Yarrow

“Yarrow”

Plant’s latin name is derived from the Greek hero Achilles.  During the Trojan wars, Yarrow was reputedly used to treat wounds. Later known as ‘Wound-wort’ & ‘Carpenter’s Weed’.

A folk name, ‘Nosebleed’, confirms its traditional first aid use as an emergency styptic to stop bleeding.

In China – divining sticks are made from yarrow stalks.


Latin Botanical: Achillea millefolium

Family: Asteraceae

Part Used: Aerial Parts – Harvest during Flowering. A Creeping herb.

Qualities: Cool, dry (Holmes), Sweet & Astringent with slightly BITTER TASTE (Ody), Dry 1st Degree, warm 1st Degree (Thomsen & Gennat).

Energetic/Emotional: Psychic protection and protection from radiation. Wood says American Indian Practitioners have used Yarrow to revive people from a coma. Heightens conciousness. Good for people who are ‘too delicate – susceptible to their environment’. ‘Wounded warrior remedy – modern day servants – e.g. doctors, lawyers, therapists – those who jump in to save the day but get hurt’. 


“Most men say that the leaves chewed, and especially greene, are a remedy for toothache” – John Gerard, 1597


Constituants: 

  • Volatile oil (chamazulene, azulene & thujone) – stimulate mucosa of respiratory tract
  • Flavonoids (including rutin)
  • Sesquiterpene Lactones (Achillicin-bitter)
  • Tannins and Alkaloids
  • Vitamins A,C,E & K
  • Minerals Cu, Mg, K, Fe, Iodine
  • CAMPHOR

Actions:

  • Antipyretic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Peripheral vasodilator
  • Hypotensive
  • Venous Tonic
  • Astringent / Antihemorrhagic
  • Haemostatic / Styptic (local, such as nose bleeds)
  • Anti-platelet- achilleine, an alkaloid constituent, may ↓ clotting time
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiinflammatory (chamazulene / volatile oil)
  • Spasmolytic
  • Bitter tonic
  • Vulnerary
  • Stimulant
  • Emmenagogue (abortifacient – thujone) – may work to release stagnant blood
  • Thins the blood & some herbalists consider it a blood cleanser

Indications:

  • Fever
  • Common Cold / Flu
  • URTI’s
  • Digestive complaints i.e. anorexia, dyspepsia, GIT spasm – stimulates digestion & may act as a catalyst to ‘clean out the digestive tract from bottom layer up’ — tones mucosa & increase cellular activity & secretion
  • Loss of Appetite (Commission E)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Hypertension
  • Varicose veins
  • Haemorrhoids  – specifically those that bl
  • Varicose veins (sitz bath)
  • Diverticulitis & colitis (Wood)
  • Intestinal inflammation – IBS, liver congestion, skin lesions associated with digestive symptoms
  • Amenorrhoea – stagnant blood
  • Menorrhagia
  • UTIs
  • Mild uterine bleeding – tones mucus membranes of reproductive tract
  • Pelvic cramping (Commission E)
  • Uterine Fibroids (sitz bath)
  • ‘Restlessness due to hormonal shifts’
  • Aneurism – suck up blood leaking out of vessel (Wood). 
  • Topically for wounds and to stop bleeding – slow healing wounds
  • Topically – cuts and bruises of VIOLENT ORIGIN
  • Topically Skin Disorders – inflammatory

**Specific Thrombotic conditions with hypertension including cerebral

thrombosis and coronary thrombosis**

For ‘cuts to the bone & cuts to the third level of the blood’ (Wood). Arteries. Deep cuts – to stop bleeding. Hot, feverish. Mind – dimmed, restless. Tongue – red & dry in centre. Pulse – rapid. Use to ‘expel heat’. May bring on sleep when given in time of fever.

  • FULL, RAPID PULSE 
  • TONGUE RED – Dry in centre moist outer
  • RUDDY, RED COMPLEXION 

SUMMARY: Used for…

  • Catarrhal conditions – COLDS & FLUS
  • Bitter Tonic – to ENCOURAGE BILE FLOW
  • DIURETIC Action
  • Tonic for BLOOD
  • Stimulate CIRCULATION
  • Used for HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
  • MENSTRUAL Disorders
  • Sweating Remedy – to bring down FEVERS

Contraindications/Cautions: Known Allergy and Pregnancy are both contraindicated

Cautions:

  • Lactation (CC)
  • Sensitivity to plants containing sesquiterpenes (eg laurel, magnolia, liverworts) or Asteraceae plants

**Prolonged use can increase skin’s photosensitivity**


DRUG INTERACTIONS:

  • Anti-coagulants/anti-platelet drugs CAUTION due to theoretical increased risk of bleeding
  • Barbiturates CAUTION due to theoretical increased sedation
  • Lithium CAUTION due to theoretical increased risk of drug toxicity

(Hechtman 2018)


Dosage: 

Liquid Extract:

2 – 6ml 1:2 liquid extract / day

20- 40 ml 1:2 liquid extract / week

DROP DOSE: 1 to 3 drops t.d.s. (Wood) or 20-40 drops t.d.s. (PPC)

Dried Plant Equivalent:

6 – 12 g / day dried aerial parts (infusion). Use infusion of leaves to reduce fevers and a digestive tonic. Use infusion of flowers externally as a wash for eczema.

Compress – bruising, cuts, stop bleeding


Combinations: 

FEVER — YEP tea – Yarrow, Elderflower and Peppermint

Angelica (1 part) + Yarrow (1 part)

DEEP WOUNDS with POTENTIAL NERVE DAMAGE – St John’s Wort

ANEURISM –Wood Betony & Rescue remedy (Wood)

TENSION & RESTLESNESS/ HYPERTENSION: Combine with tilia


OTHER USES:

  • To stop a Nosebleed: Insert Leaf into Nostril
  • Poultice: Bind washed, fresh leaves to cuts and grazes
  •  Inhalation: For hay fever and mild asthma, use fresh flowers in boiling water
  • Compress: Soak a pad in the infusion of aerial parts or dilute tincture to soothe varicose veins
  • Sitz bath for Uterine Fibroids – 2 x week. 100 g whole, cut herb seeped in cold water overnight – bring to boil and then pour into a bath. Also good for varicose veins 

ARTICLE & MONOGRAPH LINKS:

Extended Comm E Monograph

HerbClip Monograph

 REFERENCES: 

Bone, Kerry (2003). A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St. Louis: Churchill Livingston

Ody, Penelope (1998). The Herb Society’s Complete Medicinal Herbal. Milan: Dorling Kindersley

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