Common Names: Yarrow, milfoil, woundwort, Devils' nettle, eerie
Part/s Used: Leaves and flowers
Energetics: Cooling, drying
Taste: Bitter, pungent, salty, mild sweetness
Actions: Diaphoretic, emmenagogue, astringent, diuretic, antiseptic, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory
Constituents: Essential oils, flavonoids, tannins, salicylic acid
Magickal and ritual uses: Include yarrow in wedding bouquets to ensure at least 7 years of love. Use in love spells and rituals. Carry it with you in a sachet, charm bag to repel negative energy. Add to dream pillows to enhance dreams.
Tincture (ratio & % alcohol): Fresh: 1:2 -1:3 60% Dry:1:5 60% or 1:6 60%
Glycerite: Fresh: 1:3 Glycerin: 50% Water: 50%
Habitat and Botanical Description:
Yarrow is a highly aromatic perennial that flourishes in a sunny, warm habitat. Often found along roadsides, meadows, mountains, deserts and coastal dunes from May to August. A beautiful show of tiny white to pink flowers in dense, flat topped clusters. The leaves are fern like and the stalks grow up to 3’ tall.
Internally, the leaves and flowers (fresh preferred but dried is great too!) are used in tea or tincture to lessen the symptoms of colds and flu especially when accompanied with fever and pain. Its cooling volatile oils dilate the blood vessels and stimulate sweating to encourage heat loss. Great for when that fever is trapped within the body and needs to be released. It is cooling and sedative to excess heat.
Yarrow is an effective hemostatic and contains anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It is beneficial to all manners of wounds, lacerations, bruises, bites and stings. Contains mild disinfectant properties and is useful in salves. A bath made with a strong tea (ounce of herb steeped in 2 quarts water) for tendon and joint inflammation.
Yarrow is known as the protection herb and helps us to have strong, healthy boundaries. It creates a shield so that we may do our work in the world and avoid unnecessary energy leaks and distractions that can ultimately deplete us. My teacher Sajah Popham at the school of evolutionary herbalism says, "Yarrow can take our traumas, struggles and challenges in life, and turn them into teachings. Turning poison into medicine, weakness into strength, judgement into compassion. Yarrow gives us the strength to face the wounded part of ourselves, and have to courage to help others too."
The flowers can be simmered in water and used as a facial steam to promote a healthy complexion.
Avoid taking internally during pregnancy, check for allergic dermatitis of the Asteraceae family. Low to moderate doses.
- Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications; 1985
- Grieve, M. (1971). A Modern Herbal. New York, NY: Dover Publications. (Original work published 1931)
- Hoffman, David. The Complete Herbs Sourcebook. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing Inc; 2016
- Kane, Aurora. Herbal Magic, A Handbook of Natural Spells, Charms and Potions. New York, NY: Wellfleet Press; 2021
- Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press; 1993
- Popham, Sajah. The Vitalist Herbal Practitioner Program. School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Lecture Notes; 2021
- Sinadinos, Christa. The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine.Feildbrook, CA; 2020
- Sinadinos, Christa. Northwest School for Botanical Studies Course.Lecture Notes; 2014
Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.