Friday, August 10, 2012

import blog herb yarrow

Blog EntryOct 23, '07 1:25 PM
for everyone

Entry for June 23, 2007-extra herb study on Yarrow
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I was reading thru my messages, and Jo mentioned yarrow-I love yarrow, and haven't thought about it for awhile. Sooo since I am doing a lazy day today with little projects; I decided to find out more about yarrow.
This site was so good decided to copy it:

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Growing and Using Yarrow
by Jackie Carroll

Yarrow! Yarrow has been valued since ancient times for its ability to stop bleeding, hence its folk name "nosebleed." Today, yarrow is valued for its ability to fight off colds and flu. It is also an ingredient in many herbal cosmetics. Dried and cut flowers are used in arrangements. Flowers heads are flat and 2" to 6" across on 2' to 5' stems. Colors include white, yellow, gold, pink and red. The aromatic foliage is green or gray.

Growing Yarrow

Yarrow is an undemanding plant that thrives even in poor soil but does best in a sunny position with good drainage and light soil. Yarrow grows well in zones 3-8 with some cultivars extending to zone 10. Plants are susceptible to disease in humid areas. Propagate from seeds, by root division or from woody cuttings taken in autumn or spring. They can take a year or two to establish themselves from seed. Place the plants 1-2 feet apart and divide the clumps when they become crowded. Taller cultivars may need to be staked, especially if grown in very fertile soil.
Mildew is a fungal disease which causes grayish downy spots on leaves. Plants which do not have adequate sunshine or air circulation, or those grown in humid climates are most susceptible. Spray with sulfur early in the morning while foliage is still slightly moist with dew. Badly infected plants should be cut down and destroyed.

Yarrow in the Garden

Yarrow is more than just another pretty face in the flower garden! Grow yarrow to attract beneficial Syrphid flies (also called flower flies or hover flies) to your garden. Syrphid flies are bright yellow or black and orange flies that might resemble yellowjackets or wasps. They are harmless to humans, but in the larval stage they consume huge quantities of harmful insects, particularly aphids, in the garden. Syrphid flies are important to the garden because they feed early in the season when it may be too cool for other beneficial insects.
Yarrow acts as an activator to speed the decomposition of compost. Use as much as you like, but you only need one finely chopped leaf per wheelbarrow load of compost material to see results.
Other Uses for yarrow:
It adds color to a border. The flat heads add contrast to mounding or spiky plants.
Use in yarrow in fresh arrangements.
Yarrow makes attractive dried flowers if cut before the sun bleaches them. To dry the flowers, cut them at their peak before they start to fade and hang them head-down in clusters of six to 12 in a dry, airy place out of the sun.
Yarrow makes a fragrant addition to potpourri.

Using Yarrow

Do not use yarrow during pregnancy, for undiagnosed bleeding, or for more than two weeks. Use flowers, leaves and stems. A piece of the plant held against a wound will staunch bleeding. An infusion can help to break a fever. A tea made from yarrow with peppermint and elderflower can be used to fight colds and flu. Yarrow can be of benefit in mild cystitis, it promotes digestion and improves circulation by acting as a vasodilator. Yarrow can also lower blood pressure. Yarrow for Oily Skin and Hair
Yarrow is a wonderful choice when making cosmetics and cleansers for oily skin. Here are some of my favorite recipes.
Facial Steam: Place a tablespoon of yarrow in a bowl and fill the bowl half full with boiling water. Lean over the bowl, and cover your head with a towel so that no steam escapes. You should be 12-18 inches from the water. After steaming, splash your face with cool water and pat dry.
For added benefit, add one or more of the following herbs:
Stimulating Herbs
Rosemary
Sage
Mint Healing Herbs
Comfrey
Thyme Soothing Herbs
Lavender
Chamomile

Yarrow and Chamomile Compress

You will need:
1 teaspoon of dried yarrow flowers
1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers
1 cup of boiling water Pour the boiling water over the herbs and steep for 20 minutes. Strain out the herbs and discard. Cool the liquid to a comfortable temperature. Dip a tea towel into the liquid and squeeze out the excess.
Rinse your face in lukewarm water. Place the towel over your face and relax for 15-20 minutes. Pat your face dry. If you want to apply a moisturizer afterwards, choose one that doesn't contain alcohol. Tip: You can also use this compress to soothe rough, red, or cracked hands. If you hands are dry, coat with almond oil before applying compress.

