Herb of the Month – Yarrow- Achillea
For a durable garden plant that will bloom enthusiastically in full sun, poor soil, and limited water, yarrow is hard to beat. It has ferny leaves and blooms in pink, red, yellow, and the wild form, white. Perhaps its only negative is its invasive tendencies. Put it in the back of the border or an area where nothing seems to grow.
Yarrow has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. It is very effective for halting internal and external bleeding. I have used it for cuts and nosebleeds and found it to be very effective. Just chew a fresh leaf and apply it directly to the skin. Yarrow is an antibacterial and bitter herb, used as a stomach and cardiovascular tonic and to help bring down fevers.
Yarrow stems are used in the I Ching for divination and the herb was strewn across medieval thresholds to ward off evil.
I use yarrow in my salves and for wilderness first aid. A lot of herbal books will recommend it for a tea but I find it far too bitter.
Consider it for your garden this year; just keep an eye on its colonizing tendencies.