Yarrow ☤ The Wounded Healer

Yarrow Monograph

Latin name:  Achillea millefolium 


Common name(s): Yarrow, Staunchgrass, Soldier's wort, Millefoil, Bloodwort 


Plant family: Asteraceae (Composite / Daisy family)


Plant Type: Perennial herb                    

Habitat: Western Asia & Europe

Taste: Bitter, Astringent, pungent 

Planetary association:  Moon, Mars, Scorpio & Gemini

Parts Used: Aerial parts, fresh or dried.

Key Properties:  Diaphoretic, Antipyretic (reduces fever), Hypotensive, Antiseptic, Hemostatic (stops bleeding), Aromatic Bitter and carminative, Restorative and regulatory for the menstrual system.


The latin genus name for Yarrow is Achillea, derived from the Greek god named Achilles. During the Trojan war he used the plant to treat wounds on the battlefield stop bleeding. The species name, millefolium, means "thousand leaves" referring to the feather-like leaf texture. It is said that Yarrow can stop bleeding in wounds that cut to the bone. 

Yarrow has also been used for divinatory purposes, where she originates in Western Asia. Many of us know the I Ching, a divination practice that is configured by straight lines and broken lines. In the past the I Ching was cast using Yarrrow stalks, One of the names for this art was "The Yarrow Stalk Oracle" 

In Europe Yarrow was used for love divination. People would sleep with stalks of Yarrow beneath their pillow to dream of their potential mate.

There is lots of historical accounts of using Yarrow for protection in the physical and non-physical world. European folklore talks about Yarrow being used for psychic protection, and to ward off evil spirits. Some people will carry Yarrow with them as a protective amulet. 

We often use Yarrow as a protective plant for the dream realm, sleeping with it under the pillow or taking some tincture before bed. Useful for those who have nightmares, energetically taxing dreams, or those who struggle to get full rest because the dream realm is so active. 


Master Of The Blood

Matthew Wood coined the term "master of the blood", and we think this describes the energetics and medical properties of Yarrow perfectly. Yarrow is seen as an amphoteric in western herbalism, meaning it has the ability to increase or decrease blood flow depending on the tissue state and constitution of the individual. The effects of Yarrow can be different for different people, the action in your body depends on where blood / heat needs to be released or cultivated. In traditional texts we see yarrow being used to stop bleeding, we also know that yarrow dilates capillary vessels and tones (astringes) blood vessels. The dualistic action of dilating and toning the circulatory tissues gives Yarrow a unique ability to respond to each individual on a personal basis.

As a side note, Yarrow is one of the best herbs to have in a first aid kit. For scrapes and cuts, headaches, fevers and PMS symptoms; it is also safe for children. Yarrow is possibly the best herbal remedy we have to stop bleeding. Useful for deep wounds, for "cuts to the bone"; a quality reflected in the physical appearance of the leaves. The leaves are deeply lobed, almost directly to the stem. This correspondence is related to the Doctrine of Signatures, a system of profiling plants based on their appearance looking like the organ or issue they treat.  

I can attest to this action from personal experience; I once cut about 1/3 of my fingertip clean off. While blood was pouring from my wound, I had to decide; go to the hospital to have it cauterized, or go to the medicine garden to find some Yarrow. I chose the latter, and I was so glad; after making a poultice and applying pressure, the bleeding stopped within 20 minutes. I continued to change out the Yarrow and apply a new compress each day. I couldn't believe how fast the finger healed, with minimal scarring and only a minor loss of sensation. Even the nail grew back!

Cardiovascular System

One of Yarrow's ruling planets is Mars, Mars influences the heat in our bodies. Think fevers, inflammation, high blood pressure, swelling, anything red coloured. Mars is also associated with the reproductive system and the vital energy of Qi. Yarrow has the ability to dilate blood vessels, allowing heat (inflammation) to leave the body; this action also lowers blood pressure. Another amazing use for Yarrow is hemorrhoids; which is actually an issue with the vasculature of the colon, not the digestive tract itself. We recommend using yarrow topically in combination with Witch Hazel. 

Menstrual System

One of the astrological rulers of Yarrow is Scorpio; who rules the reproductive organs and the lower bowels. This means that the actions of Yarrow have a more potent effect or affinity to those organ systems and the effect of the plant will be strongly influential on those specific tissues, more than other organ systems. treats heat/excitation in the reproductive tract. Tissues will be inflamed and there may be hormonal overstimulation, causing excess bleeding, pain and tenderness in the pelvis and uterus. PMS symptoms related to heat/excitation are irritability, frustration, anger, short temperedness. People with this type of imbalance may experience spotting between periods, red inflamed acne, hyperactivity. Yarrow with its bitter cooling nature, cools inflamed tissues and 

Respiratory System & Immunity

Yarrow is well suited to treat upper respiratory tract infections, it tones mucous membranes and is antiseptic. You can use yarrow to treat cold & flu symptoms, and it is excellent at breaking a fever. The remedy is also safe to use with children. 

Magical Uses

This is where Yarrow's lunar correspondences are illuminated. For energetic protection, visualizing a crown of white yarrow flowers around one's head can help create mental clarity and dispel negative thoughts or psychic attacks. The flower essences of white, yellow and red yarrow are all beneficial for creating more clear energetic boundaries with white being useful for general protection, red for the protection of the heart, and yellow for outgoing people who tend to withdraw to avoid being affected by other people's energy. Yarrow included in a dream tea before bed can be useful for protection in the dream realm.

Fun Fact: The essential oil of Yarrow is blue, due to a chemical called chamazulene


Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: the Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Popham, Sajah.

Www.evolutionaryherbalism.com, 2018.

Zalewski, C. L. Herbs in Magic and Alchemy: Techniques from Ancient Herbal Lore. Unity Press, 1991.

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