Yarrow: properties and cultivation – GreenStyle

Yarrow: properties and cultivation

L’yarrow it’s a medicinal plant rich in property and the numerous possible uses (curative, cosmetic and even magical). Useful against diarrhea and stomach problems in general, its external use works as a healing agent.

The plant is popular as a natural remedy for a whole series of problems. Its medicinal importance is widely appreciated, also documented by the fact that its active principles are used as an ingredient in various medicines. What is yarrow used for? When does it bloom and how to recognize it? Here’s everything you need to know.

Yarrow, origin and characteristics

L’Achillea millefolium L., often used in herbal remedies and in homeopathic solutions, it is a plant of European origin belonging to the Asteraceae family (Compositae). Flowers and leaves are the most used parts, rich in flavonoid polyphenols.

L’Achillea millefolium is a spontaneous herbaceous plant that grows in all Italian regions. It is found both in the mountains and in the plains, in paths, meadows and uncultivated gardens. It can reach a height between 30 and 70 cm, with leaves with an aromatic scent and small flowers of varying color between white and pink. The latter bloom from June to September.

How to recognize yarrow? The plant is fairly easy to identify, has feathery leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers.

Source: Pixabay


It deserves a mention cultivation of the plant, which grows well in poor, well-drained soils. It bears well the poverty of the soil as long as it is drained and that it is not subject to stagnation of water. The latter can lead its roots to rot. It can cultivate yarrow in the garden or on the balcony without particular difficulties.

It is important, however, to plant it in a sunny location where it can thrive. When yarrow blooms? Between the end of spring and the beginning of summer it is possible to admire its fascinating flowering. Which makes it a perfect one plant for ornamental use as it enriches flower beds or even balconies with color and elegance.

When to plant yarrow

  • Plant the shrub in the spring or early summer after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Even if you plant yarrow from tip cuttings, choose spring or early summer.

Where to plant it in the garden

  • Choose an area that receives full sun to encourage compact growth and lots of flowers. In the sun or partial shade, yarrow tends to grow prominently.
  • Yarrow prefers drained soils, as it thrives in warm, dry conditions. A clayey soil is recommended, but in the case of less mineral soil it is necessary to limit stagnation.
  • Use a scoop to dig the soil in your garden to a depth of about 30cm, then add a layer of compost before burying your yarrow.

How to cure yarrow

  • Add a thin layer of compost around your plants each spring to keep them nourished.
  • Yarrow is very drought tolerant, but in very hot summers with low rainfall, remember to water the plants to keep them healthy.
  • Cut the flowers when they begin to fade in mid-summer, this encourages most varieties to produce more.
  • Every 3-5 years take care of the division of the tufts, an operation that must be carried out in early spring or autumn.

The properties of the yarrow

The yarrow has a long and rich history behind it. As well as an incredible variety of medicinal properties which make it, in fact, one of the most used medicinal herbs. The list is extensive, i benefits of this ancient healing herb have been supported by numerous studies.

Modern science has confirmed its healing ability, which comes mainly from the alkaloid achilleine, which helps wounds heal by promoting blood clotting. More than one hundred active chemical compounds have been identified in the yarrow plant, his are related to both indoor and outdoor uses.

The main components of the plant are azulene, chamazulene, 1,8 cineole. It also contains tannins, sterols, flavonoids, coumarins and organic acids.

Therapeutic and healing properties

What is yarrow used for? Before delving into its curative uses, it is appropriate to summarize for which problems it represents an effective natural remedy. It is about:

  • Dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea
  • Metroraggie
  • Uterine and digestive colic
  • Venous problems (hemorrhoids, phlebitis, varices)
  • Scars

Considering its similarity to some properties of chamomile, also Achillea millefolium is indicated in the treatment of pains and gods heartburn. Thanks to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory capabilities it can in fact be used for the health of the digestive tract and for gastritis.

Other possible indications of the plant are treatment for menstrual pains caused by dysmenorrhea, to regularize the cycle, for the treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Also for internal use, this plant is effective in the treatment of varicose veins and phlebitis.

