I am very new to harvesting herbs. The weed known as Yarrow has been a childhood favorite flower of mine. It seems to thrive everywhere and the little white flowers accompanied by the fern like leaves have always been hard to resist. I never knew that the weed I had always adored was actually Yarrow until I identified it this year. During my Internet researching I found a very interesting blog post on the medicinal use of Yarrow (link.)
Yarrow grows right along the sidewalks of my neighborhood but I’ve been saving a day to find clean places to harvest. The weather was perfect for it today. I was very picky while harvesting because much of the flower heads of the Yarrow I came across had the eggs from what’s known as the “spit bug” underneath. I also took photographs of many of the flowers and plants I came across. My harvest walk was fairly long and somewhat unproductive.
When I got home with my crop, I used some of the info found on another blog (link) to get the herb ready for drying and use. The whole process has been fun and rather relaxing.
I had a small bowl when I was done. I tasted one of the fern like leaves while processing, it was very bitter and slightly sour. A few tiny bugs escaped while I was cleaning the heads and leaves from the stalks.
I don’t have a food dehydrator (note to self: I really need/want one) so I put a bit of foil on my old cookie sheet and spread the flower heads and leaves out to dry in the oven. It’s really hot outside today so I wasn’t looking forward to that but the oven is on its lowest setting, “warm.” I am looking forward to the finished product and use in teas and baths primarily. Technically my second attempt at herbal magick, I have a post to do on dandelion roots coming (hopefully.)
**Update 7-9-14** I jarred the dried yarrow yesterday. It was brittle and I didn’t want the flowers/leaves to crumble so I had to use a larger jar than I anticipated and wasn’t prepared (aka the label is still on the jar.)
**Update – July 14, 2014
I was feeling rather poorly and realized yarrow to be a terrific detoxifier of the blood and organs. Water was boiled and I crushed the dried herb into a mug with a cone filter inside and I steeped the tea and added a dropper of milk thistle extract. I sipped it, my tea didn’t have much flavor outside of warm water but that’s OK. While sleeping I did notice my body temperature rise and my skin was warm to touch, I felt hot. I feel the dried yarrow was doing what it was supposed to by increasing my body temperature/circulation of blood and opening my pores.
Next time, I think I will boil the herb in the pot of water for about 10 minutes and strain the tea into my mug.