Yarrow-Infused Herbal Oil
Herbalism has long been of interest to me and I've been taking the opportunity to learn more about it every day. I've seen how herbs have had a profound effect on healing different ailments within our family, so frequently and reliably that any doubts I may have had about their efficacy have been allayed through experience.
We have used plantain leaves to lessen the pain of a bee sting and remove the inflammation and discomfort from stinging nettle contact. Arnica has been in our home medicine cabinet for years as we've seen how incredibly effective it is at reducing inflammation and pain in sore muscles and bruises.
Expanding My Repertoire
I've made it a goal to learn more about the use of medicinal herbs to treat common ailments and complaints. These remedies have been used, in some cases, for thousands of years. While I marvel at the advances of modern medicine, I'm saddened that many forsake ancient wisdom in favor of whatever is the common treatment of the day. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs have side effects and can linger in the body long after the dose was taken.
However, while herbs are 'natural,' they still need to be taken seriously and not used carelessly. Herbal remedies have specific therapeutic uses and it's important to research and study them before trying any treatment at home. There may also be contraindications for plant-based treatments, especially when combined with other medications or conditions.
The Humble Yarrow Plant
I chose to make my first herbal infusion with the yarrow plant. Yarrow grows all over the world, but it is originally native to Europe and Northern Asia. It somehow escaped my attention for many years and it's only recently that I began to learn about its medicinal benefits.
Yarrow's Latin name is Achillea, as it is named after the famed Trojan war hero, Achilles. Ancient legend states that Achilles used the plant to treat the wounds of his soldiers.
Benefits of Yarrow
There are many advantages to using yarrow medicinally. It acts as a circulatory stimulant, tonifies blood vessels, has antimicrobial properties, and acts as a styptic agent, so it can be applied directly to wounds to facilitate healing.
Yarrow can also be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
cuts and scrapes
Oil with Multiple Uses
I'm making a yarrow-infused oil because I plan to make a salve from it. Salves are much easier and convenient to carry around and use than oils. While it is possible to use the oil directly, I much prefer using the infused oil as the base for a salve recipe.
Yarrow-Infused Herbal Oil
1 clean, dry, glass jar (holding approximately 8 ounces)
dried yarrow cut into smaller pieces
approximately 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Place the dried yarrow into the jar. Carefully pour the oil over the yarrow until the dried plant pieces are fully submerged under the oil. If any part of the plant is exposed to air, you have the potential for mold which will ruin the infused oil, so keep it submerged! You can use a wooden spoon to push down any unruly pieces of yarrow that try to pop out of the oil. Shake up the jar every couple of days and store in a dry place. The infused oil will be ready for use in about four weeks.
You can use yarrow that you have foraged yourself (which is what I did) or you can order it from an online retailer. Mountain Rose Herbs is a popular company in the United States that has a good reputation and their products are certified organic. I have no affiliation with them. :)
I am excited to continue to learn more about herbs so our family can have a nicely-stocked home herbal apothecary. It feels very empowering to learn about all of the potential health benefits that nature has provided for us and to utilize that wisdom to assist in supporting the wellness of my family.