Names: milfoil, thousandleaf, sneezewort, sanguinary, nosebleed, soldier’s woundwort, stop bleeding herb, sanguinary, thousand leaf, thousand-leaved clover, bloodwort, wound herb; Seven year’s love, old man’s mustard, military herb, old man’s pepper, thousand seal, hundred-leaved grass, arrow root, eerie, ladies’ mantle, knyghten, stanch weed, field hops, gearwe, yarroway, devil’s plaything, snake’s grass, death flower, stanch griss; Carpenter’s Herb, carpenter’s grass, gordoloba, green arrow, dog daisy, Plumajillo
Properties: anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, hemostatic, hypotensive, tonic.
History: Achilles reputedly used yarrow to heal wounds of the Greek troops during the Trojan War, hence its botanical name. It has been used for this purpose for centuries and in Scotland a traditional wound ointment was made from yarrow. Other names, which generally describe yarrow’s ability to stop bleeding, include soldier’s woundwort, knight’s milfoil and herba militaris. In Medieval times, yarrow leaves were rolled and put up the nose to stop bleeding. Its finely divided leaves were the reason for another name, milfoil meaning “leaves.” In the Middle ages the name was Supercilium Veneris or the “eyebrow of Venus”. Yarrow was reportedly the first herb placed in the baby Jesus’ hand, perhaps to signal both his healing powers and vulnerability.