Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a potent natural astringent. It is also known as devil’s nettle, the nosebleed plant and old man’s pepper.
Yarrow is called the nosebleed plant because you can use yarrow leaves to help stop a bleeding nose. Each part of a wild yarrow plant that grows above ground can be used to make natural remedies.
Yarrow has a sweet and slightly bitter tang. Wild yarrow tastes and smells a little like common cooking herbs, such as oregano, rosemary and tarragon.
Yarrow contains flavonoids, terpenes and other beneficial phytochemicals. The herb also contains organic acids, phenolic acids and tocopherols.
Here are some of the useful chemicals in yarrow and what they can do:
Yarrow can be used to clean wounds and is believed to promote faster healing. You can use yarrow oil to naturally clear up acne and reduce scarring.
Yarrow also helps tighten skin and prevents sagging and wrinkles by helping maintain proper pH balance on your skin's surface.
Yarrow can also be used:
When foraging for yarrow in the woods or in your backyard, remember the tips below to quickly identify this medicinal herb:
Yarrow can be used to make a healing herbal tea. You can also make a poultice from its leaves that can help stop bleeding. Additionally, yarrow can be used to make tinctures and oil infusions. (Related: Your SHTF medicinal herb kit should contain yarrow.)
Drink yarrow tea while warm or use the cooled mixture as an astringent wound wash. Note that the most common yarrow dose for adults is approximately four and a half grams per day. This is recommended for addressing inflammatory problems.
Yarrow is relatively safe to use, but the herb may sometimes trigger allergic reactions (e.g., skin rash). Double-check if you are allergic to yarrow before drinking yarrow tea or using it as a poultice.
Prolonged ingestion or topical exposure to yarrow can also enhance skin photosensitivity. If you are sensitive to ragweed or hay fever plants, such as chrysanthemums, daisies and marigolds, you may experience similar allergic reactions to yarrow.
Yarrow contains thujone, a natural compound that may not be safe for everyone to consume.
Keep your pets away from yarrow. Yarrow may harm cats, dogs and members of the equine family. Pets exposed to yarrow may experience diarrhea, hypersalivation or vomiting.
If you are pregnant or nursing, don't use yarrow. It's also not advisable to use the herb within two weeks of undergoing surgery since yarrow can slow down blood clotting. But if none of these applies to you, you can enjoy drinking yarrow tea every day to relieve anxiety, toothaches or menstrual cramps.