Yarrow Uses Achillea millefolium
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Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium )
Classifications: Diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant, analgesic, mild aromatic, blood purifier, anesthetic, immune-stimulant.
Yarrow is believed to help boost the human immune system, treat wounds, and common illnesses. The herb has a long history of use among many cultures as a medicinally active plant. Native Americans believed in Yarrow's healing power and also used it is a recreational stimulant, a blood purifier, an acid balancer, and more.
A French pharmacist known as Hendri Leroux, and Raffaele Piria, an Italian chemist first isolated the active alkaloids of the Salicylic family in 1828. Yarrow contains the alkaloid Salicylic acid which is highly soluble in water. It's a white, crystalline, solid organic compound that exist naturally in multiple plants of many species in nature. It's also used in the production of synthetic over the counter pharmaceutical products like aspirin.
A Greek physician known as Hippocrates discussed extracts from Willow Bark in the 4th century BC, extracts that contained the same family of alkaloids found in Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium). Hippocrates spoke of the power the extract had for easing aches, pains, and reducing fevers. What's truly incredible about these alkaloids is that they occur in many holistic plants within nature. A few of the other plant species that contain these alkaloids include: meadowsweet ( Filipendula ulmaria ), White Willow ( Salix alba ) and Rosemary.
I think these holistic health pratices that make use of plants should be mainstream knowledge. So many people laugh at the idea of holistic medicine. They don't understand that there is science behind it, as well as a successful history of use. Phytochemist have been isolating and studying compounds from these plants for some time now. The big pharmaceutical companies also have a great interest in these natural wonders. Many modern pharmaceutical drugs are made thanks to plants. Nature is a pharmacy that has been in buisness way longer than these big companies have.
Tea or Tincture
There are various ways to use Yarrow and other herbs. The more research you do, the more you'll notice that tea's are used for certain ailments, while tinctures are often suggested for others. The truth is that it depends on the active phytochemicals needed for the desired treatment that decide which form of medicine is most beneficial. This is because certain pharmacological compounds are soluble in water, while others are only soluble in alcohol.
Herbalists recommend Yarrow tea for severe colds, being most beneficial for reducing fevers by inducing sweating. One ounce of dried herb is mixed with 1 pint of water. A low temperature and long duration of cooking is suggested. This is because heat sometimes kills the potency of pharmacological constituents. Time is also requried to thoroughly extract the essential chemicals. On the other hand, water can not always extract certain compounds.
With this in mind, it becomes clear why there is a difference between tea's and tinctures. Tinctures also have a longer shelf life, due to the alcohol. They are made by soaking the desired plant material in high proof liquor such as everclear, for a minimum of one month. In one of the photos at the top of the page you can see this for yourself. This form of medicine ensures that as much of the compounds are extracted as possible. You can even evaporate some or most of the alcohol to concentrate it further.
There is one further addition that can be made to the process. It's an ancient chemical extraction method known as calcination. This process includes taking the remaining plant matter, burning it to ashes, and then extracting crystaline plant salts from those ashes. Essentially, it involves turning ashes into dimond like beneficial compounds. It's a very fascinating process that not everyone choses to use to their advantage.
Caution: Consumption of Yarrow tea , or the application of the herb has induced photo-sensitivity, sensitivity to light. Not to be consumed in excessive or repetative dosages. Do not consume if you have ulcers.
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Suggested books on native americans use of healing plants: Earthway: A Native American Visionary's Path to Total Mind, Body, and Spirit Health (Religion and Spirituality)
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Achillea millefolium. (2015, September 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:50, September 19, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Achillea_millefolium&oldid=681275113
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