Monday, June 7, 2010


Achillea millefolium white yarrow or common yarrow.

Achillea millefolium rosea - Red yarrow

yellow Yarrow.

The English name, Yarrow, comes from the Saxon word 'Gearwe.'

The Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is derived from the fact that the herb was dedicated to the God Achilles and the millefolium refers to the many fine leaflets on each yarrow leaf. Achilles said yarrow cured the warriors using yarrow leaves during the battle at Troy. This is probably why yarrow is sometimes called Soldier's Woundwort. Yarrow is also known as Military Herb, Carpenters Weed, Milfoil, Old Mans Pepper, Thousand Leaf, Nosebleed, Seven Year's Love, Devil's Nettle and Devil's Plaything amongst other names.

In ancient China, yarrow stalks were used for divining, although they probably used Chinese yarrow (Achillea asiatica). This method of divination was known as the I Ching or the Yarrow-Stalk Oracle and was done using 50 straight stalks of yarrow. Some still use this method today although, now, the yarrow is usually replaced by 3 coins.

In the Orkney Islands of Scotland, Yarrow tea was a cure for melancholy, while in the Hebrides, a leaf of Yarrow held against the eyes gave "second sight."

Goddess offerings -
God Achilles

Folklore meanings
The witches herb. The beautiful flowers are a welcome addition to any magical altar. Yarrow is nick named "A witches best friend"

Where the Yarrow grows, there is one who knows Clairvoyance - a tea made of 1 tablespoon to 8oz of water will enhance one's powers of perception...

Used in love sachets yarrow can help you find your true love, by sleeping with yarrow under your pillow to bring dreams of your true love.
'Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree,
Thy true name it is Yarrow;
Now who my bosom friend must be,
Pray tell thou me to-morrow.'
---(Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, etc.)

Place in wedding bouquets, as it has the power to keep a couple together happily for seven years.

Worn as an amulet it wards of negativity.

Held in the hand it stops all fear. Gives one courage.

It is said to attract friends and distant relations to you

Flowers - - great as dried flowers - remember always blossoms always look best displayed in odd numbers. brilliant in a moon garden as the white blooms shine and brings the faery folk to play.. Other nice white moon plants are white alyssum, white petunias, moon plants, jasmine tobacco, evening primrose, four o'clocks, evening scented stock.

Yarrow is easily cultivated, will survive in poor soil. Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect predations also improves the soil fertility.
In the garden, yarrow is a useful plant to grow because it will help improve the health of surrounding plants due to the phosphorus, calcium and silica the plant contains. It attracts hoverflies, ladybirds and predatory wasps to help with aphid control. It can help to concentrate the scent and flavour of other herbs growing close by.

Propagation -
In spring, divide and replant established clumps to keep the plants fresh; in summer cut back to prevent self seeding (unless you want it to self seed); in autumn raise new plants from seeds or cuttings as well as divide and replant clumps.

Dried yarrow flowers can be used for decoration and in pot-pourri mixes. Harvest when they are at their peek, Band together & cover with a paper bag - hang upside down to dry.

Add leaves to you compost to help activate soil micro-organisms. One leaf will speed decomposition of a wheelbarrow full or raw compost.

Yarrow's root secretion will activate the disease resistance of nearby plants.

An infusion of yarrow added to the garden to boosts copper levels

Astringent - it tightens tissue to stop bleeding. If you cut yourself and are bleeding (good for shavers), grab a handful of yarrow leaves, rub them to release their juice and pack onto the cut. It will help stop the bleeding If the wound is bad add some thyme leaves to help stop infection. Washed bruised , rolled up leaves of yarrow put up your nose will also helps stop a bleeding nose.

Infuse as a teas and use for:
Peripheral vasodilator - dilates blood vessels especially in the hands and feet

Diaphoretic - assists fever by inducing perspiration.

Digestive stimulant

Anti - spasmodic - helps to relax tight muscles and spasms

Menstrual regulator

Gather leaves & flowers late summer

pick when at their best - they will flower for about 6 weeks. If you dead head them after they have faded, you will get another flowering late Summer - autumn.


  1. I love the colourful names that plants have been given over the centuries! There's a Versatile Blogger Award for you over at my blog today!

  2. Good for those who cut themselves shaving, eh? That would be me!! Glad to have an herbal remedy for my clumsiness!