Two Weeks with Yarrow

Yarrow is a special plant. Universally loved by herbalists, and why not – it’s good for just about everything! Until recently, I hadn’t figured out how to use yarrow for myself. Without thought, I tend to brush off day-to-day discomforts. When everyday is a barrage of the media’s/politician’s dumb ass opinions on my body and rights as a woman and a person of color – you can spend a lot of time not listening. It’s hard not to feel like we are walking backwards a majority of the time for the sake of going slowly in the wrong direction. I recently read Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. I loved how she brought light and validity to the very obvious flaws in our cultural way of thinking in media, policy, & life. But, I couldn’t help but feel angry and frustrated that we are still fighting the same fight – for self care, intuition, compassion, & community. This being the everyday, it is EASY to ignore and hard to listen to those same struggles within me. To give time and notice to my need for self care, trust my intuition, compassion for myself/everyone, and engage with my community.

In taking that moment to listen, my body was telling me I needed yarrow. Well, it was shouting it really. If you’re female bodied, likely you have experienced a UTI. They can occur for a multitude of reasons, namely paying no mind when your body told you to pee after you inhaled a large portion of nachos and wanted only to fall asleep. My general protocol for UTIs is cranberry juice/pills, drinking green tea, and kinnickinnick tincture. While I am a fan of kinnickinnick, I don’t love the flavor. And so, I set to looking for what else I had in my medicinary that I could use.

“The tea or tincture has one distinct & appropriate use—for […] urethritis that occur after food or alcohol binging, which result in alkaline urine. (p. 244)”

“Being both anti-inflammatory and astringent/hemostatic, it lends itself to low-level […] urethritis [..]; take two cups a day for a couple of weeks.(p. 275)”

– Michael Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West

With a quick reference of MPPW, The Herbal Handbook, and the untouched 8oz of tincture I had from a Mt. Hood harvest in 2013 , I decided on yarrow. Two droppers in a cup of hot water & I was convinced. The hot water brings out the scent of yarrow, which is amazing and just like the fresh flowers. I could probably start every morning with a cup of yarrow tincture tea.

Herbal Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-spasmodic, Astringent, Bitter (mild), Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Magic, Styptic