According to the legend peddled by Pliny, Roman naturalist of the first century AD, his name comes from Achilles, hero of Greek mythology wounded during the Trojan War, who used it to heal his wound and those of his soldiers

This plant was found in a Neanderthal tomb discovered during archaeological excavations in Shanidar, Iraq.

The Neanderthal men appeared to have a rudimentary plant-based pharmacy, and one of the eight plants identified with the pollen grains found on this deposit was yarrow.

The Greek Dioscorides (first century) was the first to mention yarrow as an incomparable plant for the treatment of bleeding wounds as well as old or recent ulcers.

In the fourth century, the Bordeaux doctor Marcellus Empiricus was to repeat this thesis to recommend yarrow against bleeding.

Until the nineteenth century, it was used to accelerate healing.

It is an edible plant whose leaves can be used (with astringent taste and low camphor odor) During the First World War, it was part of the first emergency kit worn by every soldier who, due to lack of medication, could treat minor injuries with this plant.

In the kitchen, Lancelot de Casteau quotes it in its “Ouverture de cuisine” among the herbs it takes to make omelette's with herbs. Its flowers, which give off a slightly camphorated smell, perfume the creams and flans.

In northwestern Europe (Germany, Belgium, Great Britain), yarrow became part of a mixture, used to perfume beer, from the Middle Ages to the sixteenth century and then fell into obsolescence with the widespread use of hops

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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