Simple Yarrow and Chamomile Lotion

Place 1 tbs. dried yarrow flowers and foliage, and 1 tbs. dried chamomile flowers in a bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. Stir again then strain off the liquid. Pour into glass bottles and store in the refrigerator.

Yarrow treatment for oily hair

You will need:
1 tablespoon of almond oil
1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
1 tablespoon of dried yarrow
Conditioner
*Note: Jojoba oil is wonderful for hair, but if you can't find it, use 2 tablespoons of almond oil.
Bring water to boil in a double boiler. Add oils and yarrow to the top of the double boiler. Simmer gently, stirring frequently for 1 hour. Cool and strain. Repeat with fresh herb if you'd like a stronger oil.
Mix half and half with conditioner, and massage into hair and scalp. Cover hair with plastic wrap and and top with a warm towel. Sit in a warm, sunny place for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Shampoo, and repeat the treatment once or twice a week as necessary

Yarrow skin treatment for itchy skin

You will need:
- 1 pint jar with tight fitting lid
- 1/4 cup dried, coarsely ground yarrow
- a half and half mixture of grain alcohol (Everclear) and spring water. Place the herbs in the jar, and fill the jar to the shoulder with grain alcohol - spring water mixture. Cover tightly. Store at room temperature, protected from light and heat, for 4-6 weeks. Shake vigorously every few days. After 4-6 weeks strain the mixture through a clean cotton cloth in a colander or strainer. Squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the plant material and store the liquid in a dark glass bottle. This preparation will keep at room temperature indefinitely. Apply to itchy areas with a cotton ball.
About the author: Would you like to know more about growing and using herbs? Subscribe to The Chamomile Times and Herbal News to receive articles, recipes, crafts and ideas to help you use herbs in your everyday life.


Here are good sites I found researching about yarrow:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarrow
http://www.kroegerherb.com/h_yarro.html
http://eatmoreherbs.com/zine/yarrow.html
http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/find-plant.asp?q=Yarrow
http://www.indianspringherbs.com/yarrow.htm
http://www.prairienet.org/herbsociety/hotm/yarrow.html

recipes for yarrow, very difficult to find, mostly found teas, wines, medicinal uses:
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request143.asp this one is a homemade wine recipe

Shrimp with Yarrow and Baked Lemon

6 FIRST-COURSE SERVINGS
ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh yarrow leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 24 large shrimp--shelled, deveined and cut almost in half lengthwise down the back
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper

directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° and light the grill, if you're using one. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and garlic.
  2. Cut the pointed ends from the lemons so they will sit flat, then halve them crosswise. Set them flesh side up in a glass or ceramic baking dish and spoon 1 tablespoon of the sugar on each half. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sugar is melted and the pulp is soft. Preheat the broiler, if using.
  3. Sprinkle the chopped yarrow inside the shrimp and pinch closed. Brush the shrimp with the garlic oil and season with salt and cayenne. Grill or broil the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Squeeze some of the lemon juice over the shrimp and garnish with the yarrow sprigs. Serve at once with the baked lemons.
WINE 1995 Andrew Murray Roussanne. The wine's exotic aromas of peach, apricot and jasmine along with its lush texture should complement the layers of flavors--sweet, rich, tangy, grassy--in this dish.


Recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
From Wild Things
This recipe originally appeared in April, 1997.

Yarrow Achillea millefolium

Features/description: The stem is angular and rough, the leaves alternate, 3-4 inches long and 1 inch broad, clasping the stem at the base, bipinnate, the segments very finely cut, giving the leaves a feathery appearance. It flowers from June to September. The flower, white or pale lilac, being like small daisies, in flattened, terminal loose heads, or chymes. The whole plant is more or less hairy, with white, silky hairs. Yarrow was much esteemed, and its old name of Soldier's Wound Wort and Knight's Milfoil testify to this. The Highlanders of Scotland still make an ointment from it which is applied to wounds. Milfoil tea is held in repute in the Orkney Islands for dispelling melancholy. It is said that it is the same plant which Achilles used to treat wounds of his soldiers, hence the genus name Achillea. It is called by the ancients "the military herb." The specific name millefolium is derived from the many segments of the foliage, hence the common name milfoil and thousand weed. Another popular name is nosebleed from its property of stopping bleeding of the nose.
Medicinal/edible part:The whole plant, stems, leaves, and flowers may be used..
Uses: Yarrow tea is a good remedy for severe colds and is useful in the commencement of fevers. It opens the pores freely and is recommended for colds and measles.
Preparation/recipes:
Yarrow Tea

The infusion is made with 1 oz. of dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water.
It may be sweetened with sugar or honey with a small amount of pepper
http://www.schools.lth5.k12.il.us/bths-east/yarrow.html





from: http://www.recipebits.com/recipes/dictionary.php?ltr=Y

Yarrowan aromatic herb used in flavoring omelets, stews and salads.





