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Yarrow salve – the first aid kit salve

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This medicinal healing yarrow salve has a wide variety of uses from wound healing to blood clotting. With its mechanism of action, it will become an essential part of your first aid kit. 

yarrow balm

Properties of yarrow

As yarrow’s Latin name (Achillea millefolium) suggests its uses go far back to Greek mythology, Today the term Achilles heel refers to weakness but the myth emphasizes the amazing power of the yarrow herb. Its other names such as warrior plant or nosebleed point to the fact that yarrow played an important role during the war as a first-aid herb to stop bleeding and heal wounds on battlefields. 

Yarrow possesses antibacterial and antiseptic properties that help the wound protect against bacteria. Moreover, the yarrow also encourages the blood cells to coagulate and stop bleeding. Thus offers a complete action for healing injuries and deserves its spot in the first aid kit. 

Topically, we can use its power in several forms such as healing yarrow oil or salve. But a simple tea bath in a yarrow tea can encourage the blood cells to coagulate and help with healing injuries. Also, a very effective way to quickly use yarrow healing power when needed is to make yarrow poultice. Simply crush fresh yarrow leaves into a pulp and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply directly to the wound or bruises and leave it there for 20 – 30 minutes. 

When you prefer to use yarrow internally I encourage you to make this potent yarrow tincture that can help you overcome cold and flu, ease digestion or menstrual cramps.

Benefits of yarrow salve


In this study, researchers demonstrated a significant anti-inflammatory effect of yarrow oil that helps to soothe the skin and restore its pH after three and seven days of treatment. 

Renenerate cells

Yarrow’s ability to increase the number of cells that are responsible for regenerating tissues has been confirmed in this study. . When yarrow salve is applied topically it helps the injuries to heal faster. 

Promotes blood circulation

Yarrow salve promotes blood circulation thus improves diseases such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  The improved circulation also prevents uric acid from accumulation in the joints and muscles, thus helping with rheumatism and arthritis.

Yarrow for wound healing

As I already explained above this healing salve offers double action for healing wounds and injuries. Its antibacterial activity protects wounds from going septic. Together with regenerating cells action yarrow salve is a go to item in your first aid kit.

first aid salve recipe


This healing yarrow salve also possesses astringent properties that allow tightening the skin and smoothing the wrinkles as well as removing excessive oil from skin.  It is also helpful in shrinking  the pores and reducing acne. 

First aid salve

The first aid salve that you want to make for your first aid kit should be antiseptic, antibacterial, healing, soothing that can be used on scrapes, cuts, minor injuries or burns. This can be achieved with herb such as yarrow but you can also use blend of herbs such as calendula or plantain. 

Tools you need to make yarrow salve

There are just few things that you need to have at your hand

Double boiler or DIY double boiler made of a medium-sized pot and a heatproof glass or metal bowl

Kitchen scale

Salve tins or mason jar

How to make yarrow salve

If you have already yarrow oil at your disposal you can skip the first three steps and start with the fourth step right away.

First step – gather yarrow

Make sure you are familiar with the yarrow herb and you are comfortable with its identification. Look at the tips on how to harvest yarrow otherwise or order the dried yarrow from mountain rose herbs.

You can use yarrow leaves and/or flowers. I like to use both as each contains different properties that can help with healing and soothing the wounds. Yarrow blossoms contain aromatic oils (chamazulene or camphor) that possess  anti inflammatory and astringent properties.  Leaves, on the other hand are rich in tannins that are antibacterial thus useful in healing wounds.

yarrow blossoms

Second step – drying yarrow

You can air dry it or use a dehydrator. I would encourage you to use dried yarrow herb when making an herbal oil. Fresh material contains moisture that may cause the oil to turn rancid. Infused oils made of dried herbs tend to last longer.

yarrow oil
yarrow oil

Third step – make yarrow oil

Soothing and healing yarrow oil nourishes and restores the skin. It becomes the base of our healing first aid salve. If you prefer to use the herb blends instead you can mix dried calendula and dried plantain with dried yarrow material and infuse it in the oil. 

You can choose the infusion method as per your convenience. I prefer the old school infusion that requires at least 2 weeks time to extract valuable herbal material to the oil. You can skip these two weeks and infuse the herbs with heat and double boiler for 4-5 hours instead.  

yarrow salve recipe
making yarrow oil

Fourth step – making yarrow salve

Use a double boiler and bring an inch or two of water to a simmer.

Add beeswax into a bowl and let it melt. Once melted remove it from the heat and gently add yarrow oil. We don’t want the oil to be exposed to very high temperatures.

yarrow salve benefits
adding yarrow oil into DIY double boiler

Fifth step

Mix it slowly to make a homogenous mixture.

Add essential oil towards the end of the process

yarrow salve uses
adding essential oil into yarrow salve

Sixth step

Fill it into a sterilised container and label it

Note: store it in the cold and dry place or keep it in the fridge for up to 1 year.

first aid salve recipe
filling mixture into glass conteiner

Side effects of yarrow salve

The yarrow salve can cause an allergy reaction especially for people that have an allergic reaction to herbs from the Asteraceae family. So start with the small amount on the skin to test it.

How to use this yarrow salve

  • You should have it at your disposal when needed. I carry it with me on trips, holidays, or any other outdoor activity or sport. I like to use a small container that is easy to pack into my rucksack. 
  • Apply on scrapes, small bruises or just to soothe the skin irritation. 
  • I like to carry with me also this DIY mosquito repellent and homemade sunscreen to be prepared. 
properties of yarrow salve
Yield: 60 ml (2 ounces)

Yarrow salve - the first aid kit salve

yarrow salve benefits

This medicinal healing yarrow salve has a wide variety of uses from wound healing to blood clotting. With its mechanism of action, it will become an essential part of your first aid kit.

Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Difficulty Easy


Making yarrow oil

  1. Grind dried yarrow leaves and blossoms between your fingers to make them into small pieces
  2. Fill the sterilized glass jar with dried yarrow
  3. Pour over jojoba oil so all dried material is covered completely
  4. Cover the jar and place it in the sun or in a warm place for 2 weeks. 
  5. Then filter through a cheesecloth, squeeze out the rest, 
  6. store the oil in dark bottles away from direct sunlight.  

Making yarrow salve

  1. melt the beeswax in the double boiler, once it is completely melted, remove it from the heat and let it cool down to 50 C (122 F). 
  2. mix it slowly with yarrow oil
  3. you can warm it up a bit to ensure the mixture is homogenous.
  4. Lastly, add tea tree essential oil.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 60 ml (2 ounces) glass container
  6. Store it in a cold and dry place.


Label it and keep it in your first aid kit for up to 1 year.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Collection of salves, creams & body butters for you

Collection of salves, creams & body butters for you

Vladka Merva on October 3rd, 2021

1 Comment on “Yarrow salve – the first aid kit salve”

  1. I’ve never used dried yarrow leaves but this would be a killer addition to my medicine cupboard! Right now I use dandelion oil for cuts and whatnot, this might be a good switch up.


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