Medicinal Monday: Yarrow
One of the marvelous things I received in my Halloween Scream Box from Hedge Witch Apothecary was a vial of Yarrow powder. So it seemed only fitting to cover Yarrow this week for Medicinal Monday! Also, coincidentally, one half of Ghoul on Ghoul (the podcast I recorded with a few weeks ago and featured for the last Folklore Friday) has a blog under the name Salt and Yarrow! So shoutout to my fellow witch, the charming Sagittarius, Sarah Cadence Hamm!
Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium, is commonly known under many common names but some include Wound Wort, Devil's Nettle, and Nosebleed. Its botanical name honors Achilles who used yarrow leaves to staunch the blood of his soldiers' wounds. It's ruled by Venus and the element of Water, and lends to magic involving love or courage, psychic magic, and exorcisms (of a person, place, or thing).
It's often used in celebrating marriages and handfasting, and is a common decoration to ensure a lasting love (as it's used in many love spells). Though it not only attracts romantic love, but friendships as well. It can draw the attention of those you most want to see.
When worn, Yarrow protects the wearer and when held in the hand, it grants courage. For psychic magic, brew the flowers into a tea. It's said that if you see the first blossom in a patch of Yarrow, you should make a wish.
Illustration by my dear friend and fellow witch Johanna Warren
Yarrow is known well for it's ability to stop bleeding. It also has astringent properties which lead to the rapid healing of wounds. It can be used fresh as a poultice or as an ointment. Yarrow powder, like that in the vial I received from Hedge Witch Apothecary, can be inhaled to stop nosebleeds--hence the common name.
Yarrow is also used as a hot tea in the treatment of colds as it stimulates perspiration to help you sweat out the fever. It also relieves coughs and sore throats.
It's also a great aid during menstruation as it's been used to control heavy menstrual bleeding, soothe menstrual cramps, and heal bladder infections. While in tea form it can be a helpful tool for internal pain, for cramps, it's best to take a hot herbal bath with yarrow. Yarrow stimulates the uterine muscles so just be sure not to use it while pregnant. Though, for those suffering through menopause, it can help to ease your hot flashes.
Essentially, this is an herb garden must-have. When spring comes back to us, have Yarrow seeds at the ready.