Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Western Yarrow

Western Yarrow blooms throughout Kansas from July to September. The plant is found scattered in fields, open woodlands, and along roadsides. In richer soils, it grows to 36 inches. The flowering head consists of multiple white florets with yellow centers, giving the appearance of a bride's bouquet.

Western Yarrow, Greenwood County, 2013

The scientific name, Achillea millefolium, is from the legend of Achilles, the Greek warrior killed at Troy by an arrow in the heel. Ancient Greeks used the crushed leaves of the Yarrow to stop the bleeding in wounds.

Yarrow has other medicinal properties. It contains flavonoids, which function as antioxidants while increasing saliva and stomach acid This helps to improve digestion. In addition, yarrow boosts vitamin C and helps fight colds. Yarrow will also relax the muscles of the intestine and uterus, relieving stomach and menstrual cramps. Therefore, use by pregnant women should be avoided. Finally, yarrow reduces anxiety and therefore helps to induce sleep.

The yarrow is related to the aster family.

Read more at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

close up of Western Yarrow, Greenwood County

Read more flavanoids.

Western Yarrow flower