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Yarrow Trivia and folklore

Yarrow was used by native Americans as a wash to help manage sunburn.

It is thought to help manage stress and anxiety

It is a symbol of everlasting love

The genus Achillea, comes from the Greek warrior Achilles. Legend has it that he used Yarrow on the battlefield to help heal soldier’s wounds and as a styptic to prevent bleeding. Because of this is it also known as Soldier’s Woundwort, Knights Milfort, and Herb Militaris.

In Greek mythology Achilles was taught how to use the herb by Chiron, the centaur. It was believed to have grown from the rust on his spear.

The earliest traces of Yarrow are found in Neanderthal graves (along with other herbs).

In victorian days the language of the flower it can represent war or healing.

Other common names for Yarrow are


Old Man’s Pepper

Thousand Weed


Carpenter’s Weed



Devil’s Nettle




Thousand Leaf

Thousand Seal

In the middle ages, before the use of hops, Yarrow was used in a flavoring called “gruit” which was used to flavor beer.

In the 17th century it was commonly used as a vegetable, and the young leaves can be used in soups or cooked like a spinach.

Yarrow Stalks have been used in the I-Chin. It has been used in magical rituals to contact specific individuals and in divination, as well as love spells.

If you put it under your pillow it is believed you will dream of your lover:

Yarrow, arrow, I Love Thee

In My pocket I’ll Carry thee.

The first Young man that e’er I see

Well my true love be!

From Wardsworth, London

it has been used to cleanse the scalp and hence help cure baldness. It also can be used in a rinse for your hair.

In Hungary Yarrow tea is believed to give back the strength and energy lost during or after menopause.

Ayurvedic medicine used it as an astringent swab that helps stop nosebleeds.

Yarrow was brought to the US from Europe as both an ornamental and medicinal plats, but there is a west form that is native to North America.

Yarrow does have medicinal qualities…It lowers blood pressure and is still used to help heal wounds. It can be applied to the skin as a poultice or a rinse. It has antimicrobial qualities, is styptic, promotes healthy tissue growth in wounds, and is used in herbal cleansers to help reduce wrinkles. In can be used internally as a tincture or infusion, and helps reduce fever by causing a light sweat and it promotes appetite. Yarrow is also a uterine stimulant and has been used to manage menstrual discomfort and to promote menses.

An ancient Asian proverb is “wherever Yarrow grows, one need not fear wild beasts or poisonous plants”


This article is not meant to diagnose or treat an illness. It is meant for educational purposes. Herbs are natural, but they are medicine. They must be treated with respect. Herbs can have interactions with medications, foods you eat, and even other herbs.

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