Page 22 - Forest Row Local August Edition
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22 August 2022 • Forest Row Local
The Healing Garden:
 as a remedy for colds and flu, especially in the early stages of fever. At the first signs of a fever, an old cure was to drink a cup
of yarrow
tea and go
to bed with
a hot stone
(or water bottle!) wrapped in a vinegar-soaked cloth placed by the feet, which would then be wrapped in a towel. Still used today, this cure can be very effective. Adding a little cayenne pepper, peppermint and/or elderflowers to the tea increases the effect.
Yarrow has a longstanding reputation as a cardiovascular restorative. It is a peripheral vasodilator, meaning that it opens small blood vessels which helps remove heat from the body and lower blood pressure, an effect that is enhanced
by its calming effect on the nervous system. While improving peripheral circulation, it helps repair and tone small blood vessel walls and prevent blood clots, and yarrow can be used both internally and externally to treat haemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Drinking yarrow tea regularly can help prevent and treat indigestion by easing cramps and inflammation as well as by stimulating the flow of digestive enzymes and juices. It is also used to treat painful menstruation and for toning the female reproductive tract.
DOSE: Yarrow tea: Take 1 heaped teaspoon of fresh or dried herb to one cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups per day for chronic conditions or 1 cup every 1-2 hours for acute conditions and fevers.
Yarrow bath: Place 1 handful dried or fresh flowers and leaves in 500ml of boiling water. Infuse for 15 minutes. Strain and add to bath water to help heal skin problems, and to reduce pain and inflammation.
Caution: Large doses can cause vertigo and headache, and hypersensitivity to yarrow and other members of the daisy family can also occur. Yarrow should not be taken over long periods of time.
MEDICINAL USE: Yarrow has a wide range of
applications for promoting human health, tried and
tested over the centuries, and a long tradition of use
01342 889 455
Latin name
Medicinal/ edible parts
Active Constituents
Achillea millefolium
Achillea, bloodwort, carpenter’s grass, dog daisy, knight’s milfoil, herbe militaris, nosebleed, old man’s pepper, soldier’s woundwort, thousand leaf, woundwort
Asteraceae (daisy family)
Whole herb – flowers, leaves and stem, collected when the plant is in flower. It can be used fresh or dried.
Yarrow contains bioflavonoids, bitters, resin, salicylates, tannin and volatile oils (including azulene, camphor and cineol), alkaloids and coumarins.
                                   Yarrow was once held in high regard as a wound healing herb, hence the name “Soldier’s Wound Wort” and “Knight’s Milfoil”. Even its Latin name “Achillea” refers to it stopping bleeding wounds for Achilles and his soldiers, and in ancient times it was called “Herba Militaris”.
The species name “millefolium” refers to its segmented leaves, while the name “Nosebleed” comes from yarrow’s ability to stop nosebleeds. And the reason it is called “Old Man’s Pepper” comes from using the leaves as a pungent snuff. It has also been referred to as “the Englishman’s quinine”.
BOTANY: Yarrow is a common perennial herb
found in most grasslands. It flowers from June to September and is easily recognizable with its tiny white or pale pink flowers packed together in flat loose flowerheads. The plant grows up to 60cm tall with straight and strong angular stems and finely cut feathery green leaves.
WHERE FOUND: Everywhere! In all but the poorest soils from the subarctic and temperate Northern Hemisphere to Guatemala. Yarrow has also been introduced into South America, South Africa, India, Austrasia, and many other countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
By Kirsten Hartvig - ND, MNIMH, DipPhyt, registered naturopath and medical herbalist, The Healing Garden, Emerson College.

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