Issue No.
100, August 2006 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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     Herbal Medicine

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

The Latin name of this plant probably refers to the Greek warrior Achilles. It is said that the plant was used during the Trojan wars to stem bleeding. Its popular English name, Nosebleed, attests to its use in first aid. Today yarrow is used for the common cold and fevers. It is also useful for essential hypertension, amenorrhoea, dysentery and diarrhoea. Yarrow helps regulate the menstrual cycle, reduces heavy bleeding and eases menstrual pain. It is antipyretic and anti-inflammatory.

The flowers of yarrow can be made into an infusion to be taken against inflammations in the respiratory tract. It can also be used as an external wash for eczema. The oil extract is useful for massaging inflamed joints. Dilute 5 - 10 drops of the oil in 25ml of St. John’s Wort oil. In the case of eczema, around 20 drops of the oil are diluted with 25ml of almond or sunflower seed oil and rubbed over the chest.

The fresh leaves of yarrow are used to stop nose bleeding. Simply insert a fresh leaf in the nostril. The leaf can also have the opposite effect: it will induce bleeding, which would bring relief from headaches. The fresh leaves can also be applied as compresses for wounds, wrapped in a clean piece of fabric.

The upper parts of the plant can be turned into an infusion used as antipyretic and for gastrointestinal disorders. The tincture is indicated for urinary tract disorders and irregularity in the menstrual cycle. Compresses dipped in the tincture can be applied to relieve the pain associated with varicose veins.

In rare cases, yarrow can cause skin rashes. Avoid large doses of the plant during pregnancy as it stimulates the uterus.

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