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One of the plants I’ve wanted to get a stash of has been yarrow.  The sad thing is I’ve seen tons of yarrow over the past year but never took the opportunity to pick it.  It’s an easy one to identify and grows everywhere in my area (Palouse region of Washington).

Yarrow is a clusterhead flower – that means the flowers grow in clusters and are typically small.  There are many clusterhead flower plants including water hemlock which is highly poisonous.  What gives Yarrow away is it’s fern like leaves.  They are noticeable from a distance.  In my region we have mostly yellow yarrow.  Up in the mountains there is plenty of white yarrow.  In the picture I snapped, there was a cluster of purple yarrow.  I don’t know how many varieties are out there.

Yarrow leaves are edible but like many wild greens they are bitter.  It’s the tea I was after.  Yarrow tea is made from the dried leaves and flowers.

People keep asking me why.  I, of course, have to tell them I’ll get back to them because I keep forgetting.  So here are my notes –

Yarrow is good for adding flavor, stops/reduces bleeding, reduces menstrual and stomach cramps, stimulates female hormones, pain relief, reduced disease severity, works as a stimulant, and reduces fevers.

Practical Herbalism says that it is good for the urinary tract, tonic for venous system and mucus membranes, sore throats, hemoptysis, hematuria, hemorrhage, incontinence, diabetes, hemorrhoids, dysentery, amenorrhea, flatulency and spasmodic diseases, menorrhagia and good for digestion.

There are a lot of terms in there that I am too lazy to look up to define.  Basically it’s good for the digestive system and urinary tract, PMS/menstrual issues, and an all over herb for when you feel like crap.  Which is appropriate because today I feel like crap – sore throat and achy.  So, I’m thinking my yarrow plants should be dried by now and I will be making a big ole cup of tea with lemon and honey when I get home.

I’ll let you know if it cures me of what ails me.  If not, it’s supposed to be a rather tasty tea so no harm there.