Achillea millefolium commpositsate

A friend of mine told me of vacation they had taken with their family in the mountains. The second day out, one of their little boys came down with the flu. He developed chills and a fever and he said his body ached all over. The mother said, “Well, there goes our vacation. We've got to get him to a doctor.” My friend said, “I saw a patch of yarrow on our way up here, think I'll go get some and make some tea.” He put a big handful of yarrow in a pan of boiling water and brewed it up. The little boy wasn't much for drinking the tea. He said it tasted bitter, so they found some mountain peppermint and brewed that with the yarrow and he liked it better that way. Soon he started to sweat all over, but he didn't feel cold anymore. Later that day, he said he felt much better and by morning he seemed to be all well.

The history of yarrow dates way back. The genus Achilea was named after the Greek god Achilles who, it was said, saved many of his men from bleeding to death during the Trojan War by applying this herb has astringent properties. When applied to a cut or wound, it will stop the bleeding. Another common name for yarrow is “nosebleed,” because it was used so effectively in stopping nose bleeds.

Some other names for yarrow are “soldiers wound wort,” “knight's milfoil,” “Thousand leaf,” “old man's pepper,” and many others. The highlanders still make an ointment from it which they apply to wounds to heal them more quickly. They also claim the tea dispel melancholy. The specific name of yarrow or the name of the species is millefolium. This is derived from the many segments of its foliage, or fern-like, leaf. It flowers from June to September. The flowers are white or pale lilac and look like very small daisies. These flowers grow in a cluster or cymes all grouped together in a cluster or flat-topped terminal corymbs. Yarrow has a pleasant odor, somewhat pungent and rather aromatic. The entire herb in used.
There is possibly no better diaphoretic herb than yarrow. It promotes sweating in the body. Yarrow tea is a good remedy when you feel a cold or fever coming on, or in cases of obstructed perspiration. Yarrow tea is made with 1 oz of dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, drunk warm, in 2 oz doses. It may be sweetened with a little honey or molasses. You can add a little cayenne pepper to each cup. To this remedy, many old timers would add a teaspoonful of composition essence or powder. This was a group of herbs like bay berry, ginger, white pine, cayenne and cloves or any other herbs that you felt was a stimulating cure-all. They were kept all mixed up on the pantry shelf. This tea opens the pores and purifies the blood and is recommended in the early stages of children colds, measles and other eruptive diseases.

Herbalists and people who have used this plant say that yarrow has a reputation of being good for fevers, jaundice, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, eruptive diseases (measles, chicken pox and small pox), hemorrhage of the bowels and lungs, incontinence of urine (bed wetting – old or young), typhoid fever, colds, diarrhea, catarrh, colic, flu, and enuresis. This is why yarrow is one of the main herbs in Grandma's herbal Kidney formula and Liver formula.

If you are sick and have a fever, don't try to stop the fever; instead, take some yarrow tea and sweat the poisons out of your body.

The next time you go to the mountains, gather up a couple of handfuls of yarrow and dry them in the shade. Put the yarrow in a dark air-tight bottle, and use it. You'll be glad you did.


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