Yarrow: Ancient Fertility Herb in Your Backyard

Yarrow: Ancient Fertility Herb in Your Backyard

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is one of my most loved herbal allies! It is one of the most versatile healing plants, ever. I could no longer hold back in sharing some fertility benefits this herb has. Yarrow grows virtually everywhere in North America. Any person interested in natural remedies should have this plant in their yard, or cupboard, in the form of loose dried plant parts, liquid extract, or oil. Because it grows pretty much everywhere, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. Yarrow prefers to grow in well drained dry soils, usually in open meadows, as it prefers sun light. Because this herb is easy to find, it is a fertility aid that you can harvest yourself for personal use. Yarrow is a gentle, yet very effective plant. Because it is so versatile, gentle and effective, it combines well with other herbs for fertility.

Our ancestors have been using Yarrow for thousands of years. Fossilized Yarrow pollen has been found in burial caves dating back 60,000 years ago. Yarrow has a rich history with humans for use in traditional healing, though it lacks scientific research. Despite a lack of scientific research, Yarrow has proven itself effective time-and-time again.

Balancing Act: An Herb of Opposites

  • Yarrow is cooling and warming
  • It promotes circulation, yet is extremely astringent, stopping excessive blood flow
  • Drying and moistening; promotes sweating and detoxification, but strengthens and tightens tissues
  • Normalizes opposing conditions
  • Stimulates uterus to bring on menstruation, yet curbs heavy menstrual flow; effectively aiding in regulation of menstrual flow

Video: How to Make Yarrow Oil for Fertility

Pain Relief for Painful Menstruation (Dysmennorhea)
Yarrow has been used traditionally for painful menstrual cramps. It is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory in action. This means it aids the muscles of the uterus to work efficiently without spasm and/or cramping up. Uterine cramping and inflammation is the cause of the pain associated with menstrual cramps. Yarrow relieves inflammation and congestion of the uterus, which aids in pain reduction, as well as proper circulation to the reproductive organs.

When using Yarrow to relieve menstrual cramps it is best to prepare in advance of the pain. A low dose in the form of a tea, or liquid extract everyday leading up to menstruation may be best. Dosage may be increased during menstruation if needed.

Reduce Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Yarrow is one of the best herbs to stop heavy bleeding due to uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or for women who have heavier than normal menstrual periods. It is important to address the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding, in addition to using Yarrow to stop heavy bleeding acutely.

Yarrow has been used to stop internal bleeding caused by uterine fibroids, endometriosis and ruptured ovarian cysts as well. This plant has been used traditionally by midwives to stop hemorrhage during miscarriage, or after childbirth. Yarrow’s ability to stop heavy blood flow is well documented and simply amazing!

Heavy Bleeding Infusion (Tea)
Combine
2 parts dried Yarrow (astringent, reduces bleeding)
2 part Shepherd’s purse (astringent, reduces heavy uterine bleeding, prevents hemorrhage)
1 part dried Nettle leaf (high in iron, astringent, prevents hemorrhaging)
½ part Hibiscus flower (high in Vit. C, nice flavor addition)
-Place a small handful of the mixture into a quart glass mason jar. Fill with just boiled water, cap tightly. Steep for 30-40 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups a day.

Yarrow is one of the ingredients in Slow Flow, a product we carry in our Natural Fertility Shop. Slow Flow is an herbal and nutrient specific blend to aid in heavy menstrual bleeding. Slow Flow is formulated for use only during heavy bleeding times.

Eliminate Pelvic Congestion
Many women suffer from fertility issues where there is pelvic congestion, also referred to as stagnation. Conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts are all considered congestive states. Yarrow works to increase circulation to the reproductive organs and tissues. It also aids in pain reduction associated with endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

If you suffer from one of these stagnant fertility conditions, you may want to consider doing a daily hot or cold compress using a Yarrow infusion. A Yarrow compress may also be helpful when there is pain present, such as menstrual cramps. An oil from fresh Yarrow can be made and applied directly to the abdomen, or a massage oil blend using Yarrow essential oil can be used as well.

Yarrow Compress
1. Place 1/8 cup of dried Yarrow flowers, stems and leaves into a large tea ball or bag. Place in a large stainless steel or Pyrex bowl. You could also use a large stainless steel stock pot. Cover with boiling water and let steep for 15-30 minutes. Let the liquid cool to your liking. Remove 1 cup of the tea to drink if you would like.

2. Place a cotton rag or old clean cloth in the tea after it has reached desired temperature.

3. Wring it out so that it still holds quite a bit of liquid, but is not dripping. Be sure you do not use a cloth that you care about too much, the tea may stain it.

