By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Yarrow. Did you know, is a relative of the Daisy? And, it may not only be white, but it can also be pink or yellow. Its medicinal use is far-reaching into the past, but it is still a go-to herb for today. Yarrow is another wort with which I employ most often in my herbal work. What is most wonderful is that Yarrow can be one of the “cheapest” worts you’ll have in your cabinet as it grows wild all over the world, pretty much, and if you learn to identify it properly, you can harvest your own just by taking a walk in the countryside. However, you must be careful to take only what you need and not over-harvest, for plants need to be left to carry on propagation to ensure that more will be available to all. Not to mention, its flowers are essential to our bees – butterflies and wasps love it and all. Yarrow flowers from June to August, sometimes into October, in the UK. Harvest the leaves in Spring, the flowers from July – September when just opening. This from permaculture.co.uk may be useful to you in learning to identifying and harvesting herbs:
“New, affordable courses, designed for people wanting to deepen their understanding of wild plants, as well as sharpening their plant identification skills, are now available through my new foraging group http://www.meetup.com/Wild-food-and-medicine-Foraging-Apprentices
A number of bite-size foraging videos will give you a taster http://www.youtube.com/ipsophyto777”
For more from Christopher Hope visit www.wildplantguide.co.uk
Yarrow has been called a pharmacy in one plant. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, diuretic, diaphoretic, astringent, expectorant, and vulnerary in one. It was used on battlefields to staunch the flow of blood from wounds received in battle, saving countless lives as both a cleaning astringent and an anti-septic keeping away the possibility of infection. Yarrow was found amongst other medicinal herbs in a Neanderthal burial site in Iraq, which dates from around 60,000 BC, therefore, it has been in aid of humanity for quite a number of years!
If fever did take hold, despite the precautions, Yarrow is a diaphoretic, and can reduce fever as well or better than today’s aspirin. It can reduce the pain of menstrual cramping, relieve heart palpitations, and acts as a diuretic as needed, as well as an expectorant for chest inflammation. Be careful to study the amount of Yarrow you may use for the illness you need to treat as even herbs can be over-used and cause more problems. Always check with your physician to make sure that it won’t counteract or increase the actions of pharmaceutical drugs you are already taking. If you are on blood thinners, please check with your GP.
**Please note: I am not a doctor, nor do I intend to treat anyone for any condition by writing about herbs. Please do use common sense and see a doctor before using these herbs and methods. If you are being treated holistically already, still speak to your doctor before adding any other herbal remedies to your regime.
Yarrow has been used for ceremonial magick for no telling how many centuries. Because of its healing effects, it was believed to be a very spiritual wort. Blood was the essence of life to people, and Yarrow could heal the loss of that essence. Naturally, it would be regarded as having much magick. People began carrying amulets and charms made with or carrying Yarrow to protect themselves against evil forces and negative energies. It has also been a go-to for love and the bringing of love into one’s life. And, it is one of the strongest promoters of courage out of all the herbal world. We love Yarrow… it fits in with so many of the things we create for our shop… when you buy a witch bottle necklace for love, protection, or courage, you will be pleased to know that Yarrow is used as one of the nine sacred herbs in each one.
For love: To guarantee love will last for seven years, hang dried Yarrow over the bed and use it in wedding decorations.
Wearing a little Yarrow in any form will help in seeking friends or a lover.
Yarrow will also help you to love yourself.
You can also use Yarrow in love spells by rolling your working candle in it, or using it in love poppets, or in a loose incense.
Psychic Abilities: Drink Yarrow tea before performing any kind of divination. Also, burn in loose incense whilst divining.
Courage: Hold or wear Yarrow in any form to dispel fear and feel stronger, more courageous. Can also be used in a sachet to carry with you.
Powers: Love, Protection, Courage, Psychic Powers, Exorcism
Other Names: Milfoil, Soldier’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Thousand Weed, Nose Bleed, Carpenter’s Weed, Staunchweed, Arrow-root, bloodwort, greenarrow, sneezewort, thousand-leaf, yallow
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x
Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclaire Rohde