Phenolic acids
- Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E
- Anti-hemorrhagic and anti-inflammatory
- Heals wounds
- Varicose veins
- Tissue inflammation
- Since it reduces stress levels, it is ideal for fighting hypertension and support blood pressure
- Excellent bactericide and astringent
- Infectious-Contagious diseases
- Common cold
- Respiratory spasms
- This plant strengthens the immune system, providing protection against external agents
- It eliminates intestinal parasites
- Makes you sweat (good when fighting colds)
- Hormonal regulator
- Regulates Menopause
- Helps relieve premenstrual symptoms
- Excellent aid in the treatment of endometriosis
- Important function in the digestive system
- Stomach ulcers & gastritis
- Secretion of digestive enzymes
Yarrow uses: How to Consume it
The entire plant can be used. Even its leaves may be eaten in salads or as any other vegetable; for medicinal use, it’s harvested during summertime.
The best way to take yarrow is through infusions. Additionally, it can be found in the following formats:
- Plant juices
- Topical creams
- Essential oil
The recommended dose per day may vary but should not exceed 40 grams of yarrow per 34 oz of water.
In any case, do not ingest more than 1/4 cup because otherwise, it will generate adverse effects that can be harmful to your health.
Yarrow infusion for menstrual pain
- Mix in equal amounts: Yarrow, sage, horsetail, and lemon balm leaves at a ratio of one tablespoon per water serving.
- Process: Infuse for 10 minutes and filter. We recommend two cups daily, about nine days before your period.
Yarrow decoction for wound healing
- In this case, the formula includes comfrey, marigold, and Sideritis tragoriganum, at a ratio of three tablespoons per half a liter of water.
- Process: Boil for 2 minutes, let it sit for 20 minutes, and strain it. It can be kept in the fridge.
Application – There are several options:
- Soak a clean piece of cloth with the infusion and cover the wound abundantly. Repeat the process morning and night.
- For mouth sores, the infusion is used in the form of gargles.
- As an alternative option, boiled leaves and inflorescences are applied in a poultice over the open wound to prevent bleeding.
Yarrow essential oil
The best oils are obtained from the plants of Central and Southern Europe.
Known in Asia as Yara Yara and in Anglo-Saxon countries as Yarrow, this essential oil has a set of therapeutic properties that have made its presence inevitable in the world of complementary and alternative medicine, including the oldest natural healing system known as Ayurveda, which means: “life knowledge.“
The use of Yarrow oil as a natural medicine dates back over 60,000 years. This is demonstrated by its presence in the body of a Neanderthal man.
Yarrow Historical references show that Chinese medicine has used yarrow since ancient times to treat menstruation problems, while the Scandinavians primarily use this oil to treat rheumatism effectively.
Yarrow is known as Biranjasipha in Ayurveda. It has refreshing properties and is very effective against indigestion, fever, heartburn, and inflammation.
Yarrow essential oil properties
It has antiseptic, emollient, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, vulnerary, and antispasmodic properties.
Yarrow essential oil is among the best natural oils in the treatment of numerous skin problems such as cuts, burns, acne, rashes, marks, open sores, stretch marks, dermatitis, psoriasis, inflamed wounds, epileptic seizures, dryness, eczema, cracked skin due to aging and many others.
This oil stops bleeding, retains skin moisture, and helps significantly in new skin cells’ fast formation.
By stimulating leukocytes and platelets in the affected region’s blood, this oil effectively fights bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that worsen wounds.
Staphylococcus aureus is a harmful bacteria that cause wound infection, and yarrow essential oil with its antimicrobial effects is effective against its effects.
Just like other essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus radiata, tea tree, rosemary, and hyssop are expectorants, analgesics, and decongestants, Yarrow essential oil is also effective in treating respiratory problems such as congestion, cough, bronchitis, asthma attacks, colds, and phlegm secretion.
When applied to the chest, its ability to relieve respiratory problems is noticed after a few days.
Research from Canadian scientists revealed that eucalyptol, camphor, alpha-terpineol, beta-pinene, and borneol present in 60.7% of the oil make yarrow essential oil effective for this ailment.
Yarrow uses proven beneficial for digestive system problems such as constipation, colics, indigestion, stomach pain, bloating, appetite loss, heaviness, along with chest pain, flatulence, intestinal pain, gastric catarrh, and dyspepsia.
Carminative, digestive, and antispasmodic, it prevents the formation of gas in the stomach and intestines. This oil improves the secretion of bile and other digestive residues, which supports good digestion.
A gentle massage with 2 or 3 drops of yarrow essential oil mixed with a base oil such as jojoba, sesame, or almond immediately relieves digestive disorders.
This essential oil has hypotensive and tranquilizing properties that calm the heart and nerves. It effectively treats hypertension, insomnia, high blood pressure, excess stress, and cerebral hemorrhage.
