Yarrow is a member of the sunflower and daisy family that comes in a wide variety of colors, depending on species. Although the herb is native to temperate regions in Asia, Europe and North America, it is also a popular ornamental garden plant elsewhere.
The entire plant was used by various Native American tribes for skin complaints, and the Zuni chewed the flowers prior to eating or walking over fire. Dried yarrow blossoms are used today to produce infused oils, salves and ointments.
Yarrow is a hardy perennial in the sunflower family that is native to Eurasia. The herb has a long history of use that began with the ancient Greeks. In fact, according to legend, Achilles, a hero of the Trojan War, used yarrow to staunch the bleeding of his soldier’s wounds. Myth or not, the herb’s genus name of Achillea is in honor of the brave warrior.
Traditionally, yarrow flowers are used topically in poultices and skin washes. The flowers are also in teas and to make tinctures, often in combination with other herbs. The actions of yarrow are owing to a number of active compounds, including azulene, cineole, saponins and plant sterols.