The yarrow plant’s incredible variety of uses and its value to cultures around the world has been Well documented: Fossils of yarrow pollen in Neandenthal caves indicate that the herb has been used for more than 60,000 years. Many groups, including the ancient Greeks and Romans, Chinese, Native Americans, Europeans and Shakers, used yarrow because of its healing properties, most notably its ability to stanch bleeding.
The plant’s Latin name, millefolium, is said to derive from its multi-segmented leaves: one part for each medicinal use. It can relieve gas pains, lower fever, reduce inflammation, stimulate blood circulation, soothe menstrual cramps and support kidney and liver functions. Yarrow can also remedy appetite loss and aid proper digestion. As a pungent and slightly bitter seasoning, the herb emits a warm, aromatic fragrance.Yarrow’s strong sage like flavor makes it a good seasoning for Greek salads, poultry stuffings, meat stews, savory bean dishes and meat entrées. Add yarrow to oil and vinegar salad dressings for a delicate, slightly bitter taste. ln soft cheeses or creamy dips it lends a spicy aroma. It is also flavorful with bay leaf in split—pea soup. A tea can be made from yarrow; however, it is generally considered too intense by itself and is often blended with herbs that are milder.
Yarrow can add depth to chamomile tea and pungency to spearmint tea. For a spicy, full-bodied flavor, add a pinch of yarrow to 1 tsp. of green tea.