Is that a carrot growing on the side of the road? No, that is yarrow. Yarrow is a very powerful plant which can aide in reducing inflammation and fevers. It also acts as an anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial herb.
As an anti-microbial, yarrow was traditionally used to relieve sore throats, toothaches, as well as acne. It can also aide in soothing and relief as related to respiratory infections. This action makes yarrow a herb said to kill bacterial associated with these ailments.
As an anti-inflammatory, yarrow can be used both internally and topically. It can be applied topically to relieve pain and to reduce inflammation as a salve, cream or poultice. It contains 2 key categories of molecules which contribute to its anti-inflammatory action; called flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones. These molecules make yarrow a great herb to use because of its ability to reduce the inflammation from bug bites, bee stings, and skin rashes.
Muscles will often contract when they are inflamed and irritated causing pain and discomfort. Yarrow can be beneficial when used as a tincture or tea for lower pelvic pain, cramping and chest pain due to these contractions. It is also great for use in soothing painful joints or muscles spasms, when used topically as a cream.
Because of its astringent properties, yarrow works as a styptic to aide in stopping blood flow both internally and topically. This makes it good at creating a barrier of healing for wounds, reducing nosebleeds, uterine bleeding, hemorrhoids any type of bleeding. For nosebleeds, consider using a gentle yarrow tea as a wash in a neti pot.
You may want to harvest yarrow yourself to use it at home. It grows during the summer months of June to September and during this time it blossoms with small white flowers with occasional bouts of pale pink or purple. The flowers pack the amazing benefits and volatile oils, though all parts of the plant are used.
A quick way to make your own yarrow poultice is by gathering a few of the fresh flowers and stems, chewing them up and applying directly to the skin. You might use a yarrow poultice for its anti-inflammatory and styptic actions by applying them directly to bug bites, bee stings, skin rashes or wounds. Using yarrow as a salve or infused oil it would be best used for both its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory actions.
You can also learn to make a yarrow infused oil or salve during our upcoming live infused oil class. Explore how yarrow might work for you by scheduling a consultation with one of our professional herbalists. You may also purchase our Nerve Cream to see how it might aide in supporting pain due to nerve damage.
Racheal is wellness advocate, practicing as a Wellness Coach and Herbalist at GoldenFlourish.co. She is passionate about aiding women to achieving wellness goals, living in self-love and balance. Currently, Racheal is a Professional Intern with The Dancing Herbalist