Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Herbal Legacy: YARROW

Our blog posts titled, "The Herbal Legacy" will highlight herbs that have long been recognized for their healing power.  In addition to explaining key health benefits of the herbs, we'll provide insight about the Native American history of using the herbs for health and wellness.
First up is YARROW.
How YARROW works:   Yarrow has powerful astringent (cleansing) effects. The plant is an antimicrobial, so it provides protection against infection.  Yarrow contains the following fatty and amino acids: isovaleric acid, salicylic acid, asparagin, sterols, flavonoids,  bitters, tannins, and coumarins.
  • Fatty acids found in Yarrow boost the oxygen content in skin cells, aid cell membrane development, strength, and function. 
  • Amino acids found in Yarrow provide the basic building blocks of proteins in the production of tissue thus skin has the ability to regenerate.
  • Salicylic acid in Yarrow has analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. 
  • Sterols and tannins in Yarrow have wound  healing and anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Flavonoids in Yarrow are vital antioxidants that protect against cell damaging free radicals.
YARROW Native Roots: Native Americans  prepared Yarrow infusions to treat joint pain, eye infections, ear aches and as a cold remedy.
  • Tribes from the Micmacs in the Maritimes to the Thompson Indians of British Columbia treated wounds, sores, and bruises with Yarrow.
  • Utes pulverized the plant, Winnebagos used it in infusion, while others "prepared a powder for dusting on skin sores by roasting the leaves or stems until they were dry enough to be pulverized between stones." 
  • Far to the north, Aleuts used the juice of yarrow leaves to stop bleeding.

A Native American Herbal Legacy: Long ago,  before medical technology was available, pioneer doctors relied on Native American knowledge of nature to treat illness. Our ancestors freely shared their healing knowledge of plants, roots and berries with early settlers. In fact, Native American herbal treatments were so effective, many have been refined into present day medicine.  

Yarrow is a Native American legacy herb that is widely used today for its health and wellness benefits.  We use Yarrow in Kevin's Cure Body Lotion and Body Wash. We hope you found this post an insightful blend of education and history.

Wishing you wellness.  -The Sisters of Sister Sky

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