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a plant of the genus Achillea, perennial herbs of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
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 family), native to north temperate regions. Several species are cultivated as ornamentals for their flat-topped clusters of flowers and scented foliage. The common yarrow (A. millefolium), also called milfoil, has white flowers in the wild, but there are also pinkish varieties in cultivation. Yarrow was a love charm of high repute, and in Greek mythology Achilles (hence the generic name) used the plant to heal the wounds of his soldiers and to stop bleeding. Native Americans also used the plant medicinally, particularly as a treatment for earache. The use of yarrow in folk medicine is based on its apparent anti-inflammatory and coagulatory properties. Some yarrows are among the plants imparting a disagreeable taste to milk when grazed by cows. Water milfoils are unrelated freshwater aquatic perennials of the genus Myriophyllum, sometimes grown in aquariums and ponds; Eurasian water milfoil is a pest species in some U.S. inland waters. Yarrow is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
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Entire plant is somewhat hairy. Grows to 2 ft high (75cm) Thin, lacy, fern-like leaves, white flowers, sometimes pink, purple or red, in flat clusters that stagger (do not radiate from same point on stem) Roots crawl. Each flower resembles a tiny daisy. Dry entire plant used as tea for stomach problems, colds, flu, cramps, fevers, liver, kidney disorders, diabetes, toothaches, skin irritations, hemorrhages, regulate menses, stimulate bile flow, stomach ulcers, abdominal cramps, fibroid tumors, relaxes and relieves pain, abscesses, trauma, bleeding, inflammation, eases anxiety, stomach cramps, bloating, gas, bladder, infection, boils, burns, bites, diarrhea, dysentery, vasodilator, high blood pressure, cleans blood, insomnia, menstrual cramps, bleeding gums, toothache Even used as hair shampoo. Pick some and let it dry. Make tea with it. Tastes nasty but works. Astringent, so it stops internal and external bleeding. Some say yarrow tea placed on head stops hair loss. Has over a dozen anti-inflammatory and antibiotic compounds. Younger leaves near the top can be eaten raw or cooked, but safer to not eat raw but can be used as tea- the heat dissipates the toxins. Eat flowers sparingly. Some people have reactions, so test first. Do not drink tea for more than 2 weeks or it can be toxic to liver. Do not consume if pregnant. Can be used as insect repellant by burning or tincture. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect attacks. Also improves soil fertility.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Yarrow is also known by the folk names Arrowroot, Bad Man's Plaything, Carpenter's Weed, Death Flower, Devil's Nettle, Field Hops, Hundred Leaved Grass, Lady's Mantle, Milfoil, Nosebleed, Old Man's Mustard, Seven Year's Love, Snake's Grass, Tansy, Wound Wort, and Yarroway. It is used in many magical spells for protection, to gain courage, for developing psychic powers, for love and, in company with other herbs, for exorcism. Yarrow is ruled by the planet Venus and associated with water.

Yarrow is frequently used in a talisman for protection. When such a talisman is worn, it gives the wearer a feeling of self-confidence and courage. It is said that by carrying yarrow with you, anyone you wish to see or hear from will think of you and contact you. Drinking an infusion of yarrow will help develop your psychic powers.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


any of several plants of the genus Achillea, esp A. millefolium, of Eurasia, having finely dissected leaves and flat clusters of white flower heads: family Asteraceae (composites)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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