"A weed is simply a plant that you don't know what to do with."
Author Unknown
Yarrow is a wild herb that has also been domesticated for today's gardens. While the wild flowers are white, the domestic varieties come in several colors. It grows throughout my horse pasture.
It's one of the first plants to begin growing in the spring, and it blooms all summer long. The leaves and flowers can be dried for use. I try to always have some handy since it's such a versatile and beneficial herb.

Yarrow is easily recognized by its ferny, feathery foliage. It was the first herb I learned to recognize and use. The leaves will staunch bleeding when applied to a wound, rather like nature's bandage, and are antimicrobial and pain-relieving. 

I include yarrow in my all-purpose salve that also contains plantain, chickweed and lemon balm, and use the salve on humans, horses and goats alike. Our yearling filly once cut her forehead deeply, but after using this salve during the healing process she didn't even have a scar. 

Yarrow is also used as a sleep aid, on rashes and itchy skin, bruises, sprains and swelling, to relieve congestion from allergies and colds, as an aid for eczema and dry skin, and to induce sweating to break fevers. The leaf, flower and stem are used.

Yarrow can be used in so many ways, including teas, tinctures, washes, infused oil, compresses, wound powder (made from finely powdered dried herbs), infused in witch hazel as a spray for varicose veins, essential oil, and flower essence. I've just scratched the surface, there is so much more this herb can do.

The fresh flowers are a pretty filler in a vase of assorted wildflowers, and the dried flower heads are also quite attractive in the fall. Yarrow seeds are available online. Buy some and plant them in your garden or field to have this beneficial herb close at hand.

Remember, before using this or any herb, please research it fully. You are responsible for your own health. You'll find lots of information on using yarrow at Wellness Mama and Herb Wisdom.
NOTE: use of yarrow should be avoided during pregnancy.

Other posts in this series:
Woolly Mullein
Wild Onions
How to Harvest Yarrow
Curly Dock
DIY Herb Field Guide

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