Achillea in its name derives from the legendary Trojan War hero Achilles, who supposedly applied yarrow on his battle wounds to heal them. The genus Achillea includes over 100 species, but the name millefolium refers only to yarrow. It translates to “thousand leaves” from Latin, alluding to its exquisitely divided leaves.
The plant grows to a few feet tall at maturity, spreading by rhizomes to create lovely flowering patches in gardens or fields. And it also smells fabulous!
Boasting a long list of cultural, medicinal, and garden uses, this versatile herb is truly an incredible plant.
he list of its medicinal properties is extensive, and the benefits of this ancient healing herb have been supported by a number of studies.
Long considered by herbalists to be a “blood moving herb,” yarrow has been used to stimulate blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
In herbal medicine terminology, it is known as “amphoteric,” which means it can work in seemingly contradictory ways to help the body achieve homeostasis, or “normalize.”
Due to its styptic and antimicrobial properties, it is famously known for its ability to stop bleeding (when applied directly to a wound), prevent infection, and aid blood circulation when taken internally.
It is often used as a poultice, wash, soak, or salve to relieve pain, and help to heal wounds and injuries of various types.
It can be beneficial in alleviating digestive complaints and symptoms of colds and flu, and is also used to treat hemorrhoids, ease menstrual discomfort and postpartum bleeding, and reduce inflammation in the gums.
The next time you have a toothache, try drink a cup of tea with the herb. Its analgesic properties can help to numb the affected area.
Millefolium tea has a sweet and mildly bitter, aromatic flavor. It makes a wonderful addition to the herbal medicine cabinet to alleviate mild symptoms of colds and flu.