Increases blood circulation and helps treat hemorrhoids, varicose veins, arthritis, rheumatism, menopausal disorders, cystitis, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, uric acid (gout), and other health problems associated with the circulatory system.
Additional health benefits of yarrow essential oil are eliminating body toxins, dandruff control, and supporting hair loss and hair growth.
Most commonly, it is grown to be used later as a cut flower. It’s a rather rustic plant, so it’s not too demanding either with environmental conditions or special care.
However, there are some things to keep in mind for its appropriate growth:
The first thing you have to ensure is a proper climate. It is essential to keep moderate humidity and place them in full sun exposure so that the stems grow correctly.
If you manage to keep them under the sun, you will get the flowers to develop more colorful and lively.
It adapts well to almost any type of soil, even limestone. Although it can grow in nutrient-poor soils, it is better to opt for the most fertile ones when available.
One thing you have to keep in mind to avoid deterioration and death is soil drainage. The soil must be well-drained so that it doesn’t become waterlogged.
If water accumulates, it will cause the plant to drown. So remember: lots of sun and good drainage.
The cultivation of this plant is very similar to that of alfalfa. Stems emerge until they expand throughout the soil. You need to fertilize it with a potassium enhancer that helps the growth be more balanced and strong.
Also, avoid fertilizing with too much nitrogen, which would cause a negative impact.
Originally from Europe, North America, and South Australia. It has herbaceous characteristics; its life cycle is perennial and has a subterranean stem type rhizome. The plant reaches 30 to 50 centimeters high and has finely nailed compound leaves (feathery).
The flowers are white and small, gathered in great groups in the branches’ tips in inflorescences of type chapter, like daisies.
Achillea millefolium, popularly known as yarrow, is a planting option that can give a good financial return for the farmer.
Small farmers, especially family farmers, have auspicious activity in cultivating medicinal plants as sources of income, given the growing demand for natural products in recent years.
These species provide the raw material for pharmacies, medicinal herb companies, and manufacturers of cosmetics, food, drinks, and even cleaning products with some demand.
How to plant yarrow?
A summary of what you’ll need to plant yarrow is as follows:
- Minimum area for agricultural production: 1,000 to 2,000 meters
- Average temperature: 20ºC
- Sunlight: 12 Hours
- Method of propagation: Cuttings or Division
- pH: 6
- Fertilization: 3 to 5 kilos per square meter
- Space: 0.7 x 0.5 meters
- Harvest: 4 Months
Quick guide to growing yarrow
This activity can be carried out in small areas, with a minimum of 1,000 to 2,000 square meters, in farmers with little experience in the cultivation of medicinal plants.
Seedlings can be purchased from other producers and nurseries, prioritizing establishments of great reference and suitability.
Preferably with an average temperature of 20 ºC. Yarrow needs a good amount of sunlight in the growing area, as it flowers only in places with a photoperiod of over 12 hours. Even better if the plantation is far from roads and lots of vehicle traffic.
The ideal method is through cuttings and division of groups in small-scale agricultural production. The technique requires cutting subway rhizomes to generate new specimens.
It should be done in April or June, in fertile and well-drained soils. If necessary, correct the soil by adding lime to raise the pH to 6 and phosphate, using natural phosphates.
Use tanned manure for fertilization: 3 to 5 kilos per square meter are recommended in bovine manure. Organic compost is also an alternative that can be adopted for fertilization.
The recommended space is 0.7 x 0.5 meters, making it possible to plant 28 thousand seedlings per hectare. It is not necessary to dig the soil very deep.
The yarrow planting can be done in small holes; the size should be enough to allow the rhizome to be buried.
Despite being a drought-tolerant plant, yarrow needs to be watered while planting the crop in the field. Drip irrigation is an option that offers savings and better control of water distribution in the plantation.
PRODUCTION AND HARVEST
It is carried out in four months, with three to four harvests per year possible. Each plant has the capacity to supply 80 to 90 grams of green matter, equivalent to 2,000 to 2,500 kilograms per hectare, on average.
It’s possible to obtain 1 kilo of essential oil for every 100 kilograms of green matter; the approximate profitability is 20 to 25 kilograms per hectare.
According to the plant’s need, it is recommended to replant the species every one or two years.
Yarrow uses: Summary
Yarrow uses benefits from its rich phenolic compounds, which act to eliminate free radicals in the human body, preventing age-related diseases.
In addition to its use in traditional medicine to treat gastrointestinal disorders and skin inflammation, the plant is used in the production of phytomedicines and nutraceutical drinks.
Both the essential oil and the leaves’ extracts possess antioxidant properties, which help reduce the risk of various diseases caused by the degenerative process of the cells, such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research indicates that frequent consumption of yarrow tea offers health benefits to the body.