White Yarrrow, Achillea Millefoliumfor a large flat-topped clusters of small white flower heads, a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) which is native to Europe and has naturalized throughout the United States.
The name is derived from the Greek hieros which means sacred and was found preserved in temples.
Yarrow also has a long association with magic used as a charm against negetive energies, awaken visions and found in ancient Chinese Oracle, the l Ching.
I recently purchased White Yarrrow, Achillea Millefoliumfor a seed give away on my facebook page. In light of the event I thought I would write a little and share some interesting excerpts and add an insect repelling balm recipes.
Yarrow (Achellia millefolium) This lovely perennial weed is grown in many herb gardens for it has a multitude of uses. Cut the flowering tops (use only white-flowering yarrow) and use your alcohol to make a strongly scented tincture that you can take internally to prevent colds and the flu. (A dose is 10-20 drops, or up to 1 ml). I carry a little spray bottle of yarrow tincture with me when I’m outside and wet my skin every hour or so. A United States Army study showed yarrow tincture to be more effective than DEET at repelling ticks, mosquitoes, and sand flies. You can also make a healing ointment with yarrow flower tops and your oil or fat. Yarrow oil is antibacterial, pain-relieving, and incredibly helpful in healing all types of wounds. Excerpt from the wonderful herbalist Susun Weed
Yarrow has insecticidal properties and harvesting its benefits as a natural insecticide are very simple and quick. Often available for harvest and excellent for hiking camping trips where unexpected insects may be awaiting your arrival.
Simple and quick insect repellent using Yarrow~ Make a yarrow tea infusion with fresh or dried, cool to room temperature, place in clean spray bottle for use, top off with (geranium, rose geranium essential oil, lemon and citronella essential oil for mosquito’s), ( Sand Fleas/Ticks lavender, basil, lemon, eucalyptus) This is not something that will store but can be made easily with or with out essential oils. You never know when you might be in the forest and need some help, little Yarrow behind the ear.
Little more complicated only in time and patience. Lovely yarrow pine balm is worth the effort and will have a very long shelf life. 1/4 cup yarrow oil infusion done a week or two in advance, harvest some resin from a pine or cedar tree, very slow heat infusion with a heat-resistant oil such as grapeseed oil. After the resin is dissolved combine both oils ready to be made into a lovely healing balm/salve. There’s really no mistakes here too thick add oil.. too thin add bee’s wax or dissolved resin.
Yarrow wash for Oily skin. Naturally astringent it makes a beautiful None toxic facial wash. Simply infuse some fresh or dried herbs in a cup of water allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes or even over night left sitting at the bathroom sink it makes for easy use in the morning.
The Western Herb is not your average herb ruled by venus the planet of love. Folklore tradition says a girl who places a stalk of Yarrow under her pillow and repeats this verse will dream of her future husband.
Thou pretty herb of Venus’ tree, Thy true name it is Yarrow; Now who my bosomfriend must be, Pray tell thou me to-morrow. Halliwells Popular Rhymes.