Yarrow
A type of herb that is considered a weed by many people because it grows wild in ditches and along roadsides. It has fern-like foliage and flat-topped flowers with a very pleasant aroma. It has a very strong pungent flavor and must be used sparingly as a seasoning. It is more often used for medicinal purposes or as an addition to herbal tea.
this source from here: http://www.hormel.com/kitchen/glossary.asp?id=34566&catitemid=


Yarrow is touted for its numerous therapeutic qualities. Its botanical name is derived from Achilles, the Greek hero. This herb needs to be planted in a sunny location in average, well-drained soil. It grows up to two feet in height. Other than yarrow, this plant is also known by the names of woundwort, staunch-weed and knight’s milfoil. Many people don’t realize that yarrow can be used in cooking. The young leaves are said to be very nutritious and can be used in salads. It has also been used in the brewing of beer instead of rose hops.
Yarrow has endless medicinal properties. When made into a tea, which is used from the entire plant, it has a powerful effect on the immune system. It is also used to reduce fevers, as a blood purifier, as a method to combat depression and kidney disorders to name a few. It is advised to drink yarrow tea in moderation as a person can suffer from the side effects if yarrow is used too frequently. Yarrow has also been used as a cool wash for chapped hands and when applied to the face, it can rid the pores of excess oil. To make the wash, you need to brew the yarrow in a tea and leave it to cool. If yarrow tea is used too frequently, the skin will become sensitive to light, so use with caution. While Yarrow helps other plants resist adverse conditions, it is a wonder compost activator.
above info. found here: http://mama.essortment.com/whatisyarrowp_plt.htm


Yarrow has a fairly strong sweet and slightly bitter taste, and therefore these days it is used only sparingly in salads, soups, stews, and egg dishes. Young leaves can be cooked like spinach and used as a side dish, but older leaves will be a bit too strong for this use. Flower heads can also be used as a flavoring for liquors such as Vodka.
Aside from these uses, there is little literature regarding usage of Yarrow in the kitchen, as it is not one of the major culinary herbs. If you have a recipe that includes Yarrow, I would love to hear about it and will include it on these pages with credit to you, of course!
above here: http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbYarrowRec.htm

Yarrow Quotes

“An ounce of Yarrow sewed up in flannel and placed under the pillow before going to bed, having repeated the following words, brought a vision of the future husband or wife:
'Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree,
Thy true name it is Yarrow;
Now who my bosom friend must be,
Pray tell thou me to-morrow.'”

Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, etc.
this quote found here: http://www.foodreference.com/html/qyarrow.html









just started to thunder-will finish this up later











storm ended, still looking for recipes, did find this very informative site: http://www.angelfire.com/il2/purpleflame/Herbs/yarrow.html

this is really good too:
FOOD USES OF YARROW
When young and tender, the fresh early spring leaves of Yarrow can be finely chopped and added to salads, soups, meat dishes, stir-fry and cooked beans. The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands dried Butter Clams on Yarrow stalks and then ate the clams directly off the stalks. The stems imparted a pleasant taste to the food.YUM!
I have not observed any eating of Yarrow by either wild or domestic mammals. Some insects do eat a few leaves and floral parts, especially the abundant bright yellow pollen.


