Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a wide ranging species of plant that is found throughout North America as well as Asia, Europe and introduced as far away as New Zealand and Australia. Yarrow comes in many varieties which results in it having appearance differences depending on which part of the country it is found.
Yarrow is an erect perennial that produces one to several stems which grow up to 3 feet tall. The plant puts out a a spreading rhizomatous (root). The leaves are evenly distributed along the stem but the leaves in the middle and bottom of the stem will be larger than the leaves higher up the stem. The leave, up to 7 inches long are arrange spirally on the steam.
The plant has numerous small white to pink flowers. The flowers grow in a flat-topped cluster.
Yarrow is a good plant to have in your fields if you have grazing livestock available.
The leaves of Yarrow serve to help open wounds or nose bleeds clot. The aerial parts stimulate circulation, and can be used for such things as high blood pressure, menstrual disorders, and as an effective sweating remedy to bring down fevers.
For colds and fever use fresh or dried yarrow as a tea.
Yarrow is reported to intensifies the medicinal stength of herbs taken with it but I can not confirm this. Yarrow is also reported to be useful medically for pain, antiphlogistic, bleeding, gastrointestinal disorders and stomachaches.
The Navajo chewed it for toothaches, and poured an infusion into ears for earaches. The Miwok in California used the plant as an analgesic and head cold remedy.
Caution: Yarrow can cause severe allergic skin rashes in some people and prolonged use can increase the skin's photosensitivity.