Yarrow tincture with its large spectrum of uses helps elevate cold and flu, ease menstrual cramps or digestion. Despite its many uses and benefits, this potent herbal formula is easy to make and requires just two ingredients.
How to use Yarrow
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a medicinal herb that has been used and known for centuries. Some herbalists call yarrow a panacea, an herb that can address many different conditions. As its other names (warrior plant, nosebleed) suggest Yarrow has been used externally as a first-aid herb to stop bleeding and heal wounds in battlefields. Internally to relieve stagnant blood conditions such as varicose veins or blisters. It also provides cold and flu relief. Yarrow is a herb that can help with urinary tract infections or supporting healthy digestion.
In addition to all the yarrow's therapeutic effects, there is one more interesting thing. This versatile medicinal herb grows all over the world. All parts (leaves, flowers and roots) of Achillea millefolium herb are medicinal and can be harvested from spring to autumn.
Yarrow tincture can be made of fresh or dried yarrow blossoms, leaves or roots. We will explore their therapeutic actions so you can decide what part of the plant you want to use to your best benefits.
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When collecting the flowers, search for fully opened ones that have not turned brown yet. The harvesting window for flowers starts in mid of spring to mid of autumn.
Yarrow blossoms contain aromatic oils such as Chamazulene and Camphor, that have anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and digestive properties.
Leaves of yarrow
Leaves are the most potent in early spring before the plant starts to bloom. However you can harvest them any time of the year. They are rich in tannins that contain antibacterial and antiviral properties and are useful for healing wounds and injuries.
Tincture can be made also from yarrow root, that is best to collect in autumn. The root is analgesic and used for pain related issues such as toothache.
To make yarrow tincture one needs to be able to identify yarrow. It is important for you to become familiar with Yarrow as it can be easily misidentified with Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) that smells like carrot or poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) which is extremely toxic!
If you are not familiar with the herb I suggest you order them dried in organic quality from Mountain rose herbs.
How to make a yarrow tincture
While making yarrow tea is a very effective way to enjoy the medicinal benefits of yarrow, its taste is somewhat bitter and for some people hard to take. Tinctures are a great way to implement yarrow in your daily routine. And you need just a few drops that can be added to juice or other flavored drink thus covering the bitter taste.
By soaking yarrow in alcohol for several weeks you will get concentrated herbal extract packed with active substances. They are one of the most traditional and convenient ways to prepare and preserve herbs.
Fresh or dried yarrow for a tincture?
When it comes to yarrow you can use fresh or dried material. I prefer to use dried for two reasons. By drying the herb you will get rid of moisture that can cause the tincture to go bad. Thus extending its shelf life.
If you are using dried yarrow you can use 40 % alcohol as a menstruum whereas when you use fresh you will need stronger alcohol, about 95%.
The choice is yours. Make sure you follow the steps on how to harvest and dry yarrow for tincture.
If you foraged your yarrow it takes an additional 3 days to air dry the herb.
Place dried yarrow flowers and leaves into a sterilized jar filling it ⅕ . I crush the leaves and flowers between my fingers to increase the surface area for the maceration.
If you are using fresh herbs, fill the jar up to ½.
Pour in 80 proof vodka (40 % alcohol) to fill the jar almont to the top, leaving just 2 inches below.
When using fresh yarrow, use 95% alcohol instead).
alcohol 40% = 80 proof ethanol, ethyl alcohol or grain spirit,
Cover the jar with a plastic lid. If you have one with a metal lid at hand, use parchment paper in between to avoid any corrosion. Cover the jar and set it in a cool place that is easy to reach.
Shake it occasionally and check from time to time if the leaves and stems are covered completely with alcohol. It may evaporate and you will need to add it up.
Let it extract for 6-8 weeks. Strain the tincture using a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth. Make sure all herbal pieces are removed from the tincture as they may lead to the development of mould and spoilage.
Label and store the tincture in a dark bottle with a dropper in a cold place. It can last up to 5 years.
yarrow tincture benefits
for colds and flu relief
Yarrow tincture promotes sweating and lowers fever by stimulating the skin pores to open. Just a few drops of tincture every hour helps aleviate the symptoms of cold and flu
First aid to heal wounds
Yarrow tincture provides a complex action to heal cuts, wounds, bruises or other injuries. With its antimicrobial and anti-inflamatory properties yarrow tincture is a number one solution for your first aid kit. Gently wash the wound, dilute the yarrow tincture with water and apply topically. If you prefer to use the first aid salve instead this yarrow salve is just perfect.
Sore throat relief
Gargle the tincture for sore throat relief
Improves blood flow
Achillea millefolium tincture improves circulation and blood flow when used internally. If you suffer from varicose veins or burst blood vessels this yarrow tincture improves the walls of blood vessels.
Urinary Tract Infections
Yarrow tincture is an important player when it comes to urinary infections. When you drink yarrow tincture in a juice of cold water you will be forced to pee more often. Yarrow tincture possesses antimicrobial properties that together with diuretic action help your body to clean.
Its bitter taste stimulates the digestive organs and promotes healthy digestion. Take the yarrow tincture before meals diluted in water to prepare your body for proper digestion. It can improve poor appetite and increase digestive secretions.
Regular use of this tincture together with a high fiber diet can decrease the chance of forming gallstones.
For women's health
Achillea millefolium tincture eases menstrual cramping and helps during menopause with hormone shifts.
Excellent mosquito repellent, yarrow tincture makes for very efficient mosquito spray as yarrow tincture repels mosquitoes.
How To Use Yarrow Tincture?
Use 2-5 ml/day split into 3 doses. You can either take it under your tongue for quick action or dilute it in water. You should not drink any other liquid afterward to keep it the most concentrated.
If you want to use it for kids, use glycerin instead of alcohol
Yarrow Tincture Side Effects
The yarrow tincture is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. It may also cause some allergies to people sensitive to herbs from the Asteraceae family. Consult with a medical provider before using any herbal preparation.
Yarrow is effective when applied topically on wounds. It could also be applied in the form of oil or salve if the tincture causes any irritation. Test it in a small patch before using it fully.
If you want to make an alcohol-free tincture you can replace alcohol with vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar.
If stored properly in a dark and dry place away from direct sunlight like a kitchen cabinet it can last up to 5 years.