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How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It)

How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It) | Growing Up Herbal | If you have yarrow growing nearby, here's how to make a fresh yarrow tincture that you can have on hand for future use. Also included are 5 ways to use it!

This past spring, I was excited to see a couple yarrow plants growing next to my driveway. I watched them as they grew, budded, and unfurled their creamy white flowers, and as soon as they were full grown, I put them to good use.

Back in August, I decided to take some time to quickly tincture the yarrow tops before it was too late and the flowers dried up. Today, I thought that I’d share the steps with you in case you still have some fresh yarrow growing nearby that you’d like to preserve and use in the future.

Disclaimer: Yarrow is an herb that has several look-a-likes, some of which are poisonous and even deadly (poison hemlock and water hemlock). Before harvesting and using what you think is yarrow, be sure you’ve positively identified it first!

How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture

How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It) | Growing Up Herbal | If you have yarrow growing nearby, here's how to make a fresh yarrow tincture that you can have on hand for future use. Also included are 5 ways to use it!

The directions below are for tincturing fresh yarrow using the folk method. You can certainly tincture dried yarrow if you want. Just follow the directions for that here.

  1. Clip the flowering tops of your yarrow plant (some stem and leaves are fine too), and lay these out on a white towel for an hour or two so any bugs can crawl off.
  2. Chop your wilted yarrow into small pieces using a sharp kitchen knife, and pack it into a glass jar, filling it up, 1-inch from the top of the jar.
  3. Cover the plant material with a 190-proof alcohol (Everclear) making sure you completely cover the plant material. (Feel free to substitute this with filling your jar 1/4 full of boiled water and 3/4 full of glycerine if you want to make an alcohol-free tincture.)
  4. Put a cap on and let this sit in a cool, dark place for 6-weeks (shaking daily if you can remember) before straining the plant material from the liquid. Compost the plant material, filter the liquid through a coffee filter, and bottle in a clean dropper bottle.
  5. Be sure to label your bottle with the name of your tincture, the date it finished, and what it’s tinctured in (alcohol or glycerine).

5 Ways To Use Yarrow Tincture

How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It) | Growing Up Herbal | If you have yarrow growing nearby, here's how to make a fresh yarrow tincture that you can have on hand for future use. Also included are 5 ways to use it!

Yarrow is one of those plants that can be used in a lot of different ways. Below, I’m gonna share 5 simple ways you can use this tincture if you decide to make (or buy) it.

You can learn more about dosing herbs here.

1. As An Herbal Bitter

Yarrow has bitter properties and is stimulating to the gallbladder and other digestive organs. Not only will taking it before meals help prepare your body to digest your food properly, but if you have a tendency to have sluggish digestion (putting you at risk for gallstones), regular use of yarrow tincture in a small amount of room temperature water before meals along with a high fiber diet can decrease the chance of gallstones forming.

CLICK HERE to get a recipe for herbal bitters made with yarrow.

Disclaimer: Do not take yarrow tincture if you currently have gallstones as it can bring on an attack.

2. To Reduce a Fever

Yarrow is a diaphoretic herb which means it stimulates the body’s pores to open allowing heat to escape via sweating. The next time you have a high fever and you want to safely reduce it to a more comfortable level without taking it completely away, try taking a little yarrow tincture in some hot water every 30 minutes or so.

(You can learn even more about managing fevers naturally here.)

3. To Strengthen the Vascular System

Yarrow has a great overall effect on strengthening and toning the entire vascular system… arteries, veins, and capillaries. If you bruise easily, have varicose veins, or get burst blood vessels in your eyes or hands often, regularly taking yarrow tincture can help to tone the walls of your blood vessels, giving them more support in the work they do.

4. To Cleanse Wounds

How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It) | Growing Up Herbal | If you have yarrow growing nearby, here's how to make a fresh yarrow tincture that you can have on hand for future use. Also included are 5 ways to use it!

Yarrow is a well-known herb for wounds thanks to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and analgesic actions. The next time you have a cut, scrape, bite, or puncture, dilute some yarrow tincture in some water and use it to wash the wound well before applying other herbal remedies that promote wound healing.

CLICK HERE for a wound wash recipe using yarrow.

