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Yarrow is the herb of a million flowers, thanks to its prolific foliage.
This wild edible has been used in food and medicine since ancient times, and it is still a commonly used herb today.
It has a rough, angular stem with long, dark-green, feathery leaves. The flowers are white or pale lilac that resembles an umbellifer.
Habitat and Distribution
Found in grasslands, meadows, pastures, and along roadsides.
Parts Used for Food
Leaves and flowers.
Spring to Autumn.
Food Uses of Yarrow
Its peppery foliage and bitter leaves and flowers bring an aromatic flavour to salads.
The leaves can be used in almost any dish as a vegetable, added to soups and sauces, or simply boiled and simmered in butter as a side dish.
The flowering tops can be sprinkled on salads and dishes as a condiment or decoration.
Pick, wash and dry some handfuls of young leaves. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the leaves and simmer for 20 minutes. Then drain the leaves and chop them up, melt a knob of butter in a small saucepan, add the chopped leaves along with salt and pepper, Stir for 5 minutes, then serve.
Herbal Medicine Uses of Yarrow
Known as Herba militaris by the ancient Romans who used the wild herb to stop bleeding from cuts and wounds.
Yarrow was also called soldiers’ woundwort and staunch grass due to its ability to staunch bleeding.
In herbal medicine, it was valued as an astringent herb for scratches, cuts, wounds and sores.
Other Uses of Yarrow
Dried leaves were once used as a substitute for tobacco. As well as divining sticks when consulting the I-Ching.
Yarrow may cause skin irritation in some people. It is best avoided during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
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