Hi, my lovelies and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been sharing guides to all my favourite herbs and plants, like this post about the magickal properties of patchouli, another post about hibiscus, one about garlic and another about the magickal properties of lemons. I’ve also shared my botanical witchipedia for anyone wanting a broader overview of many magickal herbs and plants. Today I want to continue down this path by sharing the magickal properties of yarrow with you.
Yarrow is an ancient healing plant which has been used medicinally to treat pain and inflammation for over 50,000 years. This small herbaceous plant is prolific in temperate climates. Its magickal properties include healing, balance, love and protection among others.
Disclaimer: Any medicinal benefits given here are a product of my own research and as such should not be taken over the advice of trained medical professionals. If you are ill, please go and see a doctor. Always make sure that anything you consume is 100% safe. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife before consuming something you haven’t tried before.
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History of Yarrow
Yarrow, also known as Achillea millefolium, is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It’s native to temperate climates in Asia, North America and Europe. It’s a perennial plant which has a sweet smell similar to chrysanthemums.
Yarrow acquired its botanical name 1753 when Linnaeus named it after the Greek hero Achilles. He reportedly used yarrow to staunch the wounds of soldiers during the Trojan War in 1200BC. His knowledge of the plant came from the centaur Chiron but Achilles is the one who is credited with discovering the medicinal uses of yarrow. This history is clearly some fact mixed with fiction as there is little evidence to support this claim. There is, however, evidence that yarrow may have been used medicinally by Neanderthals over 50,000 years ago.
It’s unclear where exactly yarrow originated. Most sources say that it’s native to Europe and Asia and has been naturalised in all other regions. Some sources suggest that it was introduced to the Americas by early colonists, and others believe that it’s native to the Americas due to its prolific use in Native American culture.
Native Americans have long embraced yarrows medicinal properties and use it as a remedy for both internal and external complaints. The Navajo consider it a “life medicine” and it’s predominantly used as a pain reliever and to treat burns. The Ojibwe people sometimes smoke the flowers of ceremonial purposes.
Yarrow crops up frequently in various cultures around the world. It’s a common ingredient in ayurvedic medicine, it’s used for divination in China where it’s believed to be lucky and British folklore attributes yarrow with gifting anyone who holds it against their eyes with second sight.
During the Middle Ages, yarrow was used to flavour beer and liquors and was also used to staunch nose bleeds. It was rolled up and stuffed into the nostrils to prevent further bleeding due to its blood coagulating properties. Funnily enough, this may have been extremely counter-productive as yarrow has been known to cause nosebleeds when inserted into the nose.
Fun Facts about Yarrow
- In Mexico, it’s called “plumajillo” which means little feather. It’s named this because of its leaf texture and shape.
- Yarrow used to be called “herbal militaris” because it was used on battlefields to stop wounds from bleeding.
- Other names for yarrow include; nosebleed plant, old man’s pepper, gordaldo, devils nettle, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, thousand-seal and sanguinary among many others.
- Yarrow is grown as a livestock feed int New Zealand and Australia because it’s a common weed there and grows very well.
- Yarrow is a food source for a lot of insects.
- Some birds build their nests using yarrow. Its thought that this is to inhibit parasitic growth.
- There are a lot of species of moths that rely on yarrow as a food source while in their larvae stage.
- Yarrow is toxic to horses, dogs and cats.
- A book written in 1931 by M. Grieve suggested that girls could check whether their suitors truly loved them by asking them to insert yarrow into their noses and to recite a rhyme. If a nose bleed occurred, then the suiter was true and if it didn’t then he was misleading the girl about his intentions. How outdated and ridiculous right?
Medical Benefits of Yarrow
Yarrow can be used in a few different ways. Traditionally it was chewed into a paste and then applied to wounds to stop bleeding. Obviously this isn’t very hygienic but a paste made from yarrow can be applied externally in order to help various skin conditions. A tonic can also be made which can help with internal complains and is apparently great for easing menstrual pain. You can make it into a tea and it’s also possible to buy dried yarrow in powdered form.
Please note that yarrow should not be consumed in its essential oil form (no essential oil should be consumed, it sometimes has weird additives) so only use oils externally. Pregnant women should also stay away from ingesting any form of yarrow as it could potentially cause miscarriage.
- May increase fibroblasts which are responsible for the regeneration of connective tissue.
- Might help with digestive issues
- May prevent stomach ulcers
- Might help symptoms of IBS
- Might help to reduce anxiety and depression
- Might help to keep your brain healthy
- May help to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- May help to regulate menstrual symptoms
- Might help to improve circulation
Magickal Properties of Yarrow
Yarrow is great if you want to set magickal boundaries. It can help you regulate creative energies so that you have a steady flow of inspiration. Use this magickal herb if you want a little steadiness and calm in your life as it’s a herb which improves intentional restraint and precision. Yarrow is an excellent healer of emotional wounds.
Place yarrow over doorways to protect from negative energies. For powerful protection, pick yarrow flowers and charge them in the sun. Once charged, take the flowers and sprinkle them outside all the way around your home. This will keep any negative influences and energies away from your home. Yarrow can be used very effectively to banish bad habits in this way as well.
Carry a charm with yarrow in it to ensure happy relationships both romantically and in terms of friendship.
- Dream work
- Protection – particularly from negativity and negative influences
- Use in prophetic magick, particularly relating to love
- Helps to remove energetic blocks
Deities: Aphrodite, Hermes, the Horned God
Crystals: Clear quartz, tigers eye, lapis lazuli
So my loves, I hope that this gives you all the information you were looking for about the magickal properties of yarrow! May your creativity flow, your love be true and your body and mind strong and capable.
Until next time,