The other day Mathew came to me and told me his nose was bleeding.
Here’s how our conversation went:
Me: “What happened?”
Mathew: “Well, I was picking my nose like I usually do and I pulled out a big piece and it had blood on it.”
Me: “What did you do with it?”
Mathew: “I ate it of course.”
Me: “Can I put yarrow up your nose to stop the bleeding?”
I picked several long yarrow leaves and crushed them between my fingers to release the alkaloids, which have styptic/ hemostatic properties; in other words, the alkaloids help stop bleeding. I gently put the long leaves up each nostril making sure part of it was still hanging out for easy removal. Within two minutes, the bleeding had stopped.
I didn’t really know Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), before this year. I bought some for my garden since we didn’t have any growing on our land. One benefit among yarrow’s many is that its roots’ secretions will activate the disease resistance of nearby plants; and it intensifies the medicinal actions of herbs; therefore, making healing plants more powerful. It seemed like a good plant for our medicinal garden.
Unfortunately, after it was planted, and started to bloom, I noticed the blossoms were a beautiful deep red, not cream colored, which I read has the strongest medicinal properties. In general, ornamental species are bred for smell or color, not usually for medicinal value. Fortunately, the variety of yarrow we have still has the hemostatic properties we need for a bloody nose.
Yarrow’s uses have been noted throughout history. It’s Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is derived from Achilles, the Greek god who used this versatile herb to stop wounds from bleeding during the Trojan wars. It was once a sacred plant in ancient China, as it was valued as the perfect union of yin and yang energies, because the hard strong stem is filled with a soft pith. Interestingly, the 50 wooden sticks in the I-Ching ritual, which are used to make key decisions, were made from yarrow stems.
Yarrow’s folk name – nosebleed – also attests to its long-standing use as a styptic to stop bleeding. In addition, it has the ability to stop blood flow internally as well as externally. Today, yarrow is one of the best-known herbal remedies for fevers, the flu, stomachaches, sore throats, menstrual problems, as well as to improve circulation and strengthen weak veins.
Recently, I read that yarrow is a great insect repellent. So, I have tinctured some and will let you know how that works out. I look forward to getting better acquainted with yarrow. Please share your experiences, too.
PS: Mathew gave his permission to print this very personal blog.
All information is shared for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.