Achille millefolium also favors the recovery of red and congested eyes and the treatment of rheumatic pains. However, one of its most important properties is to speed up the scarring process of wounds.

For its constipation and antimicrobial properties, it is known for its ability to stop bleeding when applied directly to a wound, it will prevent infections and promote blood circulation if, on the other hand, it is taken for internal use. For external use it is useful for its firming, astringent, antiseborrheic and soothing action. It can therefore be used against dry and chapped skin, breast fissures, acne and sores.

Yarrow properties and cultivation
Source: Pixabay

Magical properties

Its name does nothing but recall heroic deeds and ancient myths. In Greek myth, in particular, mention is made of a herb of healing reputation that Achilles used to heal the wounds of his men. Today, historians and botanists agree that this plant – described by Homer in the Iliad – was precisely the yarrow. Pliny also recounts that Achilles used it to heal Telephus’ wounds during the siege of Troy.

Cosmetic properties

The cosmetic properties on the skin related to yarrow. In particular, it is useful in reducing inflammation, it is effective in accelerating healing and in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, in improving the softness of the skin and keeping it free from bacteria, responsible for skin breakouts.

It can be used for beauty packs for the face, to eliminate impurities such as blackheads and excess sebum. It can also be added to the tub water to take a relaxing and purifying bath. The yarrow for hairinstead, it is useful against dandruff and oily hair.

This is thanks to his sebum regulating properties. It also has emollient and nourishing properties and can be applied in case of dry or flaky scalp.

Homeopathic dosage

Yarrow comes in several forms. Among these, it can be found dried or in prepackaged tea bags, as a tincture, as an ointment or extract.

In addition to taking it according to phytotherapeutic criteria, it is possible as an alternative to exploit the healing properties of Achillea millefolium following the homeopathic dictates. For those who choose the homeopathic treatment, in the case of varicose veins the intake of 10-15 drops of 2D solution every 3 hours is indicated, with the administration times that will be gradually dilated as the symptoms improve.

Against gastric disorders, the general indication is to take 10 drops in 6CH solution every 3 hours, while for red and congested eyes, 10 drops at 4CH should be taken 6 times a day. As symptoms improve, lengthen the administration times as seen above.

However, it is advisable in any case to consult with your homeopathic doctor, so as to evaluate together the most appropriate use of the remedy and the possibility of choosing an alternative homeopathic solution. Your contact person will also be able to indicate the best treatments for other pathologies not expressly indicated here.

Contraindications of yarrow

While yarrow is safe for most people, those with a bleeding disorder, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those who have undergone surgery, or those allergic to ragweed should avoid it. There are some possible ones contraindications regarding the use of Achillea Milleforium, mostly related to the pharmacological sphere.

There are possible interactions with anticoagulant drugs and for the control of blood pressure, in case of intake it is not recommended to use. Other possible undesirable reactions may be linked, due to a possible specific hypersensitivity, to the presence of sesquiterpene lactones and traces of thuione.

Yarrow properties and cultivation
Source: Pixabay

Yarrow in the kitchen

Yarrow has a slightly bitter taste that not everyone likes. However, skilfully combined, it can find space in the kitchen in the creation of various savory recipes. It is excellent in soups, in omelettes, it can be used in risottos as a condiment for first courses. You can make pesto or you can use it as a filling for savory pies and strudels or for ravioli or tortelli.

It is used to flavor cheeses and sauces. Especially popular is the yarrow liqueur. It is an alcoholic drink with a pleasant even if bitter taste that smells of the mountains. By drying the flowers, it can be used to prepare infusions and herbal teas.

How to make yarrow tea? Pour 1 tablespoon of yarrow flowers into a cup of boiling water and wait 10 minutes. Then blend everything and drink the infusion away from meals to take advantage of its benefits against diarrhea and hemorrhoids. Yarrow powder available at health food stores or specialty stores can be added to smoothies and juices.

Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.

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