Yarrow Surprise!

I just started being interested in medicinal plants.  As of a year ago I didn’t know anything about them.  Now that I’m learning to identify plants I find surprising amounts of resources in public spaces.  I happened upon a lot of Yarrow the other day while biking.  Its literally a few minutes bike ride from my house.  I collected some and left behind a lock of hair as an offering.  I’m currently drying it in a paper bag in the closet for future use as tea.  I’ve drank a strong tea of it during the first couple of days of my period to help alleviate cramps and other discomforts.  Its very soothing and tastes nice.  I definitely look around more when biking or walking and I take note of what plants people decide to use in their gardens.  In the town I live in, for example, I’ve noticed a lot of people love California Poppy, Lavender, Jasmine and Rosemary.  I essentially have limitless amounts of Rosemary at my disposal.  Its wonderful to start noticing how many beneficial plants are all around us and to gain an appreciation of what having these plants readily available can do for your own well being.  I feel like natural resources are there to help me when I need them, like my environment is truly alive and that I am part of it in a symbiotic way.  These plants need us for nurturing and we need them.  I remember going to a show a few months ago of a politically minded beat box duo who made a point of saying that the majority of people can recognize hundreds of corporate logos but most people cannot identify 10 native plants in their agricultural zone.  Plants are out there advertising themselves to bees and to us all the time yet we look to billboards instead.  I really try to avoid looking at billboards now.  I don’t want corporate logos to take up space in my memory banks anymore.  I would much rather make room to store away information about the plants in my area.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kel on June 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    hey sonya – just thinkin… do you have any tricks or comparisons to differentiate yarrow from hemlock? it can look pretty similar to an unknowing eye.. or even a semi-knowing eye…


    • That’s a great question, because the flowers look very similar. The leaves and even the shape of the plant is very different. I don’t know much about Hemlock, but from what I can find online it grows larger than Yarrow and the stems branch out, while Yarrow has one central stem with the leaves spiraling out around it. The leaves of the Hemlock look triangular and lacy yet solid while the leaves of the Yarrow look feathery. The flowers of the Yarrow pretty much only come out at the top while for Hemlock the flowers can grow on any of the branches. Here is a link to a picture on Wiki of Hemlock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-191.jpg and here is a link to a picture of Yarrow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-149.jpg. I hope that helps!


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