I love herbs and have been studying at home for some time now (through Rosemary Gladstar's home course). When I was young I "helped" my grandmother develop and build an herb garden. Needless to say, now she's stuck with a garden that gets regularly overgrown with the mint family plants because those seem to be what survived! Go figure. She has kept up with the garden and now I have my own so I don't play in hers anymore, but she has gifted me several herbs which I use in my gardens and orchard.
I hope there is some interest in this area. I love herbs and hope to find others sharing their herb recipe's, nourishing infusions, salves, or herbal writings. I will likely utilized this as a place to keep track of the herbs that I am personally studying as well and the adventures I am having in herb land (a lot of wild fermenting too!). Who knows, I may even get better about pictures (and take some of my own!). Please share in the comments section any herb specific posts.
Did you know Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) that grows here in the states is not necessarily the same Yarrow that grows in Europe? They are different varieties. According to Matthew Wood the variety on this side of the pond is var. lanulosa while in Europe and Asia it is var. millefolium and the only way to tell the two varieties apart is under a microscope. In North American both varieties are present from my understanding and can be used interchangeably.
My introduction to Yarrow is quite new. I believe I have always known Yarrow but this year was the first year I felt compelled to work with it, as if it was calling me. Being that I have a Wee Man on the front of me most of the day I haven't actually stooped over and picked any this year. This is on my plan for next year. I feel a deep love for Yarrow. I would mow around those snow white flowers but when I started using the sheep to mow I would allow them to eat them if they so desired. I had a stand of flowers next to our driveway the entire summer. Seeing them there simply made me happy. I have plans to dig out my dried Yarrow today and start drinking it. I may also get a tincture and see how my body likes it. I would much prefer to wild harvest my own and could still do that with the small fall leaves but would much prefer the flowers. But based on reading, the whole plant, including roots, can be used. Matthew Wood also recommends finding Yarrow that grows in rocky soils as it tends to be more potent in his experience.
Yarrow has many uses but one of the most common is fever. I have read many tales of it also being used to bring deep wounds (bone deep) together without stitches in a day. Yarrow was commonly used in ancient times by warriors for battle injuries. The powdered plant can be placed right on these deep cuts (think technology based cuts like chainsaw's, axes, arrows, etc.) to staunch bleeding and bring pain relief as well as promote quick healing. Yarrow is used in cases where there is heat and congestion internally. It is also indicated for women with uterine issues and can be used in very small doses in pregnant women but only if needed.
Yarrow has also been used in traditional brewing of beers. It is known to make them very intoxicating based on Stephen Harrod Buhner's research. Mr. Buhner's herbal beer book is fascinating (he also has a book on healing Lyme). With how much I love ferments I must admit, I am looking forward to trying some of his recipes and the Yarrow ones have me very curious as do the ginger beers. I just started a second ferment on an apple mead.... more on that later.
Yarrow is also associated historically with magic.
Susun Weed has a couple video's on Yarrow. She is a wonderful herbalist. I adore her book "The Childbearing Year."
Here's a video of Rosemary Gladstar talking about Yarrow.
I hope that others have found something interesting here. As I said previously, I will be delving into the world of wild Yarrow next year when our weather warms back up and those beautiful blossom's give me their "come hither" stair again (when Wee Man can crawl and maybe even walk and isn't hanging out on the front of me in his pocket napping).
Do you have any Yarrow stories/antidotes? If so, please share!
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.