Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow has a long and interesting history. The name of the flower is part Greek, part Latin. Achillea, comes from the Greek name Ἀχιλλεύς. According to legend, Achilles would carry the plant with him onto the battlefield. He used it to treat the wounds of his soldiers.
Maybe Achilles was on to something.
Throughout history, people have used the plant to heal wounds, and cuts. Several of the alternative names for this plant give clues to its power. Generally known as yarrow these days, the plant also goes by the names: arrowroot, bloodwort, carpenter’s weed, hundred leaved grass, knight’s milefoil, nosebleed, soldier’s woundwort, stanchweed, and woundwort.
Perhaps Achilles should have stuffed some into that hole in his heel.
He wasn’t the only one aware of the medicinal power of yarrow. The ancient Greeks and Romans used yarrow to stop nosebleeds and to speed clotting.
Native Americans used yarrow as a pain reliever, as a cure for headaches, earaches, and as a fever reducer.
It’s not just the ancients, by the way, who are jazzed about yarrow. You can enjoy the benefits of yarrow, even today, in our big pharma, drugged up world:
The secondary name, millefolium, is Latin. Mille means, 1,000. Folium means, leaf. Sure enough, yarrow could brag about its numerous leaves. If yarrow could brag, that is.