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First Aid Remedies with the Yarrow Plant

Aug 18, 2007
The yarrow plant is one of the most highly valued plants for treating the common cold and influenza.

The plant's Latin name is Achillea millefolium, which is derived from the famous Greek hero Achilles. It is believed that the plant was used during the Trojan wars, where it was used to treat war wounds. Yarrow also has a curious folk name: "nosebleed." This folk nickname is a testimony to its traditional use as a first aid herb. Yarrow has been used in the past as an emergency styptic to stop bleeding. These days, yarrow is mostly used to treat colds and flu's, but it is also used to treat problems with the circulatory, digestive and urinary system. You can usually find yarrow growing in meadows.

Most traditional herbalists describe yarrow as alternately dry, sweet, astringent and sometimes slightly bitter in taste. The constituents of the yarrow plant included salicylic acid, volatile oils (including proazulenes), isovalerianic acid, flavonoids, sterols, tannins, bitters, asparagin, and coumarins. The action of the plant is described astringent, relaxing, a promoter of sweat, a blood vessel relaxant, febrifuge, and restorative for the menstrual system. The essential oil of yarrow is described as anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiallergenic.

Several parts of the yarrow plant are used to create herbal remedies. These include the plant's stems parts, its leaves, its essential oil, and its flowers. The leaves of the plant are believed to contain properties that encourage clotting. The leaves are also used fresh as an herbal remedy to combat nose bleeding. However, if yarrow leaves are used to treat nosebleeds, they must not be inserted into the nostril directly as this can make a nosebleed worse. The leaves of the yarrow plant can be harvested throughout the growing season.

The essential oils of the yarrow plant are also used to make herbal remedies. The oils are extracted from the yarrow plant by steam distillation of the flowers. The essential oils of the plant are generally used as an anti-inflammatory or in chest rubs that can be applied when a person is suffering from a cold or influenza. Extracts from the yarrow plant have been used to make an effective mosquito repellent.

The flowers of the yarrow plant can also be used to make herbal remedies. For instance, the flowers have been shown to be rich in chemicals that can be converted by steam into antiallergenic compounds. These chemicals can be used to treat various allergic problems, including mucus problems and hay fever. Traditional herbalists harvest the flower during the summer and fall.

There are many applications for the yarrow plant. Its flowers can be used to infuse and drink as a hot tea that helps treat common ailments of the upper respiratory system, including excessive phlegm. The aerial parts of the yarrow plant can also be used to reduce fevers when it is prepared in a hot tea. You can also use yarrow in a chest rub to treat chest colds, influenza, or to relieve severe congestion.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Herbal Remedies.
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