Medicinal Herbs: Yarrow

Yarrow: A Medicinal Herb for antispasmodics, astringents, colds, fevers, digestive.

Yarrow Medicinal Uses

: antispasmodics, astringents, colds, fevers, digestive

Yarrow is a plant that, well, almost resembles a weed because you will see them growing alongside roadways and freeways across America. But this seemingly noxious plant is actually an herb with a proven medicinal history.

Yarrow grows between 10 and 20 inches, is a perennial herb that yields a single stem that is fibrous and rough. It flowers in several bunches of flat-topped panicles of numerous small white flower heads which bloom from May to August. They really are beautiful and truly, I’ve always thought they were a wildflower, probably due to their propensity to flourish in open fields.

For medicinal use, gather stems and leaves in the flowering stage and hang them upside down to dry thoroughly. They will be ready to use medicinally after they are dried. All parts of the flower are used for this purpose. Store in dry air-tight containers that will not receive much light.

To make a Tea: steep 1 heaping tsp. in 1 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Drink 3 or 4 cups per day an hour before meals and upon retiring. It must be warm to be effective.


Purdue University says this of Yarrow.

“As a medicinal plant, yarrow and other Achillea species have been used as antispasmodics, astringents, carminatives, diaphoretics, stimulants, and tonics. In addition, yarrow has been used against colds, cramps, fevers, kidney disorders, toothaches, skin irritations, and hemorrhages, and to regulate menses, stimulate the flow of bile, and purify the blood. Chinese herbal medicine specifies the use of Achillea sibirica Ledeb. for stomach ulcers, amenorrhea, abdominal cramps, abscesses, snakebites, traumatic falls and bleeding, and to reduce inflammation. The alkaloids present in yarrow have decreased the required blood clotting time in rabbits. Extracts of yarrow exhibit antibiotic activity and may also act as antineoplastic drugs. Contact with yarrow has been reported to cause dermatitis.”

Read more: Medicinal Herb series

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Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her husband and teenage son.