The ordinary yarrow already carries the medicinal plant in its name: In Old High German, "garwe" roughly translated means healer. Our ancestors also saw that sheep and other animals are crazy about the plant and are the first to eat it when they move to a new pasture. In the Iliad, Achilles heals the wounded soldiers with the herb, which leads to the Latin name Achillea. Here are the most important facts about yarrow:
- Yarrow has been known as a medicinal herb since ancient times, and modern science confirms its healing properties.
- It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect.
- Yarrow works internally against gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual problems in particular and abdominal pain in general, the general calming properties also help against headaches and mild toothache.
- Yarrow is non-toxic in all its parts, but has highly toxic doppelgangers. Therefore, you should be well informed and / or consult experts when collecting the plant.
Yarrow inhibits inflammation and promotes wound healing, it alleviates digestion problems, kidney problems, rheumatism and menstrual pain. The plant contains more than 80 substances that are used for healing. These include flavonoids, proazulen, achilles, camphor and caffeic acid derivatives.
Yarrow has been known since ancient times as a means of stopping blood flow. Yarrow calms and relieves cramps, promotes bile flow and slows inflammation of the mucous membranes. The plant works against bacteria, both internally and externally. Yarrow's essential oil, which can be distilled with steam, is particularly effective against inflammation.
The yarrow's antispasmodic effect helps against the cramp-like pain during the period. Yarrow tea works against an irritated intestine as well as against an aching stomach. Yarrow ingested also promotes appetite because it promotes the flow of bile.
Yarrow is traditionally used against
- High blood pressure,
- impaired blood circulation,
- Biliary colic,
- A headache,
- Kidney weakness,
- Menopause complaints.
Applied externally, as an oil, tea, extract or tincture, the plant helps against cracked hands, hemorrhoids, sunburn, eczema, pimples, acne and sunburn.
The plant juice
The squeezed juice can be both drink and applied to the skin, for example on wounds, acne or sunburn. Outside in nature, without a first-aid kit, the juice of the widely used plant is sometimes the first choice. All you have to do is cut off stems and place the cut on the burnt skin.
To drink, stir a teaspoon of the fresh juice in a glass of water.
You can boil the entire herb without earth residues and parts of other plants to a tea and drink it as a home remedy for loss of appetite, gas or stomach pain. You can also buy the tea in pharmacies and health food stores, where it is available as a bag or in bulk.
You pour about a teaspoon of the dried leaves with a quarter of a liter of hot water, let everything soak and drink it. You can also apply tea to the skin if you have ulcers or irritated skin.
The yarrow oil can be used for internal use, for example in hot water or an herbal tea (only a few drops) and drink. If you want to apply it externally to a wound, 20 drops are mixed in a glass of water.
Inhalation: With inflamed mucous membranes in the nose, mouth or throat, you can put about 20 drops in boiling water, put a towel over your head and inhale for ten minutes.
For a tincture, put a glass half full of dried yarrow with clear schnapps, put a lid on it and place this mixture in a place for two weeks. Then pour the liquid into another glass and the tincture is ready.
A yarrow bath is good for example after a long hike with insect bites, small cuts on the ankles and sunburn. You can add either the fresh juice or the oil that has already been extracted, but also dried herbs to the bath water. You do not have to sit in yarrow, but can pour two liters of hot water over the whole herb, let it steep for 20 minutes and then pour the water into the bath.
If you have liver or kidney pain, use a cloth that you soak in yarrow tea and wrap around the kidney or liver region.
You can buy yarrow creams in pharmacies or health food stores. If you want to make such a cream yourself, you can melt 100 g of butter and add 20 g of fresh, finely chopped yarrow and rub it into the skin.
All parts of the yarrow are edible and no side effects are known. At most, you may be allergic to yarrow and related species. Most of the time you notice that when you get fresh juice on your skin and itchy skin or it starts to turn red.
The fresh juice applied to the skin probably leads to an increased sensitivity of the skin - you should therefore not expose it to direct sunlight.
Pregnant and lactating women should not eat yarrow - not because negative effects are known, but because there are no valid studies on them. Yarrow also relieves cramps and promotes labor.
Anyone who has an allergy to daisies is also sensitive to yarrow. Do you know that you are allergic to daisies? Then you can brush yarrow diluted with water on a small area of skin, repeat this process the next day and observe whether the skin is red or whether you feel pain.
Yarrow, unlike most other medicinal plants, is non-toxic in all parts. Meanwhile, she has dangerous lookalikes. Giant hogweed can be mistaken for it at an early stage of its growth, after which it towers above the yarrow. Another "doppelganger" is the highly poisonous hemlock.
At every stage, the yarrow leaves are unique. They are elongated, fine and dainty. The leaves are pinnate and form rosettes.
Yarrow is a daisy with white, yellow or red flowers and usually grows 80 cm tall, up to 150 cm maximum. It smells strongly in bloom. The common yarrow is widespread in Central Europe, related species populate Southern Europe and Asia. Yarrow is growing today from non-tropical Africa to northern Scandinavia and also in America.
Yarrow is firstly widespread and secondly has served as human food, cattle feed and medicinal plant since ancient times. As a result, it bears a lot of names in German: Hemostasis and Frauenkraut refer to the hemostatic effect and the relief of menstrual pain. The feathered leaves gave the plant the name "thousand leaf". The term “eyebrow of Venus” is more poetic and testifies to its ancient use as a love plant. Lamb tongue stems from the fact that lambs regard yarrow as a delicacy. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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