5. To Aid In Urinary Tract Infections

When it comes to herbs, did you know yarrow is one of several herbs that is specifically indicated for urinary tract infections? It is thanks to its antimicrobial and diuretic properties. When yarrow tincture is drunk in cool water, it acts as a diuretic… basically making you pee more. And, because of its antibacterial properties, it can decrease the chance of you getting a full-blown UTI as well as aid the body in healing itself if you already have one.

Disclaimer: Some individuals may be sensitive to yarrow as it’s one of many plants in the Asteraceae family that can cause mild allergic reactions in certain individuals. Be sure to test yourself or your child for herbal sensitivities before taking large amounts of yarrow. Yarrow is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing mamas!

So there you go. Now you know how to make a yarrow tincture using fresh yarrow, and you have five different ways to use it!

We’re studying yarrow more in-depth next month in Herb Folk. CLICK HERE to learn about Herb Folk and how you can get your first month free!

21 thoughts on “How To Make A Fresh Yarrow Tincture (Plus 5 Ways To Use It)”

  1. This is awesome! I’m preparing in my mind all the different flowers I’m going to grow, for medicines, soap and food. Did you grow this on purpose at your place or can they be considered as weeds?

    1. Yes, I transplanted yarrow to my property. It was super easy. I just pulled it up at my in-law’s house, roots and all, and replanted them at my house. They did great! They are considered weeds, by some, but yarrow is a common garden flower as well. It’s often hybridized to come in different colors. I think the paler colors have similar properties, but I’m not sure about the bright, deep colored varieties.

  2. Seeing this post that was posted today (well yesterday… but I’m still awake so counts as today right?), on a plant that I was literally just obsessing over doing some intense internet research (which is how I happened to stumble upon your website), being in a phase of my life where I’m possibly going from RN to herbalist, makes me feel like you must be my herbal kindred?! Also, future state neighbor as we have plans to move to NC pretty soon! Anyway, thought I’d post and say hi in case we are plant kindreds or something after all. I have many questions for you, but don’t think your comments section is the best place for them so expect something from me in your email inbox in the next few days… 🙂

    1. Yes, you definitely can. A lot of people collect the flower portions only and use that in a variety of preparations such as tea.

  3. For varicose veins, do you take the tincture internally, or do you use it externally? I’ve only ever used it externally on them. I used an infusion externally during pregnancy and it helped greatly, temporarily. Great big, painful veins would disappear and become painless for a few hours at least.

  4. Hello Meagan!
    I just stubbled across your website and subscribed. I am looking for a natural home remedy for BV/Yeast infection. Do you have any suggestions?

  5. I have read that Yarrow will slow and or stop the unwanted menstrual cycle. What are your thoughts if any on this?

    1. Yarrow does have hemostatic (slows blood flow) properties when used internally and externally; however, I’ve never heard that it will stop menstrual flow… only slow it IF it’s heavy. Let me caution against trying to stop your menstrual cycle. That is a very necessary part of a woman’s body, and stopping it can have unwanted side effects. If you’re having trouble with it, there are many natural ways to regulate it from balancing hormones, diet, exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and more. Best of luck!

  6. I was wondering why you used Everclear over vodka in this recipe? Is that just your personal preference or is this because you are using fresh plant?

    1. Yes, it’s because I’m using fresh yarrow which has water in it. You can use vodka with fresh herb tinctures but just know that it may not last as long as the water content may be too high. You usually need at least 20-30% alcohol to properly preserve your tincture. Vodka is 40% so depending on how much water the yarrow has in it, it could add too much water. To be on the safe side, I like to start with Everclear (95% alcohol) and add water from there if needed. Hope that makes sense!

        1. Yes! Vodka is typically half alcohol and half water, and it works really well with dried herbs. Fresh herbs already contain water, so they do better with liquors that have higher alcohol content.

    1. When using fresh herbs, Everclear (or any other 180-proof alcohol) is recommended. If you use anything less, then you may end up with more water in your tincture making it less effective (at least as far as alcohol-soluble constituents go) and decreasing its shelf life as well. Hope that helps! I talk a bit about alcohol proof and tincturing here in this post.

  7. Hi! My yarrow is past it’s prime flowering stage, and so I’ve not many, and those I have are marginal. My question is … is impossible to make a tincture with just the leaves, and if so what is the ratio of leaves to alcohol? Thanks!

    1. The flowers are the main plant part used in yarrow tinctures as that is where the majority of the volatile oils and other beneficial constituents are located. The leaves are mainly dried and used to slow bleeding.

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