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These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Achillea millefolium | Yarrow

Botanical Overview

  • Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium

  • Common Names: Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milfoil, Soldier's Woundwort

  • Family: Asteraceae

  • Description: A herbaceous perennial plant with feathery, fern-like leaves and clusters of small, white to pink flowers. The stems are erect and can grow up to 1 meter in height.

Yarrow botanical illustration

Properties of Yarrow

  • Chemical Constituents: Essential oils (including chamazulene and linalool), flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, sesquiterpene lactones.

  • Edibility: Leaves and flowers are edible and often used in salads, soups, and as a tea.

Distribution and Habitat

  • Native Range: Temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

  • Preferred Habitat: Meadows, grasslands, roadsides, and open forests. Thrives in well-drained soils and is tolerant of drought and poor soil conditions.

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Yarrow

  • Traditional Uses: Known for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, and antiseptic properties.

  • Modern Applications: Used to treat wounds, reduce fever, alleviate digestive issues, and relieve menstrual discomfort. Commonly used in teas, tinctures, and topical applications.

Magical Correspondences and Uses of Yarrow in Magical Practice

  • Element: Air

  • Planet: Venus

  • Magical Properties: Protection, courage, psychic abilities, love, and healing.

  • Uses: Yarrow is used in spells and rituals to enhance psychic powers, protect from harm, and attract love. Often included in amulets, sachets, and incense for these purposes.

Folklore, Legends, and Mythology of Yarrow

  • Historical Context: Named after the Greek hero Achilles, who is said to have used yarrow to heal the wounds of his soldiers during the Trojan War.

  • Folklore: In European traditions, yarrow is used ward off evil spirits and protect against witchcraft. It is often placed in homes or carried as a talisman.

  • Mythology: Associated with divination and love spells. In some cultures, it was used in marriage ceremonies to ensure a long and loving relationship.

Historical Literary Sources

  • Dioscorides' "De Materia Medica": One of the earliest comprehensive works on herbal medicine, mentioning the use of yarrow for wound healing.

  • Pliny the Elder's "Natural History": Documents various medicinal uses of yarrow in ancient Roman practices.


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