Yarrow is very common in Europe and the U.S. It is most often found on roadsides and waste lands. In the old days of tournaments, yarrow was called “soldiers woundwort,” because it was the basis of a healing ointment made in every castle and monastery. It was named Achillea to commemorate Achilles, the Greek hero.
While one of the most common wayside herbs, it is without doubt one of the most valuable herbs in the world, having a wide range of uses. It is to be regretted that its value is not better known.
The WHOLE PLANT is used. It possesses a faint, pleasant, peculiar smell and a rather sharp, rough, astringent taste. Alcohol or water will extract its virtues.
The hot infusion, taken freely, will raise the heat of the body, equalizing the circulation and producing perspiration. Most useful in colds, obstructed perspiration, and in the commencement of fevers. It opens the pores freely and purifies the blood. Add elder flowers and peppermint for influenza and colds. It has been used in this form from ancient times. Simply pour 1 pt. boiling water on 1 oz. of the HERB. Cover a few minutes and take freely while warm. Drinking a whole pint of this infusion and with a hot water bottle wrapped in flannel wrung out of vinegar applied to the feet, has abated scores of colds by the next morning. Effective for children as well as adults.
It is useful in measles and all the eruptive diseases, particularly where the eruption is slow in making its appearance. Yarrow can be also used with good effect in dyspepsia, jaundice, piles, mucous discharges from the bladder, and incontinence of urine. For enuresis, take in cold infusion or decoction.
The HERB is most liable in chronic affections of the mucous surfaces of the internal organs. It stimulates the appetite and tones the digestive organs. It will be found extremely useful in chronic dysentery and diarrhea. When false membranes have formed in the small intestines, yarrow can be relied upon to gradually remove them. In such cases take 2 to 4 oz. of the decoction 3 or 4 times daily 1 hr. before meals. If the bowels are badly constipated, take a good herbal laxative. In preparing the decoction, pour 1 qt. cold water on 1 oz. dried herb or 4 oz. green herb; simmer down to 1 pt., strain and take cold. Persevere, as it sometimes takes a little time.
The following has been used for many years with success in removing false membranes from the intestines and has also been very successfully used in fistula and piles: boil 2 oz. dried yarrow and 1 oz. ginger in 4 qts. water down to 2 qts. Strain and while hot, add 3# best molasses. Take cold in 1/2 C. doses 4 times daily, before meals.
Where the piles protrude, bathe night and morning with warm water, then apply a little tincture of myrrh, and when this has dried, apply a little chickweed ointment. With hemorrhage and pains in the sacral region, the above remedy is splendid and will bring away quantities of false membrane.
In typhoid fever, yarrow is a most desirable remedy because it will not irritate the condition. Its influence will be manifest in regulating the functions of the liver, favorably influencing the secretions throughout the whole alimentary canal; the mucous membrane of the stomach and bowels will be assisted, and the glandular system will also feel its sanative effect. The skin will become soft and moist, the arterial excitement, so common in this condition, will be quieted and sleep will be natural.
In typhoid or other fevers, take 2 or 3 fl. oz. of the decoction every 2 or 3 hrs. as necessary. If a laxative is called for, take a tea made of mt. flax occasionally until the desired result is obtained.
In the spitting of blood and hemorrhages, use the warm infusion. The slow elevation of temperature and production of steady perspiration relieves the pressure from the ruptured vessel, thus relieving the hemorrhage and allowing the vessel to heal.
In cold infusion, it is serviceable in leucorrhea and inflammation of the bladder.
A good combination in febrile conditions is the following: pour 1 qt. water on 1 oz. yarrow and 1 oz. angelica, simmer to 1 pt., strain and take cold, 2 fl. oz. every 2 hrs.
Yarrow is a good tonic to use after worms are expelled. It is of much importance as a tonic to the general system. Combined with uterine tonics, its influence will be felt upon the generative organs and will be serviceable in gleet and vaginal laxity.
In cold infusion, it is useful as a tonic in convalescence from fevers, from nervous prostration, and in phthisis and night sweats.