Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow is a native plant known as Athair thalún meaning Father of the Earth and in some places as Lus na fola meaning Herb of the Blood and Lus na gCluas meaning Ear Herb, which described its healing properties. Yarrow is found growing along roadsides in the suburbs if allowed to survive and not destroyed by weed killer. It flowers between June and October. In olden days, Yarrow was treated with respect and considered a powerful herb. It was used for healing in fairy lore and for divination purposes.

Yarrow is an ideal regulator as it lowers blood pressure and slows down a rapid heartbeat. It is good for a sluggish digestive system and improves absorption of food. Long ago yarrow was used on the battlefield to staunch bleeding wounds. Internally Yarrow helps the circulation and strengthens blood vessels and veins. In country areas an ointment was made using Yarrow and lard for treating bruises and haemorrhoids.

In Ireland, there has been a tradition amongst older people of drinking Yarrow tea in the belief that it combats rheumatism and indeed the pain of arthritis enabling sufferers to lead active lives. It has since been discovered that Yarrow contains a salt - phosphate of soda, which is lacking in those who suffer from this complaint.

To prepare Yarrow, gather the blossoms just before they begin to flower. Dry the leaves/flowers gently and quickly at room temperature. To make an infusion add 1 oz. of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water. Leave in a covered jug for about 10 minutes and take half a cup three times per day between meals or before eating.

previousPrevious - Tormentil (Potentilla erecta)
Next - Bibliographynext