Yarrow is a perennial herb with erect, furrowed, downy stems. It has small flowerheads, very pretty, which are white or sometimes pinkish. It has a strong peppery smell.
The plant’s healing properties were known to the Ancient Greeks who named Yarrow Achillea after Achilles, the legendary warrior. The specific name millefolium (=a 1000 leaf) referring to the plant’s many feathery leaves.
It’s one of the best fever remedies. It makes you sweat, lowering the blood pressure. you have to drink it hourly until fever subsides (combine with elderflower and peppermint).
Yarrow tones the blood vessels and aids digestion. It is specific for thrombosis associated with high blood pressure. It is a natural antiseptic (which will also ease cystitis). Use it also for diarrhoea (and it’s safe for children).
It will speed up the clotting of blood and can be used for all wounds, old and new, rashes, haemorrhoids. Useful emergency treatment to stop haemorrhaging. Use the crushed leaves directly on cuts, for nose bleeds or earache. Chew them for toothache.
The principal constituent is an essential oil with azulenes that turn blue after distillation. The plant also contains the alkaloids achilleine and stychidyrine, tannins and bitter compounds.
In China, yarrow stalks are used with the I ching system, in Europe, the druids used yarrow to divine the weather. Yarrow strengthens and protects the etheric body (the aura)
Key words: Fevers, colds, flu; Digestive tonic; menstruation; urinary antiseptic; diarrhoea; all wounds; antiseptic, stomachic, antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic.
Other names for Yarrow are Milfoil (a 1000 leaves), nose bleed, old man’s pepper, soldier’s wound wort, knight’s milfoil, bloodwort, staunch weed, devil’s nettle and devil’s plaything.
We also picked some nettle to make tea with. Nettle is another excellent tonic, packed with vitamins and minerals. There are some nice ones right behind the kiosk, part of the nature garden.
And there is some lovely lemon balm to the right of the path behind the kiosk. Lemon balm makes a great tea. One of my favourites.
We washed and carefully selected the best herbs we’d picked and made tea for the thermic Invisible Food flasks.
Then we started on the food preparation, all washing their hands first and if anyone dropped out to have a quick game of football, they had to wash their hands again!
We chopped up the yarrow with a mezza luna chopper, to get it nice and fine.
We used a packet of burger mix and threw the chopped yarrow in. We carefully made little round burgers, pressing them many times so they didn’t crumble.
I used the woodgas camp stove to fry up the burgers. We used wood pellets and some sticks from the park as fuel.
Here I am regulating the flames. This stove has a battery assisted fan which saves you having to blow the flames to keep the fire going. It works really well.
I used a lovely recipe for homemade ketchup from Hugh Fearnley-Whittenstall’s book. It’s delicious. Will post it here soon. I also tried making some jerk sauce which is really tasty. 1 scotch bonnet pepper, some thyme, some spring onions and some allspice, olive oil and a dash of vinegar. It keeps well in the fridge.
It was great doing some outdoor cooking in Myatts Field. We had great weather – you can tell by the light in some of the photos – and I’m glad to be able to keep cooking and eating outdoors even as winter approaches. Thanks to all participants.
Photos by Jorge Goia