Yarrow Medicinal Uses

Yarrow can be found growing wild in many parts of the UK and other regions of the world, usually found in long grass, it can be identified by it’s small white or pink flowers and feathery leaves. Yarrow can also be found with yellow or even red flowers but white is the most prevalent to find growing in the wild.

If foraging for wild yarrow, be sure to identify it properly, there are many other wild flowers and plants that appear to look like yarrow to the untrained eye, one such plant is poison hemlock, so always be careful when foraging.

There are many medicinal uses for yarrow, the leaves have anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, anti-bacterial, wound healing and blood coagulating properties which makes them perfect for use to make a healing balm for the treatment of minor cuts, scrapes, grazes, burns, insect bites and stings.

The flowers are also useful when ingested for the treatment of fever, upset stomach and menstrual cramps.

While out foraging for wild chamomile a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a small amount of yarrow, growing in some long grass, just off the side of a rough path, so I collected what was available and hung it to dry at home tied together with some string in a bunch.

Bunch of Yarrow
Bunch of Yarrow

Today I processed the dried plant for storage and I will use it to make a healing balm from the leaves and a tincture from the flowers.

Using scissors I cut all the dry flowers from the top of each stem and stored them into a jar ready to use to make a tincture. The leaves were easily removed from the remaining stems by running my finger and thumb down the stem and I stored these into a separate jar ready to infuse with oil to make a healing balm.

To make the balm I will add some cold pressed virgin Olive oil to the jar of leaves and allow 4-6 weeks for the infusion before straining the oil, adding to some melted beeswax 60/40 ratio oil to beeswax and I will add some Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oil for their healing properties and also to give the balm a lovely natural scent.

For the tincture I will fill the jar of flowers with alcohol, 80 proof or more (40% by volume), vodka is perfect but the stronger the better so 50% by volume if possible. I will infuse this for 4-6 weeks, strain into a glass jug, add to an amber bottle with dropper and this will store in a cool, dry place for up to 10 years.

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