Yarrow, the mother of all herbs. Many herbalists will swear by that statement. Myself included has been known to say, “you can have all the herbs in my apothecary, except my yarrow”.
When it comes to fever reduction, sometimes, quickly is not fast enough. And when it comes to reducing the fever of your little ones, Yarrow should be your go-to-herb.
Fevers are our friends, many herbalists would say that. And it is agreed by all that a fever is proof that the body is fighting infection, behind the scenes, and therefore should be left to do it’s job, there are times when controlling the fever is necessary.
One such time would be when a fever is topping out at around 105 degrees for adults and 103 for children and 101 for babies.
Once fever reaches those temperatures then you are looking at the fever doing more damage to your body then good.
How to use Yarrow to treat fever
Think of it as battle damage. This is where Yarrow shines. Yarrow made into a hot tea, or tincture, using the steps below, can be made to be used internally.
Drinking a cup of this tea or the proper dose of the tincture, is very effective at bringing down a high fever and keeping it down for a while. How does it taste, one mom might ask. Alone, Yarrow has a very earthy taste.
It is better paired with an herb of your choice for that herbs taste. Something such as a mix of peppermint leaves with the yarrow tea will be more palatable for children and some finicky adults.
Make the yarrow into a tea (herbal infusion)
- simple use a teaspoon of fresh or dried herb per 8 ounces of water
- covered and steeped, for 30 minutes.
- Strain the infusion into a drinking mug and blend with enough peppermint tea to make it agreeable to the person drinking it.
- Add a bit of raw honey to increase the infection fighting and antimicrobial action that yarrow is also known for.
If honey is not available, sweeten with a bit of sugar to make the taste agreeable.
Give a cup of yarrow tea when needed, up to 3 cups a day.
How to use it?
Paired with other natural methods of lowering the fever,...such as placing cool towels on the bodies “hot spots” (neck, forehead, stomach, underarms, wrists, bottoms of feet, inner thighs near groin) yarrow is quite effective.
Although effective at fighting fevers alone, using cooling the bodies “hot spots”, in times of very high fever, brings the fever down quicker.
Sometimes it may be more feasible to use tinctures over teas. An herbal tincture is the blending and steeping of fresh or dried herb in an 80 proof, or higher, drinking alcohol.
Steeping the herb in the alcohol for 4-6 weeks makes a pharmaceutical grade herbal medicine.
Then taken in proper dosages, as explained below, is very effective as a natural medicine.
Sometimes drinking the tea is just not an option, such as an instance where a stubborn child is involved.
So it is possible to take a “shot” of yarrow tincture in a juice the child or person likes. Tincture can be taken straight, as an alcohol shot, it can be added to juice, tea or water.
In some instances, it may be agreeable in certain foods, after the food is cooked and has cooled, such as a bowl of oatmeal flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon. Just a little parental trick of the trade!
How to use Yarrow to treat infection
When my little ones are sick, and there is a need to reduce the fever, yarrow is my go-to-herb. Fever means internal infection and another powerful aspect of this awesome herb is it’s ability to fight infection.
Not only is it an antibiotic, antiviral, antispasmodic, but it is antimicrobial as well! Now you just can not beat that. And this is just it’s internal uses for infection and fever.
Yarrow is effective at fighting influenza, colds, upper respiratory infections, stomach and intestinal infections, even illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis responds to yarrow taken internally.
So how do you make this herbal tincture?
- To make the tincture take a quart jar
- Add in half a jar of dried or fresh yarrow herb.
- Then fill the jar with 80 or higher proof drinking alcohol, cap it and let it sit for 4-6 weeks in a cool dark place.
- Each day shake the jar up.
- When it is done steeping simply strain the herb from the tincture making sure to squeeze every bit of the alcohol from the strainer cloth, if using a cloth.
- Place the infused liquid, now tincture into a jar and seal it.
Store the jar of tincture in a cool dark place where you won’t forget about it. Now you have your very own yarrow tincture for a fraction of the price you would have paid if you had not made it yourself.
Yarrow can be used both externally and internally for infection control.
How to use it?
There are many ways in which to use yarrow externally but the easiest method is to simple us it as a compress.
A yarrow compress is made by making a yarrow infusion (tea) with no sweetener, and using a cotton ball or folded cloth, soaking the liquid up and applying it to the affected area. Wounds such as cuts and scrapes are treated very effectively but this method.
You can be sure no infection can get through the defense of your yarrow compress. If you want to get fancy, here are a few other ways in which externally, infection can be controlled/treated.
Different ways of preparing Yarrow
Yarrow salve- Using dried herb, grind into a powder and add to a carrier such as coconut oil or just beeswax. Applying the salve to affected areas will allow the yarrow to remain on the affected places longer.
Yarrow infused oil
Using fresh yarrow steep in a carrier oil such as high quality olive oil or tamanu oil for 6-8 weeks. Use as you would a salve.
Use dried or fresh yarrow. This method is by the quart. Fill the quart jar half way with good yarrow herb. Using 80 proof or higher drinking alcohol, fill the quart jar. Place on a tight fitting lid and let sit in a cool dark place for 4 weeks.
Each day shake the jar to agitate the herb. After the tincture is finished strain the herb and store the alcohol in a sealed jar out of the sunlight. Label and use when necessary.
Yarrow Root tea
- Using fresh or dried yarrow place 2 teaspoons into a standard mug.
- Add boiling water over the herb, cover the infusion and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain, add honey to taste and drink up to 3 cups a day.
Yarrow powder extract (capsules)
For this method you will need some empty food grade capsules, a capsule loader and any tools to make the loading of the small capsule halves easier.
If you are doing pharmaceutical grade capsules, you will also need a scale to portion the Milligrams properly per capsule.
- Using dried yarrow is easiest.
- Using an electric coffee grinder grind the yarrow into a fine powder.
- Collect the yarrow in a clean container and using a scoop and scale, portion out the yarrow powder per your recipe and fill capsules.
- Store capsules in an airtight container until ready to use them.
Basically you need to make a standard infusion of your yarrow as if you were making a yarrow tincture.
The difference here is you are making the yarrow for external use ONLY. So using a bottle of rubbing alcohol or witch Hazel, fill the quart jar and make it the same way as the drinking tincture. When you need to make a poultice use clean cotton balls or small thickness of gauze and soak the gauze and apply to the external affected area.
Make sure you label the jar as external or internal use so you do not get it confused.