Properties and cultivation of yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Today we are going to talk about a plant with well-known medicinal properties. It is a variety of yarrow commonly called as yarrow. Its scientific name is Achillea millefolium and it also has other common names such as milefolio, milrosas, millefeuille, camomile, piss grass, milk foam, maquilea, flowers, thousand altamisa and a long etcetera. It is a well-known plant, hence its countless common names. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is found naturally in Asia and the Mediterranean part of Europe.

Here we tell you everything you need to know about the Achillea millefolium.

Key features

Yarrow flowers

It is a herbaceous plant. Although less abundant, we can also find it in Andalusia and southern Portugal. When they develop in their natural habitat we can find them well drained. We can usually see them near pastures and fields adjoining roads and mountain slopes. They also grow in forest areas.

Depending on the area where it takes place, can live at altitudes ranging from 0 meters to 2500 (with 0 meters we mean sea level). The most ideal area for optimal growth is at altitudes of 1.500 meters. It is able to tolerate almost any climate, although it prefers more temperate places. It can withstand some frost or moderate drought but it is not a friend of extremes.

It is an aromatic perennial plant whose stem is between 30 and 70 cm high. It has a white spongy pith and its leaves are lanceolate. The flowers are grouped in corymbs of about 10 flowers. As for the fruit, it is an achene without vilane and oblong in shape.

Cultivation of Achillea millefolium

Medicinal properties of yarrow

The most common is that it is cultivated to be used later as a cut flower. It is quite a rustic plant, so it is not too demanding neither with the environmental conditions nor with the care. However, some things must be taken into account so that its growth is the most indicated.

The first thing we have to guarantee is that the climate is temperate. It is essential to maintain moderate humidity and place them in full sun for the stems to grow properly. If we have it in full sun, we will make the flowers develop more colorful and lively. It adapts well to almost any type of soil, even those that are limestone. Although it is capable of growing in nutrient-poor soils, it is better to plant them in more fertile soils.

One of the fundamental aspects to avoid its deterioration and death is the drainage of the soil. The soil must be well drained so that it does not puddle when watering it. If the water accumulates, it will cause a drowning of the plant.

The cultivation of this plant is very similar to that of alfalfa. When it has been sown, the stems emerge until they spread throughout the soil. We need to pay it with a potassium enhancer which helps growth to be more balanced and strong. Excessively nitrogen fertilizer must be avoided, which would cause the opposite effect to that desired.

Collection and uses of yarrow

Yarrow cultivation

Collect the Achillea millefolium it’s pretty easy. You just have to cut the flower stalks at the base. It is important that it be done first thing in the morning, since it is at that moment where they are most turgid. After making the cut, we place the bunches in a glass or bucket filled with water with a flower preservative. Once introduced in the container, we put them in the fridge to be able to preserve them well. It is a plant used mainly as an accompanying flower.

It can also be planted in a pot and is quite popular. Their cuttings are usually bought for sowing in pots between 14 and 18 centimeters in length. Like sown in the ground, it should be placed in full sun and placed under an installation of meshes that provide light shading. It is as if we are putting it in semi-shadow, but without being totally it.

The plant is clamped 20 days after planting and the flower buds can be sold. It needs a fertilizer the same as sown in the ground.

Sometimes we want to create more vivacious areas made up of temporary plants in the garden. Yarrow is perfect for all this. We can grow it in one place for years. To do this, we just have to cut it from time to time so that the buds grow better and more flowers come out.

It is necessary that in winter we carry out a pruning at ground level so that it can be completely sanitized and ready for spring. Thanks to pruning, you will be able to see how it fills with buds and stems full of flowers for a better distribution of the rhizomes.

Medicinal properties

Achillea millefolium white flowers

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, this plant is medicinal. It has various internal and external health benefits. It is perfect for treating respiratory problems, improving circulation, menstrual cramps and treating the main problems caused by menopause in women.

To enjoy its benefits we have to use the flowers that they have the essential active principles such as curmarins, vitamin C, tannins and flavonoids. To treat internal problems, simply make an infusion by adding a tablespoon of yarrow with very hot water. To drink it, first you have to strain it and then let it cool down a bit to drink it. To use it in external problems, it is best to clean wounds, burns or treat hemorrhoids. We can prepare the infusion and use it as a cream. The effect will act locally.

Although it has great benefits as a medicinal plant, it also has some drawbacks. The first thing is that pregnant women should not take yarrow infusions. Some stomach pains may occur and cause diarrhea. The other is that for any type of patient, it is not advisable to take it for more than two weeks in a row. It is best to take it for a few days, wait and rest, and if the problem has not been cured, continue with several more days. Never take more than two weeks in a row.

I hope this information has helped you to know more about the Achillea millefolium

Properties and cultivation of yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

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