YARROW (Achillea millefolium), a.k.a. Woundwort or Nosebleed, is an ancient European heirloom perennial that is a beautiful addition to the ornamental border, useful for dried floral arrangements, and also a powerful medicinal herb and useful in soil remediation. Grows sun and shade. Blooms May-June the second year from seed and will attract butterflies. The mildly aromatic plant features feathery green foliage that grows up to 2' and clusters of lacy white flowers. The young leaves can also be cooked as a vegetable, like spinach, or added to soups. The flowers are used for soil remediation as they can stimulate potassium and other minerals in the soil. Grows 24-36". Perennial. 50 seeds.
MEDICINAL: Its Latin name derives from the lore that Achilles used it to staunch the bleeding of his soldiers in battle. It was known by the ancients as "Herba Militaris" for this reason. Yarrow has a sweet and slightly bitter taste. The most medicinally active parts are the flowers. Its antiseptic and astringent properties have been relied upon since the Dark Ages. Ancient herbalists touted its ability to stop bleeding, but it also claimed it improves circulation and promote sweating. Infusions can be used internally and externally and it is a good liver and kidney tonic. It is also a stimulant, so the tops have historically been used as a snuff. Today, herbalists use it for the treatment of colds and flu. It also intensifies action of other herbs used with it in various combinations. Try it as a nice cold remedy tea in combination with peppermint! The root is a natural anesthestic, useful for toothaches.
GROWING TIPS: Easy to grow and requires management to prevent it from becoming invasive. Grows virtually anywhere in North America, zones 3-10, in moist or dry soil and once established is drought tolerate so it is a good candidate for xeriscapes. Direct seed in spring or fall.