🌿 The Herb of Achilles - How Do You Use Yarrow?

Merry Meet!

I’ve been learning more about this wonderful herb and would love to share a bit about its uses for fellow Green Witches. Also, as I just ordered a whopping 200g bag of it, I’m putting a call for new ways in which a witch might put it to good use! :woman_mage: :herb:


Yarrow

Achillea millefolium


Picture from Wikipedia: Yarrow

Yarrow is a very common herb that some gardeners might classify as a weed- but this simple-looking plant is loaded with medicinal and magickal benefits!

:herb: Yarrow Medicinal Uses

Medicinally, yarrow gets its name from the legend that it was used by the Greek warrior Achilles to treat battlefield injuries by helping to stop blood loss. Modern gardeners sometimes keep a yarrow plant in the yard for quick treatment of normal cuts, bruises, and scratches that happen during garden work :gloves:

The second part of yarrow’s latin name (millefolium) comes from the “millions” of cute, feathery branches of yarrow’s leaves. It is a particularly cute and fuzzy plant that is soft to the touch, especially when young! :herb:

:adhesive_bandage: Gardener’s Aid: Yarrow for Small Cuts

To quickly stop bleeding from a cut, cut a leaf from yarrow (cleaning it if possible). Chew the leaf to break it apart and mix it slightly with saliva. Apply the yarrow mixture onto a cut and cover it with a bandaid. It should cause bleeding to stop quickly. Later, follow up with proper cleaning of the closed wound.

In some traditions, Yarrow is believed to be anti-inflammatory and can taken internally as an aid for digestion. It can be included in teas and tinctures for digestive aids where it is used to treat constipation and relieve flatulence :tea:

Yarrow is also considered to be a women’s herb and has been used to help treat menstrual cramps among other ailments during “that time of the month”- including helping to prevent heavy bleeding (source). For treatment of menstrual issues, yarrow can be taken internally as a tea or applied externally to the abdomen.

:red_circle: Yarrow Tea for Menstrual Cramps

To make a yarrow infusion, pour a cup of boiling water over one tablespoon of dried yarrow. Allow it to steep for 15 minutes. (recipe from Dary Podlasia)

Add one spoonful of honey- which also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Drink once or twice a day, two to three days before your period is expected to begin. Continue to drink when cramps begin. Stop drinking when cramps have eased.


Picture by the Moon Manual on Pinterest

:herb: Yarrow Magickal Uses

While the traditional herbalist uses for yarrow are abundant, I’m having a harder time tracking down clear information about the magickal uses of this plant (so for those who have correspondences for yarrow- I would be super grateful if you could share them below! Thank you! :pray:)

I did find some magickal properties of yarrow listed on Wicca Now:

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.

From Wicca Now: The Incredible Magickal Properties of Yarrow


:warning: Safety notes

:grey_exclamation: Note that there are approximately 80 different varieties of yarrow around the world- this discussion is only talking about Achillea millefolium aka “Common Yarrow”. In the wild, Yarrow may appear similar to dangerous plants such as poison hemlock- for safety reasons, only use plants that you are 100% sure about their identity.

:exclamation: Herbs can be very potent- it is always a good idea to check with your medical professional and/or a certified herbalist to make sure a new herb is right for you. Always use caution when consuming new herbs and plants.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the information here is shared simply in the name of discussion, it is not intended to be a medical diagnosis, treatment, or cure.


:open_book: Sources & Additional Reading


Have you used Yarrow in your practice? :herb:

  • Yes! I have used yarrow medicinally
  • Yes! I have used yarrow magickally
  • No, I haven’t- but I’d like to try
  • No, yarrow doesn’t look like an herb for me

0 voters


If you’ve interacted with yarrow before (medically, magically, or in the garden)- please feel free to share any tips, spells, or ways to put it to good use in the comments below!

Blessed be! :green_heart: :sparkles:

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I wasn’t kidding about the bag…

200g seemed so much smaller in my mind :sweat_smile: We are relocating again in a month and this is definitely not going to work in the suitcase- please feel free to suggest ways (especially magickal!) for how to use yarrow!

Thank you and blessed be! :green_heart: :blush:

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If it’s a protection herb, make witch balls for Yule and give them away. That should use up some yarrow. Because man, that is a big bag! LOL!

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Yarrow is such an understated herb. It has sooooooo many wonderful benefits. I love @Amethyst idea of making witch’s balls for Yule. But if u find a good glass jar it will remain fresh.

Yarrow can also be used in love spells, and also to enhance psychic abilities.

My yarrow is over a yr old and still fresh.


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@TheTravelWitch_Bry That is a lot of Yarrow, fortunately there’s so much you can do with it as you already know! I align with @Amethyst in that you can use it to make gifts - in addition to Yule balls, how about salves, oils, tinctures and teas! I have recipes for all of these if you need them….

Yarrow is a cooling herb, that gives protection, promotes healing, restores balance, and commonly used in I-Ching divination! Yarrow is said to have the ability to anchor us in the earth plane while facilitating connection with the unseen, and also used as an ally in opening up channels for divination and in ritual or ceremony to enhance intentions for protection, bravery and healing, as well communicating with ancestors/deities or other ethereal beings.

“Yarrow flower essence can help establish healthy boundaries, strengthen the aura and aid with processing trauma, much like Bach Flower Essences’ famous Rescue Remedy. For magical purposes, drink yarrow as a tea, dry and burn as a smoke (great for consecrating sacred items and cleansing) , or lay the fresh or dried plant directly on the body and/or altar. For helping facilitate seeing beyond visible realities, place over the closed eyes while journeying.”