MEDICINAL USES OF YARROW
All of the parts of Yarrow are used therapeutically, separately or together, fresh, dried, as teas, poultices, spit poultices, steamed vapours, tinctures, oils, and vinegars.
Historic Medicinal Yarrow Use
Yarrow has a glorious recorded history conjoined with the advances in metallurgy since about 5000BP. Before bronze weapons, severe impact trauma from clubs and spear puncture wounds were apparently the most common combat wounds. After the production of hard bronze swords and knives that would hold a sharp edge and not rust, great deep tissue gashes were a frequent and often fatal wound from first bleeding to death and if not that, septic bacterial infections. Unlike the hairy mammals, whose thick hair will easily deflect even a sharp blade (animals are skinned by inserting the cutting edge beneath their hairy pelts so that the skin alone is cut), our bare skin is especially susceptible to cutting. Our immune systems have evolved to deal with superficial cuts, gashes and sometimes puncture wounds, but not deep tissue cuts, since there is not much in the natural environment which can equal a sharp metal knife edge for cutting hairless flesh (the sharpest non-industrial edge is freshly flaked obsidian, used in ancient times for shaving and surgery). Unless very carefully closed, a large open wound is often fatal.

Yarrow was known as the Soldier’s Woundwort and Herbe Militaris for thousands of years (Grieve), used to pack wounds as a functional antiseptic and, hemostatic material this latter attribute is especially important in combat where bleeding to death is a constant risk. This made Yarrow the superior wound dressing, since it stopped bleeding. It was much preferred to the other materials used to pack deep open wounds resulting from idiotic serious combat, clay, moss (sphagnum moss was still used to make antiseptic dressings for WWI, harvested in large quantities, traincar loads, from the bogs around Southbend, WA), spider webs, and horse manure (a favorite of the Napoleonic wars during winter and in Russia during the Russian evolution).
Yarrow is also an analgesic and antiseptic, so that it stops bleeding, lessens pain, prevents infections, and is often abundant in the open meadows favored particularly by the ancient armies in the Mediterranean wars. It is also available 12 months of the year in milder temperate zones, particularly in the areas where the surgeon-general Achilles was fighting during the also idiotic Trojan Wars. The Latin name for Yarrow, Achillia millefolium, is supposedly named after Achilles.
There is also a long history of yarrow use on this continent. The Flathead Indians of Montana rubbed the flower heads in their armpits as a deodorant. The Okanagon people placed the leaves on hot coals to make a smudge for repelling mosquitoes (Turner, 1979). The Thompson Natives boiled roots and leaves and used the roots for bathing arthritic limbs. The roots were pounded and used as a poultice on the skin for sciatica. Root infusions were used to treat colds and venereal diseases. The mashed root was placed over a tooth for toothache. The whole plant including roots is boiled and the decoction drunk as a tonic or remedy for slight indisposition or general out-of-sorts feeling. This decoction was used as eyewash for sore eyes, and used on chapped or cracked hands, pimples, skin rashes, and insect and snake bites (Turner 1990). Annie York, a Thompson Native (B. 1904) noted that, although a very important medicine, for the Thompson, ‘’ it is quite strong’’ AND THE MEDICINE HAS TO BE TAKEN WITH CAUTION. They used Yarrow infusions in small quantities for colds and bladder troubles.
Fresh Yarrow Leaves:
On several occasions, whilst using sharp anvil pruners to harvest yarrow flowering tops for the commercial botanical medicine trade, both myself and several of my apprentices have cut deeply into our respective fingers. Each time we were amazed at the lack of pain or any strong sensation as blood poured from gaping wounds. The apparent cause of self-wounding was a combination of not paying attention and a total lack of topical sensation when the pruner blade first contacted the finger cut. Enough analgesic substances had passed transdermally into our Yarrow-grasping fingers during the preceding several hours of harvesting to prevent touch sensation. We could not feel the blades. After my first self-cutting experience I alerted my apprentices at the start of each year’s Yarrow harvest to watch their fingers and cut only yarrow stalks.

