Monday, March 8, 2010
Yarrow in the Garden
Botanical Name of Yarrow is Achillea millefolium
Yarrow’s feathery leaves can be propagated by root division. When establishing the plants, give them lots of water, ensuring you don’t drown them of course. This will help the yarrow to thrive. They are not fussy plants and will happily produce new leaves. Keep them well watered but not saturated. The plant can be propagated by seed. Toward the end of summer, the flowers appear. These will be pink or white. Butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Parasitic wasps, ladybird and hoverflies are drawn to yarrow. These insects all have an important function in natural pest control. The plant itself is an insect repellant, keeping plant pests at bay.
Yarrow is an important compost plant. It contains many minerals and contributes to soil health as it is deep rooted. The plant can be used to prevent soil erosion. Add a few yarrow leaves to the compost heap as it is one of the plants that activate compost.
Yarrow Companions and Antagonists
Yarrow is a really good companion to Cucumber, Maize, Raspberry.
It grows well around most plants. Yarrow is an insect repellant as well as a beneficial insect attractant.
Flu and fever is treated using yarrow tea. It can assist to dull the pain of toothache. Yarrow is a styptic, which means it helps to stop bleeding. For this reason is can be used on cuts and wounds. It helps to relieve inflammation and bruising. Yarrow is great for relieving pain for women during the menstrual cycle. Steaming with Yarrow helps with relief from hay fever. Yarrow has a myriad of uses.
Cooking with Yarrow
Young Yarrow leaves have a bittersweet taste. The leaves can be added to soups and stews or used as “spinach”. The leaves can be dried for later use. Generally it is used as a tea for treating various ailments.
2 – 3 thumb length yarrow leaves
Allow the water to stand for a few minutes after it has boiled. Break up the yarrow and place it in a cup. Pour the boiling water over the yarrow and cover the cup with a saucer. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Add honey to taste. Enjoy a cupful of detoxing tea.
Warning: drink this tea occasionally!