4. Place an old towel or blanket on the floor or underneath where you are going to lie down.

5. Fold wet cloth so that it can be applied to the lower abdomen. Lie down in a comfortable position on your back. Place the cloth on your bare abdomen. Let it sit there for 7-15 minutes. You may put the cloth back in the liquid and repeat step 3-5 several times. You can also put plastic on top of the cloth and put a hot water bottle, or other hot pack on top of that to keep it warm.

Note: Some women with endometriosis report that using hot compress cause their condition to be painful, so it may be best to do a warm-to-cool compress instead.

Stimulate Menstrual Flow
Yarrow is a traditional tonic to stimulate the uterus to bring on menses. This works well for a boggy, weak uterus. Yarrow aids in toning the muscles of the uterus, as well as increasing muscular activity of the uterus which serves to initiate menstrual flow. The stimulation of the muscles of the uterus aid in the shedding of the endometrium, stimulating regular menstrual cycles in the absence of pregnancy. This is a wonderful herb for women with absent periods, also known as Amennohrea. If you have not had a period for a long time, or if your period is late and you know you are not pregnant, Yarrow may aid in bringing on menses. *Do NOT use Yarrow if you think you may be pregnant.

Traditional Suggested Dosage of Yarrow

Daily Usage

Infusion (tea): 1 tsp. of dried leaves and/or flowers per cup of water. Steep in almost boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups daily.

Liquid extract (tincture): 20 drops, 3 times a day.

Because Yarrow is a uterine stimulant, it is important not to use this herb after ovulation if you think you may be pregnant. This herb is best used in preparation for pregnancy, or after pregnancy and breastfeeding to tone the uterus. May also be used to heal stagnant fertility conditions and promote regular menses.

References:
1) herbmentor.com/20100629/, Rosalee de la Foret, Featured Herb: Yarrow, July 29, 2010
2) Yarrow Achillea millefolium, Herbalpedia, The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, 2010
3) Women’s Encyclopedia of Natura Medicine, Tori Hudson, N.D., McGraw Hill, 2008
4) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Aviva Romm, Churchill Livingstone, 2010
5) The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, DK Publishing, 1996

Comments

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[+] 14 Comments
  1. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  2. Is it necessary to use dried yarrow for the compress? Or can I use fresh? Is there a difference?

    • Jay, for a compress, fresh yarrow flowers and leaves would be best. If you mean to make yarrow oil, fresh is best, but dried yarrow would be fine as well. I prefer fresh, but it is necessary to toss a bit with the the hundred proof alcohol to keep it from molding.

  3. thanks for the VERY useful info!!!! much appreciated!!!!

  4. Over 2 years postpartum, I’m told I have varicose veins around my uterus/vagina which causes intense pain when I stand when menstruating. I was told either deal with it, or have the veins fixed surgically with no guarantee of relief. I’m reading quite a few places that yarrow may help. One place I read said apply a poultice. Can this be used intragaginally, or would it be too drying?

    • Hi R.G.,

      I am sorry to hear of your discomfort and pain. I have some ideas that Hethir and I came up with, but we have never actually applied these herbs vaginally. First I would consider supporting herbs internally (via the mouth). Horse chestnut, gotu kola and butchers broom are known to help with vericosities. If you were to do a douche or poultice of Yarrow, it would be best to add a soothing mucous membrane supportive herb like marshmallow root. Yarrow alone may be too drying. Consider yarrow and marshmallow rt. internally as a tea 3 times a day as well. You could make a strong tea and let it cool to room temperature and douche. I am not a fan of douching or putting anything in the vagina unless necessary. It could alter the ph and there is a potential for infection. Consider yarrow and marshmallow rt. suppositories made in coconut oil as well. You may want to ask your local herbalist for help, they may be able to make something up for you!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  5. hi im from philippines,where can i get or purchase yarrow here?

    • Hi nazi,

      I am not sure where you can purchase yarrow in the Philippines, you may be able to purchase it online through an American company. Be sure it is either ethically wildcrafted or organic.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  6. hi i live in Nigeria,how can i get this yarrow u’re talking about? is it in a form of supplement ?

  7. Hi, thanks so much for the inspiration and hope you are giving us. What products you will recommend for me and my husband to use so we can have both healthy egg cell and sperm cell before I can get pregnant again, cause this year I had one miscarriage due to blighted ovum that my pregnancy lasted only 2 months, thank you much and God bless you all!

  8. hi,
    where is the best place to purchase yarrow, and in what form?