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Herb info 12/2017: Yarrow.

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Herb card 12.2017: Yarrow. I've been doing herbal lectures for years. Long ago I used to ask people to do "homework". They were to get five herb books and look up yarrow in each. Next, they should make a list of organ systems (urinary tract, digestion, immune system etc.). And they should tally yarrow's effects against any organ system it would be effective on. If, by the end of book five, there still were blank spots, they were to pick up another three herb books. (I don't know if anybody ever did this, but it's a nice exercise. I did something quite like it for my book "Practical Herbs".)

Yarrow is good for almost anything. It strengthens the immune system, it helps the liver and the digestion, it's good for lung grunges and urinary troubles — it might even do your taxes for you.

When I studied to become a herbalist many years ago, our teacher (Michael Moore at the SWSBM in AZ, USA) told us "If you don't know what to give to somebody, have them take yarrow for four weeks. Then, check what's left of their problems."

Herbalist Christopher Hedley in London told me of an old practitioner, who during his many decades as a practising herbalist slowly but surely reduced the number of herbs he used. At long last he gave yarrow to all comers, and all got better. (Herbs can be more or less effective, depending on the herbalist handing them out. I expect yarrow was "his" herb.)

Give yarrow as a tea, a tincture, a vinegar or why not as an infused oil or salve. They all work.

And use the root for toothache. It needs to be fairly recent (no more than 1–2 years in your cupboard), else it won't work. Chew on a 5 cm (2") piece of the thicker, browner root. Your toothache should stop within 15 minutes. If it comes back, see a dentist.


Henriette's herb cards: buy yours here!

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