Yarrow to the Rescue!

May 5, 2021

Sunday is always plant-watering day here and this past Sunday seemed (almost) warm enough to put my buddies outside for a little bit of sunshine. With a glass jug of water in hand, I stepped outside onto my patio and I’m not even sure what happened next – it happened so fast – my foot slipped on the step and I went flying headfirst towards the granite slabs.

The glass jug, still in my hand smashed into pieces and all I saw was blood spurting everywhere. I have to admit, I was in a bit of shock seeing all that blood. I eventually saw it was mostly coming from my pinkie which was gaping open, but still thankfully attached.

I went and grabbed some towels, took a few deep breaths, and then I heard The Voice say “Yarrow!!”

Yarrow is known for many medicinal properties but is famous for staunching blood (also called Soldier’s Woundwort). So, I looked to the spot where I’d planted some, grabbed a few leaves, made a quick poultice, and applied it to the wounds (after cleaning, of course).

The bleeding stopped rather quickly and then I wrapped it with more Yarrow inside the bandage. Later on, I washed it out with an Echinacea tincture and added some Turmeric to the Yarrow.

Stitches may or may not have been in order but I opted out of that whole experience.

I made myself a cup of Lemon Balm and Chamomile tea because I was shaking like a leaf thinking about what could have happened.

Last year when I moved here I brought along a huge pot of Yarrow who had survived three winters up on the bleak rooftop of my city apartment building. She flowered every summer and I was able to nibble on her leaves and make medicine. I promised her a better life in New Hampshire.

Miss Yarrow overwintered here on my patio and about a month ago I finally took her out of the pot, plucked off the dead leaves, and put her in the ground. A couple of weeks later I was clearing out a space for an herb garden near where she was planted. No sign of her. I got down on my knees and said “Yarrow, where are you?” The next morning about a dozen leaves had poked their way through the soil.¬† She had heard me. ūüôā

A friend came over the next day to help me with some yard work and I told him what had happened. Not exactly a plant person, he just nodded and went about his work. I came back about twenty minutes later to find that he had completely dug up the entire area, including where the Yarrow was. I swear to God, my heart stopped. My poor friend, I’m sure, didn’t know what had hit him because I lost my you-know-what.

Everything was in a pile of dirt in a wheelbarrow. I sifted through it as best I could but only found a few Yarrow leaves with roots attached. I gently pushed them back into the earth. The good news is that they’ve taken hold again. Yarrow is a survivor plant. It’s why her medicine is so potent. It doesn’t like fussy rich soil and seems to grow in the most unlikely of places.

The next day I was out raking and not getting much done because with almost every stroke of the rake I would uncover a plant and have to get down on my knees to investigate. And there she was, just barely visible (her leaves are like soft, delicate tiny feathers or ferns) and literally growing all over the hill – Yarrow, AKA Achillea millefolium.

I cannot begin to describe the joy of finding my favorite plant (I know, they’re all special) growing wild where I live.

For so many years I’ve had to order dried herbs online and all the while I would fantasize about living somewhere where Mother Nature thrived right outside my door.

Next came my discovery of a plant that I’d never harvested before and have been wanting to work with – Violet! My friend in Pennsylvania had told me they were out where she lives and so I had my eyes peeled and now I’ve found her. The tiny purple flowers have bloomed and I’ve been nibbling on a few of them (leaves and flowers) each day. Violet is a wonderful tonic for the heart, and who doesn’t need that right now?

I’ve known since I moved here that Mullein is prolific (also a survivor plant) and though she was covered with snow for months when the snow melted there were her soft velvety leaves, still alive and ready for a cup of tea (or, yes, to be used as toilet paper in the wild).

Mullein has many health properties but is probably best known as a lung healer. I can’t help but think how much of a gift this plant is right now because grief is said to reside in the lungs and there is so much grief in the world right now.

At first, I thought I would have to name the hill that The Bear Den is perched on Mullein Hill because it’s so bountiful. But, now that spring is here and I see Yarrow everywhere and Daffodils everywhere (hundreds of them!) and wild strawberries everywhere I just don’t know what to call it.

It will be interesting when all of the strawberries pop to see what animals show up. This is bear country and I happen to know that bears love strawberries. So do I.

I want to mention an important property of Yarrow. It is an amazing plant for healing all kinds of issues with the blood and is very beneficial for any menstrual imbalances and blood clotting. I don’t know if you are aware of this but in addition to thousands of vaccinated women suffering unusual menstrual irregularities, thousands of unvaccinated women (worldwide) have been reporting that their menstrual cycles have been wildly disturbed after being around vaccinated individuals.

There is something very strange going on and although it’s not being covered in the mainstream media, it’s a very real phenomenon. I know of three women personally experiencing this.

I’m wondering if Yarrow might be helpful.

Matthew Wood, in “The Book of Herbal Wisdom” states “Yarrow has long been considered a remedy for the wounded warrior, but it is also a remedy for the wounded healer.” I had never heard of this plant until a couple of years ago when she came roaring into my life. Now, she reigns supreme in my love of plants. I’m nibbling on one of her leaves while writing this.

If you want an in-depth look at Yarrow, Matthew Wood writes an entire captivating chapter. This book is one of my all-time favorite plant books. Evidently, I’m not alone in thinking this is one special plant.

Each day I make a new discovery poking around. I feel like my head is either looking up to the sky, chattering with the birds, or down at the ground, searching for green treasures. Yesterday I found St. John’s Wort. Another important plant.

I am immensely grateful to have food and medicine growing all around me, and a mountain spring just a couple of miles down the road. And though almost slicing a finger off wasn’t fun, it reminded me of the wonder that Nature is and how blessed we are by her healing.

Much love,
Barbara

P.S. Please be sure to always properly identify plants before consuming them or even touching them. One of Yarrow’s lookalikes (although they really are quite different) is Water Hemlock which is extremely poisonous and deadly. Also, allergic reactions are always a possibility.

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