One of the best herbs to have on hand is the lowly yarrow. From mid-summer to early fall, yarrow is in bloom, with its….well… less than beautiful fragrance….in fact, it reminds me of the kitty litter box sometimes. What I do love is the amazing healing properties that it holds in store!
Last year as I was cutting yarrow with my knife, harvesting for the year to come, not paying much attention to what I was doing, like I should have, I looked down to see the blood dripping, rather quickly from a very deep cut.
This wasn’t my sharpest knife, but I hadn’t felt the cut because I had been gathering yarrow long enough that it anesthetized, or numbed my fingers. Just a reminder that a strong yarrow salve can be perfect for spreading on a wound, as well for a little relief from wounds and even stitches going in.
So gather your yarrow (remember you need the white topped variety for it’s medicinal properties) and lets begin.
Step One: Gather your Yarrow
Using a sturdy pair of scissors, cut about the top 2/3 of the stem and flowers. Wash and allow them to dry.
Step Two: Hang your Yarrow as a bunch to dry for about two weeks in a well ventilated area. Like so:
Step Three: Crush Your Newly Dried Herb
Place your dried yarrow in a mortar and pestle to crush, or place it in a ziploc bag, and run a rolling pin over it, until it is a medium, coarsely chopped herb. This allows a great surface area to be exposed to those pulling abilities of the oil.
Then cover to at 1/2″ above your herb with a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Organic Sunflower Oil.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and shake it. Make sure in the first day or so, that your herb is freely moving in the oil, if it needs more to do so, add in a little more.
Step Four: Let it Steep for 4-6 Weeks
Label and Date your jar, and place your newly prepared herbal oil in a dark, cool cupboard, where you are likely to run across it often. Every time you do, give the jar a shake. This helps in releasing those herbal properties into the oil, and makes sure the herb is still moving freely.
Step Five: Decant and Store or Use
At the end of the 4-6 week period (I find six weeks makes a very strong oil), pour your concoction through a strainer, and if you’re lucky enough to have chickens like I do, take those herbs out to them!
Here are some of the uses for Yarrow Salve (Always test on a test spot first):
- Bee Stings
- Mosquito Bites
- Hives (Keep in mind if you are having an allergic reaction, you ought to talk with your healthcare provider first.)
- Bleeding for minor cuts, and can numb the pain
- Rashes (Mixed with Comfrey Infused Oil in your salve would make a powerful team for this)
- Bug Bites
NOT TO BE USED IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING!
- 4 parts Yarrow Infused Oil (You can buy it directly from me here: Yarrow Infused Oil
- 1 Part Beeswax
Melt together in a double boiler over low heat. This can take a half hour, but a higher heat may destroy what you’ve worked so hard to make.
Mix well, and pour into tins or containers. Label with Ingredients, and the date. A salve will typically keep for 6-18 months if kept in a cool dark place.
Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration, healthcare professional, or even the town gossip.
This is not medical advice, and these statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Herbs and Wildcrafting is for educational purposes only.