Yarrow (achillea millefolium) got the first part of it’s scientific name from Achilles who used it to stop the bleeding of his soldier’s wounds, and it was called Herba Militaris, the military herb, by the Ancients. The second part of the scientific name, millefolium, was derived from it’s feathery leaves. Cool, huh?
Yarrow will grow just about anywhere, it especially likes grassy areas. It is an anti-microbial, anti-viral, and a bitter, which is an herb that is helpful in digestion. Taken as an infusion (tea), it helps with colds, the flu, and arthritis, and if you make a poultice with the fresh herb, it is very powerful in stopping bleeding. You can also use the infusion as a hair rinse to help with hair loss.
To make the infusion, steep 2 teaspoons of the fresh herb (stem, leaves and flower) in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes and drink it hot three times a day if using internally.
Yarrow grows 12-30 inches tall, and in mid-summer to early fall it blooms with beautiful white clusters of white to light purple flowers. It’s stem is angular and rough, and the alternate leaves are dark green and feathery. Harvest it in June and September, when it’s in full bloom.