The first aid treatment for their sliced fingers is, of course, Yarrow!; fresh young basal rosette leaves or young flower tops are crushed or chewed into a poultice or spit poultice respectively and applied directly into and/or around the wound and wrapped if possible. The hand pruner can be used to cut clothing into strips for a wrapping bandage. Yarrow is broadly antimicrobial and works well as an antiseptic painkilling wound dressing. All of the Yarrow harvesting wounds treated with yarrow poultices healed quickly without any secondary infections and usually no scarring. Yarrow pieces left in a wound usually do not cause bacterial infection. I usually recommend against using spit poultices on deep open wounds to avoid the possibility of introducing anaerobic oral disease bacteria into the bloodstream. These days maybe use only your own spit poultice. (Human saliva contains epidermal growth factor which may aid in wound healing) This would be to avoid chronic blood-borne diseases such as HIV and various hepatitis diseases. If you have blood-borne diseases, please do not use your own-saliva-source spit poultices on the open wounds of others.
Yarrow Leaf Styptic:
To make an extremely useful topical styptic, which can be applied directly onto shallow wounds, especially those such as scrapes, popped blisters, or burns, where the skin was not broken and only clear serum is oozing out, use fresh or dried Yarrow leaves: first remove the finely branched portions of the leaves from the central petiole/midrib. Discard the petiole and crush or grind the fresh or dried remainder and apply directly to wounds. Good strong solid scabs usually form as the serum and Yarrow bits mix as cement and rebar, and dry to close the wound. Healing seems accelerated by topical Yarrow dressings and poultices. Serum loss can be quite significant from seemingly minor scrapes or popped blisters.

For home and office use, I recommend a jar of dried and powdered Yarrow leaves be kept well-labeled and ready for first aid treatment of open wounds and popped blisters, mat/floor burns, and shallow shaving wounds. This medicine keeps well in airtight, dark containers for at least five years with no apparent loss of healing efficacy.
Yarrow roots
I have not used Yarrow roots therapeutically. Herbalist Matthew Wood recounts a dramatic hemostatic result from Yarrow roots used to quell deep laceration arterial bleeding (Wood 1997). Michael Moore (1993) states that the roots previously steeped in whiskey are good to chew on for toothache and gum problems.

Yarrow oil
Yarrow oil is easy to prepare. Fresh or dried Yarrow leaves and flowering tops are placed in olive oil (3 ounces of Yarrow per pint volume). The herb is placed in a pint canning jar (wide-mouth preferred) and the jar is filled with oil and stirred every four hours for the first day and daily thereafter for up to a month, whilst kept at 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure and compensate for water content if fresh herb is used. I usually leave the herb in the oil until all of the oil is used. In my herbal tradition through Ella Birzneck, Yarrow oil is often combined with an equal amount of Dalmation Toadflax oil or Agrimony oil. The mixture is then used topically to manage varicose veins, and hemorrhoids, bleeding or not.

Yarrow oil case story
A 40-yr old woman came to see me with a complaint of hemorrhoids. On examination, she did not present with typical distended rectal veins. She had a solitary chickpea-sized solid yellowish perianal lump. It seemed securely attaches, was not a tick, scar, or scab, and seemed contained. It had been there at least two years, was not painful, inflamed, was barely sensate, had not bled, throbbed, o itched. Her concern was hygienic and she hoped herbs could be used instead of surgery. I did not think that traditional astringent herbs were indicated due to the solid nature of the lump. I asked her about splinters or glass or any small object which might have generated a subdermal keloidal sequestrum. She could not recall any such thing. I told her we could shrink and remove it herbally even though I suspected a sebaceous cyst. I mixed equal amounts of Yarrow and Toadflax oils with enough beeswax for a soft salve and gave her 12 ounces, to be applied continuously to the lump until either the lump or the salve was gone. The intent was to keep the lump oiled at all times. About 4-5 months later she returned and the lump was completely gone: no scar, no indent, only a pale discoloration remained. Yearly inquiries for ten years subsequent indicated no return or complication from lump or treatment.

Yarrow tinctures
The therapeutic uses of Yarrow Tincture (and teas) are well-described by the renowned herbalist, Matthew Wood (Wood, 1997), and the herbal author and teacher, Michael Moore (Moore 1979). Although Moore describes in detail how to prepare Yarrow tinctures, his many medicinal uses are mostly strong teas, poultices, and soaks. I have observed no particular therapeutic results from Yarrow tinctures which are not possible from strong teas, poultices, steams, oils

Yarrow for Influenza
In my repeated experience, drinking 1-2 quarts of very strong Yarrow -steeped infusion at the onset of flu symptoms will usually halt all further symptom progression. The emphasis here is AT ONSET. Strong Yarrow infusion consumed after Influenza or a cold has progressed for several days will help reduce fever and induce sweating, but only modestly reduce other symptom severity. I have not observed similar positive results from using Yarrow tinctures.

