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Got Skin? Get Yarrow.

yarrow flowers close-up

Yarrow flowers close-up (image courtesy of trakaislapsis/123RF)

 

Yarrow is a plant many people recognize as it’s commonly seen in gardens and growing wild. It has a pretty flower and is a beneficial companion plant both for vegetables and herbs.

It’s the go-to herb to treat wounds and cuts as it disinfects, stops bleeding by speeding blood clotting, promotes tissue repair, and reduces inflammation.

(To get the medicine though, it has to be the Yarrow with white flowers. Modern, colorful cultivars don’t have it.)

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, Yarrow is astringent so it’s used in skincare to reduce the size of pores and the appearance of fine lines.

Most often found in creams, balms, salves, and toners, Yarrow makes a wonderfully soothing bath herb for irritated, itchy skin.

(Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough take to the bath!)

* A small caution here: If you are allergic to Ragweed, you may be allergic to Yarrow. Do a patch test before using. Prolonged use of Yarrow may cause photo-sensitivity.

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Yarrow, January’s Herb of the Month

yarrow flowers

Each month, I focus on one herb to write about. January’s herb is Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Though sometimes said to be native to Eurasia, Yarrow is also a North American native. It is believed that the Yarrow now found growing wild here is a hybrid of the two.

Yarrow has been used medicinally by many cultures and also has a long history of use in magic and divination. One example I’ve always found intriguing is the Chinese tradition of using 50 Yarrow stalks to consult the I Ching.

Irish folklore teaches that even just to dream that you are gathering Yarrow foretells of good fortune.

Yarrow was believed to be protective and often worn as a charm. Do you suppose people got this idea from observing that when Yarrow grows in the vegetable garden, the veggies are stronger and more disease resistant?

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