So fun!! :potted_plant::purple_heart:

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ALSO!! I totally forgot that Rosemary Gladstar has a wonderful recipe for Fire Cider that uses Yarrow - If you’re interested in that one and can’t find it, I’ll share recipe as well. Can be used yourself and/or for gifts this winter as well!!! (It’s like a tincture though, it takes 3-4 weeks to make).
:leaves::brown_heart:

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I had to go on a mini-hunt but it turns out that yarrow isn’t native to my part of Florida! I think we’re a bit too wet and humid here in my part of the state. Florida Natural Plant Society says that my zone isn’t even a good zone to grow yarrow in. So if I ever want any it looks like I’d have to order it!

I did find some interesting information on yarrow through Wikipedia! :tada: Toward the bottom of the wiki page for yarrow is a section on culture that has a lot of different cultural uses.

In Dublin on May Day or the night before, women would place a stocking full of yarrow under their pillow and recite:

Good morrow, good yarrow, good morrow to thee,
I hope by the yarrow my lover to see;
And that he may be married to me.
The colour of his hair and the clothes he does wear,
And if he be for me may his face be turned to me,
And if he be not, dark and surely may he be,
And his back be turned toward me.

In the witchcraft trial of Elspeth Reoch in March 1616, she was alleged to have plucked “melefour,” thought to be another name for yarrow, and said “In nomine Patris, Fiili, et Spiritus Sancti” to become able to cure distemper (disorders of the four humours) and impart the faculty of prediction.

Source - Wikipedia

Wikipedia says these come from a folklore record book written in the 1800s.

It looks like yarrow is really connected to love magic and divination, too. Even historically through folklore, those themes come up many times!

I second (or third?) the idea of making gifts for everyone though – you’ve got a lot of yarrow to work through :laughing:

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I have a source (herb grimoire, Thrifty Witch School) that mentions that yarrow, in addition to other things, is good for marriage charms and handffasting and wedding ceremonies. And that it makes a good ward for fear; place in yellow bag with parchment on which you have written fears and carry. I dont know how authoritative or not this on-line source is! But I use it to learn about a great many herbs.

I have some but i haven’t used it yet…

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@jan_TheGreenWitch and @TheTravelWitch_Bry i also have recipes if u need them. :grin::grin:

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When they delivered it I was like… hang on, this can’t be my package?? Opened it up and found yarrow wonderland inside :joy: From now on I’m not ordering anything bigger than 100g at once lol. Lesson learned! :laughing:

I love the idea of witch balls! Thank you, Amethyst! :star_struck: :+1:

Awesome to know- I’ll have to dig around and see if we have any glass jars left! I think we used up most of them to store the fruit jams, except for a few itsy bitsy little single-serving glass honey and jam jars from the boat (I couldn’t bear the thought of them throwing out the little jars! So I brought the empty ones with me :joy:)

Thank you, Christeena! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

This is awesome- it sounds like yarrow is a great herb to be working with for any seasonal spirit and ancestor work :+1: You aren’t kidding, Jan- it sounds like there are plenty of great ways to put the herb to use! And fire cider! :heart_eyes: I found one Gladtsar Fire Cider recipe but I didn’t see yarrow listed (although of course I can imagine it makes a great addition)- I’ll definitely consider it! Thank you so much for your wisdom and ideas! :sparkling_heart:

Yarrow for love magick and divination seem to be coming up quite a bit, so these are definitely things I will look into and potentially try to draw on- thank you, Megan! :heart: And hahaha no kidding, with this bag there should be plenty to experiment, make gifts, and still have some left over :laughing:

Thank you so much for your input and ways to use yarrow- I like the idea of using it in a fear ward! It sounds like there could be some creative ways to combine it’s protective and love-encouraging properties :heart: :shield:

Let’s use our yarrow together! :grin: :+1:

You are always so generous, Christeena (and Jan too)- thank you both for offering your recipes, I always appreciate it! :heart: I’ve got some solid crafting and spellwork ideas now, but if it looks like I’m in need of some more recipes, I will be sure to reach out. Thanks again! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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@TheTravelWitch_Bry
Here’s the fire cider recipe I have, I thought I got it from Rosemary Gladstar, maybe it’s just one based on her recipe and I use her recipe for the amounts:

Fire Cider with Yarrow:

-Peel and Chop/Grate one fresh Horseradish root.
-Coarse chop one onion
-Chop 4 or 5 garlic cloves or per taste per jar
-Chop/Grate ginger
-add couple dashes of cayenne per jar
-top off with Raw apple cider vinegar. (avoid white vinegar)
one Tablespoon chopper yarrow leaf and flower

Makes two jars about 16 ounces each.

Let cure for 4 weeks, otherwise the veggies get too mushy. Strain it and add raw honey, just a bit to sweeten. Heat vinegar to warm, to help honey to blend best. But, not too hot as to kill the raw properties of vinegar and honey.

:purple_heart:

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You’re welcome! Good luck getting rid of all that yarrow! LOL!

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From Beyerl’s Master Book of Herbalism:

The use of this herbe is most ancient, said to have been used for healing by Achilles. In the Orient it is highly respected and used in divination with the I Ching. For this purpose, the most prized Yarrow is that which grows upon the burial site of Confuscious.

These flowers are used in handfastings and weddings, worn by guests and added to bouquets.

Yarrow is sacred to the horned god of Pagan mythology, the male principle of the Universe. One lovely folk custom is to watch the Yarrow patch, and to make a wish upon the first blossom of the summer.


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Woohoo! I can feel that healthy burn just from reading the ingredients list :laughing: :fire::heart: Thank you so much for the awesome recipe, Jan! :sparkles:

This is really lovely :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: And lots of great info too- thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and these great folk legends about Yarrow, Satu! :green_heart: :sparkles:

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