Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is a persistent, herbaceous plant. It reaches a growth height of mostly 7 – 70 cm. The common yarrow runs through the meadows with long underground runners from which unbranched stalks shoot out. The leaves, which are double pinnate and alternate, smell strongly aromatic.
The small flower heads stand in dense umbrella-like inflorescences. The individual flower heads are composed of a few yellowish-white tubular flowers and usually five white or pink tongue flowers.
Occurrence Common yarrow
Yarrow is a typical plant of warm meadows, pastures, semi-dry grasslands and also fields with medium nutrient content.
Effect Common yarrow
Since the Middle Ages yarrow has had a high status and was used by Hildegard von Bingen in particular for wound healing.
The orders of the Benedictines used it as a yeast wort for brewing beer before hops. As a dye it is responsible for yellow and moss-green tones. In many places it is part of the Maundy Thursday vegetable dish or of soups which are supposed to protect against diseases and give strength.
Yarrow contains essential oils, bitter substances and tannins. These stimulate the digestive juices and help with cramps in the gastrointestinal tract in humans and animals. It is instinctively eaten by sick sheep in particular.
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