Yarrow is a member of the daisy family and is fairly common in the UK growing in meadows, pastures along roadsides and in some gardens. Appearing as a fern like perennial, which grows in clumps of patches sometimes reaching a height of 100cm (40 inches). It is strong smelling with dark green fern like / feathery leaves, the flowers are a creamy white disc with pink ray florets in flat-topped clusters, flowering between June and October but sometimes later. The leaves can be used in salads but are rather bitter, with a peppery taste. Yarrow leaves can be cooked by boiling for 10 minutes and straining off the water.
Many myths and legends surround the Yarrow; the Anglo Saxons used Yarrow to ward off bad luck and sickness. Among herbalists it has been used as an astringent although some believed it could cause nose bleeds if a feathery leaf went up the nose. The Latin name comes from the legend that Achilles used Yarrow to stem bleeding during the siege of Troy and certainly fresh leaves can be used in a bandage or dressing to reduce and prevent bleeding. Other herbal uses include helping to treat loss of appetite and digestive upsets and used to wash wounds and as an infusion of flowers to help treat a cold