Traditional herbal medicine has been around for millennia, and one way to capture its healing benefits is by making tinctures. Today we are focusing on yarrow, which is a common wild plant that blooms from mid-summer to early autumn.
The best time to harvest Yarrow is during the summer months, but the herb is especially suitable for use in the spring, due to its life-strengthening and cleansing properties. Flowers should be harvested when they are fresh and yellow. In addition to flowers, leaves can also be used and are well suited for seasoning for example in salads or soups. The leaves can be dried and used as a spice all year round. The yarrow flowers can also be used as dried flowers for teas and tinctures.
Yarrow is said to be a blood building herb and is very helpful in wound healing. Yarrow is also said to help with balancing and supporting heavy menstrual bleeding, and strengthens our immune system, as well as internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. It also improves digestion, and promotes blood circulation.
Making your own herbal medicine by tincturing healing herbs is a very easy and joyful process. Tinctures are the liquid result of chopping plants up and steeping them in alcohol, to extract the medicinal qualities and properties from the plants.
To make your own tincture of Yarrow you will need some fresh Yarrow herbs and 40-60% alcohol. Chop the Yarrow and put it into a glass jar, pour over the alcohol so that the plant is completely covered. Allow the extract to soak in the jar with lid on in a dark and cool space for at least 4 weeks. Strain the plants and bottle the extract.
The tincture can be taken as it is, a couple of drops in your mouth or if you prefer, take a dropper of the tincture and mix it in a glass of water.