Common Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Yarrow is a plant with a beautiful flower. It grows on roadsides everywhere in the Netherlands. Yarrow is a medicinal herb. You can eat it and prepare tea from it. The leaf is used to heal wounds. Carpenters used to use yarrow to put on wounds; the bleeding will then stop more quickly. It was therefore also called carpenter’s herb. That’s good to know if you get a bleeding wound somewhere in nature and you don’t have a first aid kit with you. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Just yarrow
  • Yarrow from history
  • According to Mellie Uyldert
  • Cosmetic use
  • From signature theory to modern science
  • Yarrow as meal enrichment
  • External use of yarrow
  • Contraindications
  • Geert Verhelst

Just yarrow

Common names for this herb: hare grass, hare chervil, dog chervil, Duust, white blossom, weaver’s leaf, gingerbread, trendekens flower, trissem, chair flower, tobacco flower, nesenbloede, carpenter’s wort, ribs evil, eyes flower, garte, rice porridge flower, sheep’s rib, field tarragon, white reinevaar, zee, gerwe , cheese herb.

Yarrow from history

Both the Indians and the Sumerians already used yarrow. The most commonly used application is to staunch blood. Instead of cotton wool, yarrow was put in the nose to prevent nosebleeds. The leaf is ideal for making a plug that fits in the nasal opening. The leaves were first chewed to bruise the leaves; This way the active substances are released better. Soldiers at battles treated their wounds with yarrow. Yarrow has an anti-inflammatory and blood-clotting effect due to the tannins and alkaloids it contains.

According to Mellie Uyldert

Mellie Uyldert was a spiritual woman and herbal expert from the last century. Mrs. Uyldert recommended that people use yarrow tea to wash their faces. This particularly benefits people who suffer from blackheads. Blackheads are clogged sebaceous glands. After this, rinse the face with clean water. Yarrow, like garlic, is called a rejuvenating herb. It cleans the blood vessels internally of deposits and calcification. Yarrow lowers blood pressure and works against nervous palpitations. Yarrow works against stomach inflammation. Mellie put it this way: yarrow makes you a new person.

Cosmetic use

Cosmetic use of yarrow can be done through a steam bath. Yarrow is mainly used against oily skin and couperose. Karin Hubbeling gives a recipe for a facial mask for oily skin in her book ‘It is green and it heals’: the chamomile-yarrow-root-protein mask. First steep the chamomile and yarrow in a cup of hot water. You use three tablespoons of both. You puree a carrot and beat egg whites. Make the mask from this mixture.

From signature theory to modern science

According to the signature theory, the leaf is good for blood vessels because the leaf has many branches, just like blood vessels. Signature theory states that the appearance of plants says something about their medicinal use. Dodoens, the famous herbalist from the 16th century, mentions in his Cruyde book that chewing yarrow works against dental ulcers. These works have been verified by modern scientific research. Yarrow has a disinfectant and antibacterial effect due to the sesquiterpene lactones it contains.

Yarrow as meal enrichment

You can eat 4.5 grams of yarrow daily without side effects. So you cannot use this herb in large quantities; It can then give you a headache. The shredded leaves are used to season soups, sauces, herb pancakes and omelettes. You can also add it to a salad and vegetable dishes. The flowers are edible and can beautifully decorate a salad.

External use of yarrow

The use of yarrow is good for many diseases. For example, you can take a bath with it. Then use 100 grams of yarrow in 20 liters of water. This helps against menstrual pain. A decoction of yarrow can be used to treat wounds, hemorrhoids, ulcers and varicose ulcers. You then boil a liter of water with 60 grams of yarrow. Yarrow is used in various herbal mixtures. For example, you can make a herbal paste and apply it to a wound. The bleeding will then stop quickly and the wound will not become infected due to the disinfectant effect of yarrow. By chewing the leaf you get a quickly prepared herbal porridge that helps in emergencies.


If you use yarrow as a medicine, you should not use it for more than a month at a time. Do not use during pregnancy and lactation. Some people are allergic to yarrow, but that is a small minority. When combined with medication such as warfarin, aspirin, blood pressure lowering and ibuprofen, it is advisable to consult a doctor because yarrow interacts with substances from these medicines. Herbalists know which medications you should not take yarrow with.

Geert Verhelst

Most of the information in this article is based on the Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants by Dr Geert Verhelst. Geert Verhelst’s book is a collection of scientific research into medicinal plants. It is used by phytotherapists (herbalists).

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