I strongly recommend all practitioners and households keep at least 8 oz. of dried Yarrow herb on hand at all times to be ready not only after the first flu symptoms, but perhaps also as a caution after encountering a flu sufferer. I do not recommend regular Yarrow tea use as a daily tea or protection against possible influenza exposure. This is important. Yarrow is a very strong herb.
Dried Yarrow Leaf and Blossom Tea: A case story
A young adult male came to my cabin one evening. He seemed distressed. It was harvest season and we were all working long days. A few hours before arriving at my place he had begun to have a sore throat and an achy feeling. His sweetie was sick with a dreadful sore throat, copious runny nose, achy body and some headache. She had been ill for several days. It sounded like Influenza to me. He wished to know if I had any herbs which would prevent him from becoming as sick as his sweetie. He could ill afford to be really sick just now, maybe later. I bravely told him,’’ Yes, of course!’’. I briefly examined him for fever, looked deeply into his poor inflamed throat, and asked a few pertinent questions (maybe some impertinent ones also). He was drug and medication free.

I told him that strong Yarrow tea, 12 ounces four times a day for two days would stop symptom progression. I gave him a bag of wild, island-harvested Yarrow leaves and flower tops for the tea. He was to prepare the tea by pouring boiling water over about one ounce of dried herb in a quart jar, cover loosely, and let steep for at least an hour before drinking, and that two hours steeping would be even better. I told him to leave about half the Yarrow tea in the jar with the Yarrow herb overnight in a warm place, and drink first thing in the morning. I encouraged him to sleep late, drink 2-3 quarts of water each day in addition to the Yarrow tea, consume no alcohol or caffeine, and please come see me in two days. He made a big pot of Yarrow tea in addition to the jar of steeped tea, drank a lot, and much more the second day. In two days he stopped by to say that he had developed no further symptoms, had no symptoms now; everything had resolved about 24 hours after first drinking the Yarrow. He not only felt well, but Great! Many thanks and two fat ducks
Yarrow for Insect Stings
The fresh Yarrow spit poultice is extremely effective to relief from the pain and swelling which usually follows bee, wasp, and hornet stings. The spit-Yarrow mass is applied directly to the stung area. I do not know if internal consumption of Yarrow at the same time will help any more than just topical application. This same use of Yarrow for insect stings is used wherever people, wasps, and Yarrow occur together: Coast Salish, NE Indians, and Latvians to mention a few such combinations


Yarrow for sweating
Copious sweating can usually be induced by either a generous handful of fresh Yarrow leaves or a strong infusion, about a pint, taken orally. This effect can be used to reduce fevers and promote sweating for those who sweat poorly in saunas or sweat lodges, or just to increase sweating from clogged pores. We usually drink about a pint each of Yarrow tea before each therapeutic sauna or hot soak.

PSYCHOTROPIC YARROW
I try to harvest premium yarrow blossoms in early morning before the hot summer sun cooks out their lighter volatiles. My favorite places are steep north and northwest-facing seaside slopes where onshore breezes provide plenty of soil trace elements for abundant secondary metabolite production in Yarrow.

One particularly fine day whilst harvesting Yarrow on a steep talus slope above the sea, I felt suddenly quite giddy. The feeling resembled benign sunstroke; however, I had been harvesting in complete cliff shade for 3 hours. Involuntarily I sat down and happily laid back into several ancient Yarrow clumps with 3-foot stalks and huge flat umbels 8-10 inches across. Their delicious odors smothered me. As I looked up and all around, all I could see was Yarrow and blue sky. Paradise.
After about 20 minutes I was startled and alarmed to hear my aluminum skiff banging on the rocks far below from the rising tide; harvester’s consciousness cancelled my wonderful Yarrow euphoria. I wondered what had happened. Was it TIA , dehydration, sunstroke (no sun), Alzheimer’s? Lightheaded, I carefully assembled my harvest bags and slowly descended to my skiff and rowed back to the distal road end.
I mentioned this experience to Brian Wiessbuch, acupuncturist and herbalist. He told me:
“Ryan, mark those plants well and harvest them for me next year. The huge flower size indicates that these Yarrow plants are probably polyploids, probably 4X or even 8X. Such plants tend to produce much larger amounts of unusual and psychotropic substances than the usual diploid (2X) plants.”

