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Yarrow


      Yarrow:  Distinctive in both appearance and aroma, Yarrow is popular in perennial flower beds.  It has lovely fernlike foliage and is covered with silky or wooly hairs.  It has numerous white flower heads that resemble miniature daisies. 

Yarrow is a very old herb.  It has been said that fossils of the herb were identified in Neanderthal burial caves.  It was used in ancient China, in field hospitals at Troy, the Trojan war (some 3,000 years ago) and the American Civil War.  Yarrow was an important medicinal plant through the ages.  It also has a long history of peculiar customs and magic uses.  It was one of the herbs packed in Saxon amulets for "protection", witches used it in making incantations, it was sewn up in flannel and put under the pillow to make the sleeper dream a vision of his/her true love.

For centuries, yarrows have been used to treat wounds and in the 1950's an alkoloid from the plant was found to have some ability to make blood clot faster.  A volatile oil called azulene and related compounds have shown anti-inflammatory activity.  Research from the 60's attribute yarrow's anti-spasmodic effect as a result of its flavonoids.  The plant also has salicyclic acid (aspirin) derivatives. 

Special Precautions:  Yarrow seems to evoke allergic reactions in some people and its effect may be cummulative.  Pregnant woman should not use Yarrow at all.



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