It all started about two years ago when a good friend of mine brought me a small, spindly specimen of a plant, all stuffed into a pile of Georgia red clay. To top that off, it was in a cottage cheese bowl!! Good grief. I sure didn't think that thing would ever grow. But I did as she said, planted the puny thing, and man!! if that thing didn't take off like a chicken after a june bug!! It was incredible. It has been faithful to come back, and now it thinks it can just take over my garden and bloom all summer long!! Talk about a fool-proof herb.
In addition to being extremely easy to grow, it is extremely common growing wild in Georgia, (pretty much everywhere else, too) and I have already harvested and dried more that a lot.
Not only is this wonderful plant beautiful, it is medicinal. Very medicinal.
Here is a profile I wrote up for this little amazing rascal.
Scientific name: Achillea millefolium
--astringent, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, stimulant, aromatic
It is also known by a variety of other names, such as Soldier's Woundwort, Sanguinary, Thousand-Leaf, Old Man's Pepper, the Nose-Bleed Plant, and Milfoil, among many others.
An interesting story behind it, and the explanation of its scientific name, is that the fabled Greek warrior Achilles carried it into battle to treat his soldier's wounds.
While this may seem silly to us who do not believe Greek mythology, Yarrow HAS been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of wounds. In Scotland folks made a good liniment for that purpose.
Not only is Yarrow an astringent and anti-inflammatory, it is a diaphoretic, making it extremely useful for fevers.
The Cherokee indians very commonly used it in a tea for fevers and colds.
Yarrow has also been used in the treatment of the following conditions: measles, diarrhea, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches, menstrual problems, cardiovascular complaints, varicose veins, urinary problems, hay fever, and so much more.
In my opinion, if Echinacea is the king of herbs, then Yarrow is the prince. It is one we certainly shouldn't be without.
Just as an example of its ability to stop bleeding, I have an experience of my own to share.
The other day I was feeding my rabbits, and somehow a wire in the hutch went astray and decided to attack my poor little finger. It kept on bleedin' and bleedin', but I was busy, and didn't have time to go inside to clean it up. Over I went to my garden and plucked a flower head and several leaves of that glorious Staunchweed. I crushed it a few times and patted it on my finger, leaving it there. The bleeding stopped almost instantly, and on I went with my work.
Okay, a few more things.
Yarrow is an excellent companion plant. It attracts the beneficial bugs and helps repel damaging insects. A study was done in Sweden showed that Yarrow extract helped in repelling mosquitoes.
Yarrow is extremely easy to identify, and chances are, it is growing wild somewhere very close by. Get out there and gather some. You can always dry it for later use.
Here are a few more photos to aid you in identifying this gift from the Lord.