Apparently, several hours of harvesting had resulted in significant percutaneous molecular movement of Yarrow-sourced mood and mind-altering substances into my hands and arms. Similar percutaneous molecular oassage probably occurs during the prolonged handling of Yarrow flower stalks (harvested whilst green with half-ripe flowers on top) during the ritual Yarrow stalk sorting associated with the consultation of the I Ching, a Chinese book of divination. Accumulation is always followed by dispersal. Yarrow has cleistogamous flowers which are self pollinating and this may encourage polyploidy.
Yarrow beer
Yarrow dried flower tops can be used to flavour beer, replacing hops as a bittering agent or in combination with hops. I place at least 1 ounce of dried Yarrow flower tops per gallon of beer into the boiling wort immediately prior to taking the wort off the heat; leave the lid on the wort as soon as the Yarrow has been placed in the wort so that the wonderful aromatics remain in the wort. The Yarrow is left in the wort for the entire primary fermentation, so that it is fermented along with the malt and sugar. Stephen Buhner, recommends fresh Yarrow (pers.com.) but I use the dried for convenience. The Yarrow is boiled to kill any microbes which might infect the beer. This beer is marvelously refreshing and sudorificsatio, just right for hot sweaty days. It induces euphoria, diuresis and an expansive mood in addition to the usual sweating and mild alcohol senns.


Yarrow hazard
The pleasant aroma, invigorating bitterness, and mild mood-altering effects of strong Yarrow tea can become habituating. My teacher Ella Birzneck, founder of Dominion Herbal College I Burnaby, British Columbia, warned us against drinking Yarrow tea daily for more than two weeks. She did not explain. During a cold wet month of outdoor camping whilst clearing brush, I drank strong Yarrow tea daily, often steeped for up to two days. After three weeks I had a crisp line of pain along my right lowest rib. I assumed it was from a muscle tear during hard work. In the week following I continued to drink strong Yarrow infusion and the crisp line seemed to become a hard ridge almost like another rib. OOPS!! I suspected an inflamed liver from too much Yarrow tea and stopped drinking it. The painful ridge took 2-3 Yarrow-free months to subside and resolve. When I mentioned this to Ella, she said,”that’s what I said would happen”.
I must have dozed off.

My conclusion is: not only can Yarrow infusion become habituating, it may become painfully liver toxic when consumed to excess. I do not know which amongst the many active secondary Yarrow metabolites the hazardous molecules are. My experience has made me cautious not only about infusion overconsumption, but cautious about recommending Yarrow tincture, especially if fresh or dried Yarrow is available.

OTHER YARROW USES
For a detailed summary of Yarrow constituents, with references, see Wren 1988. Unfortunately, Wren as a primary source is suspect, as Yarrow’s strong bitter taste is described as insipid, and the sharp scent as faintly aromatic. Perhaps a weak cultivated specimen was used?

Home uses for Northern daily life included, facials, food, beverages, cautions, steam vapours, and Native uses are nicely described by Alaskan Janice Schofield (1989).
After all of the above, Osol et al (1947) Declare with emphasis in the Dispensatory of the United States of America,’’ there is no scientific evidence of its value’’, referring to medicinal uses of Yarrow.
Similarly, the PDR FOR HERBAL MEDICINES, 1st ED, states that ‘’ Yarrow acts… in a similar fashion to camomile flowers, as their components are partially identical’’. Those effects include:’’Externally it is used as a partial bath for painful, cramp-like conditions of psychomatic origin in the lower part of the female pelvis, liver disorders, and the healing of wounds.’’ We can only hope for better coverage in subsequent editions.

REFERENCES
Clark,L. 1973. Wildflowers of British Columbia. P. 50l
Grieve, M. 1931. A Modern Herbal. PP. 863-865
Moore, M. 1993. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Pp. 272-275
Osol, A. Et Al. 1947. The Dispensatory of the United Sates of America.p.1306
PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1998. PP 604-605
Schofield,J. 1989. Discovering Wild Plants:Alaska, Western Canada, The Northwest. pp.318-321.
Turner,J. 1979. Plants in British Columbia Indian Technology. P.272
Turner, J. 1990. Thompson Ethnobotany. PP 166-167.
Wood, M. 1997. The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicine. Pp.64-83.
Wren, B. 1988 Ed. Potter’s New Cyclocpaedia of Herbal preparations

I think I will close on this last article, this was a very good one too. I couldn't find any recipes using yarrow for baking etc. I think it is mostly medicinal, tea, making wines and beers, and alot of old folklore, native american, european etc. history for this herb.
Please comment on your uses for yarrow

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